Working conditions and health

What are the effects of work, workplace and labour force conditions on the health and safety of workers and other members of society? Institute for Work & Health (IWH) research in this area seeks to understand the context in which government, sector-based and workplace injury and disability prevention programs operate. This research explores known and emerging injuries, diseases and disorders that are related to job, workplace and/or labour market conditions. It looks at the scope, potential causes and risk factors for these injuries and illnesses, as well as their effect on workers, workplaces, regulators and society as a whole.

Latest news and findings

Close-up of floor markings indicating six feet distances

Webinar: Understanding infection control practices and COVID spread at work

From the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, public health authorities recognized workplaces as a potential site of transmission. However, there remain large information gaps about workplace COVID-19 protection practices and COVID-19 spread at work. What types of infection control practices were in place at workplaces that continued to operate? How many cases of COVID-19 infection were transmitted at work? Find out on October 19, in an IWH Speaker Series by Dr. Peter Smith, who will share results from two studies conducted jointly with Public Health Ontario.

Sign up for the presentation
A masked worker riding a bus

Workers’ COVID concerns related to their work conditions, not disability status: study

People with both physical and mental health disabilities were the most concerned about their work, health and finances during the early part of the pandemic. That’s according to an Institute for Work & Health (IWH) study led by Senior Scientist Dr. Monique Gignac. Notably, the study found concerns were linked to people’s work conditions, not to their health or disability status.

Read about the study
View from the back of a man in a suit in an urban street

Unemployment benefits linked to lower mortality rates over 10 years: IWH study

We know that being out of work puts people at risk of short- and long-term health consequences—including higher death rates. A new Institute for Work & Health study looks at whether—and how much—having income support during unemployment can lessen the negative impact.

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A group of people around a table, brainstorming

Help design ways to support the future employment of young people with disabilities

Are you a young person living with a disabling health condition? Do you have direct experience supporting young people with disabilities? Or do you have expertise in policy, labour markets, disability and employment or strategic foresight?

If you answer yes to any of the above, we invite you to take part in an online activity aimed at designing better future work supports for young people with disabilities. For more information about this study, please contact Kay Nasir by emailing knasir@iwh.on.ca.

Find out more
Silhouettes of construction workers against an orange sky

Benefits outweigh costs when protection from UV radiation is offered to construction workers

Ultraviolet radiation due to sun exposure is one of the most common causes of work-related cancer in Ontario. A new study by IWH examines the costs and benefits of providing protective clothing and shade shelter to avert work-related non-melanoma skin cancer over 30 years.

Read about the study