Ontario invests $5.5 million into workplace health, safety research

Funding will also focus on reducing mental health stigma in workplaces

Ontario invests $5.5 million into workplace health, safety research

The Ontario government is earmarking $5.5 million to the Enhancing Prevention of Injury and Disability at Work ([email protected]) Research Institute at Lakehead University for the development of a "ground-breaking" workplace health and safety research.

"Our government is working for workers by proudly investing in the [email protected] Research Institute at Lakehead University so they can deliver solutions that will create lasting improvements to worker safety," announced Labour Minister Monte McNaughton in a statement.

The research will focus in several key areas including reducing mental health stigma in the workplace and designing injury prevention programmes for vulnerable workers in Northwestern Ontario, according to the provincial government.

It comes after data from the provincial government revealed that vulnerable workers are at risk of workplace injury as they struggle to get access to workplace health and safety resources and training.

"[email protected]'s research will aim to identify and address these barriers," read the government announcement.

According to the government, the five-year project will see the [email protected] Research Institute helping employers in Northern Ontario on how to reduce mental health stigma in their workplaces, improve support for workers, and ensure that managers have the tool to identify early some mental health symptoms.

"The funding will also contribute to ongoing research to understand Indigenous workers’ experiences in Northern Ontario workplaces to provide them with better mental health support and prevent injuries on the job," read the government announcement.

Dr. Moira McPherson, President and Vice-Chancellor of Lakehead University, said their institution is excited for the long-term investment from the Ministry of Labour, Training, and Skills Development.

"Focusing on Northern Ontario's workforce, with emphasis on Indigenous communities and equity-seeking groups, the Centre will conduct high-quality, community-based, transdisciplinary research in the areas of work-related injury, both physical and mental, and disability prevention," said McPherson.

Read more: Ontario expands job access to arriving Ukrainians

The [email protected] Research Institute was established back in 2018 to carry out community-based research in the field of work injury and disability prevention.

On top of the workplace safety research, the government also recently launched a review of the province's occupational illness system.

"Ontario has one of the strongest health and safety records in the country, but we need to make sure our system works for everyone," said McNaughton in a statement.

The government is now working with the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board on the system-wide review.

Recent articles & video

Some IT workers exempt from Ottawa’s return-to-office mandate

The art of appreciation: Why saying ‘thank you’ is integral to your culture

Chipotle's plans to hire 15,000 new workers across North America

City of Calgary bringing workers back to the office

Most Read Articles

HR leaders among 20 'best jobs' in Canada for 2023

Younger workers coping less well with stressors at work: survey

Are CRA workers asking for too much of a pay bump?