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

Logo for World Congress on Safety and Health at Work 2021

XXII World Congress on Safety and Health at Work now taking place in September 2021

In light of public health guidance regarding COVID-19, the International Organizing Committee (IOC) of the XXII World Congress on Safety and Health at Work has made the difficult decision to postpone the event, which will now take place September 19 – 22, 2021. The good news is that the Congress will still take place at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre in the heart of downtown Toronto, Canada, exploring the Congress theme Prevention in the Connected Age: Global solutions to achieve safe and healthy work for all. The Congress is also being expanded to include virtual options, including live streaming to facilitate further global engagement.

Given the impact of COVID-19 on workplaces around the world, the IOC has also decided to convene a virtual meeting of global thought leaders focused on COVID-19 on October 5, 2020. More information about this meeting and how to participate will be posted to the Congress website in the coming weeks.

Go to the World Congress website to learn more
A close-up of a man's hand, holding a joint

What has changed in the use of cannabis since legalization?

How much has changed in workers’ consumption patterns since recreational cannabis was legalized in October 2018? Early findings from an ongoing IWH study indicate use at work has stayed the same—with one in 12 workers reporting using cannabis at work, during work breaks or two hours before work.

Read about the findings
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IWH postpones upcoming forum on newcomers and safety

Due to circumstances related to COVID-19, the Institute is postponing the Safe Work Integration of Newcomers Forum, originally scheduled to take place March 30. We will announce a new date as soon as we know. We continue to monitor updates from public health officials regarding other events due to take place in the spring. They include the annual Systematic Review Workshop, scheduled for mid-May, as well as future IWH Speaker Series presentations.

See IWH events
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Access to mental health services among workers with physical injuries

Among workers with a compensation claim for a work-related musculoskeletal injury, 30 per cent also experience a serious mental condition. However, a minority of these workers receive treatment for their mental health conditions, according to an Institute for Work & Health study conducted in Australia.

Read the summary
A close-up of a man's hand, holding a joint

IWH Speaker Series: Cannabis at work pre- and post-legalization

Now that the non-medical use of cannabis is legal, how much has changed in workers’ use of, and attitudes about, cannabis at work? Find out at an IWH Speaker Series presentation on March 3, when IWH Associate Scientist Dr. Nancy Carnide shares early results from her surveys of workers pre- and post-legalization.

Sign up for the presentation