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

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
A line drawing of a male figure slumped in a chair, head in hand

How much does depression set Canadian workers back in earnings?

Does depression hurt the earning potential of affected workers in Canada and, if so, how much? That was what IWH Research Associate Kathleen Dobson set out to find. Using an innovative technique, she calculated the average drop in workers’ earnings in the first year after workers experienced a depressive episode—and how much ground they continued to lose over 10 years.

Read about the findings