Workplace OHS programs and practices

Workplaces play a vital role in ensuring the well-being of workers. So knowing what occupational health and safety (OHS) practices are most effective in preventing injury and illness is essential. The Institute for Work & Health (IWH) has a long history of conducting workplace-based research to provide practical guidance to employers, workers, OHS professionals and regulators about what works and what doesn’t. This research targets the injury and illness prevention practices of workplaces, as well as the programs developed by governments, health and safety associations and others to support and motivate workplaces in adopting effective practices.

Latest news and findings


How much do employers in Ontario spend on OHS a year?

The financial costs of work-related injury and illness may be well known, but limited information is available on what employers spend to control or eliminate the causes of work-related injury and illness. A new Issue Briefing describes the results of a 2017 study to estimate occupational health and safety expenditures among employers from 17 economic sectors in Ontario, Canada.

Read the Issue Briefing

Save the date: Dr. Paul Demers delivers IWH’s annual Nachemson lecture November 28

The Institute’s Alf Nachemson Memorial Lecture takes place this year on November 28. The lecture will be delivered by Dr. Paul Demers, director of the Occupational Cancer Research Centre (OCRC). In this role, Demers has been working with colleagues and collaborators across the country to develop and improve the surveillance of work-related cancers, establish their human and economic burden, and draw on research to develop policy recommendations aimed at preventing exposure. The event, to take place at the Design Exchange in downtown Toronto, is free and open to the public.

Find out more and sign up

Watch again: A systematic review of workplace interventions to manage depression

The research literature to date suggests that cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) can help people with depression stay at work—and CBT with a focus on work can help people return to work after a depression-related absence. These findings from a systematic review, on workplace interventions to manage depression, were the focus of an IWH Speaker Series presentation in January 2018. If you missed that presentation or want to watch it again, it's available as a slidecast. 

Watch the slidecast

Now recruiting Manitoba construction firms for an OHS leading indicators study

How does your construction company measure up on safety? IWH and the Construction Safety Association of Manitoba are teaming up on a project to develop health and safety leading indicators for the construction sector. They’re also building benchmarks for the province’s construction workplaces. The project is now recruiting construction firms operating in Manitoba of all types and sizes to complete an online survey. Watch and share the recruitment video to help us spread the word. Or go to our project page for recruiting info.

Watch and share the video

Boost OHS training outcomes with embedded essential skills content

Are you concerned that literacy or numeracy skills gaps among workers would get in the way of their uptake of job skills or OHS training? If so, embedding essential skills content in the job or OHS training could help. Our recent study of hoisting and rigging learners showed better scores among those who took the training with embedded essential skills. A guide based on that research is now available to download.

Read about the study