Workers Health & Safety Centre

Workers' ergonomics conference to discuss impact of union safety effect

Workers' ergonomics conference to discuss impact of union safety effect
A new study finds unionized construction workers in Ontario report fewer lost-time and critical injuries and lower rates of musculoskeletal injuries than non-union counterparts. Can we translate these findings into action for workers in all sectors?

The union safety effect is just one of many important workplace factors an upcoming workers’ ergonomics conference, co-hosted by the Occupational Health Clinics for Ontario Workers (OHCOW) and Workers Health & Safety Centre (WHSC), will explore.

Sean Strickland, chief executive officer of the Ontario Construction Secretariat (OSC) and conference guest speaker, will report on the new research validating the union effect on construction worker health and safety in Ontario. The Institute for Work & Health conducted the research with funding from the OSC. The study authors suggest workers in unionized construction firms may benefit from better training and education, more effective prevention programs and greater protection for workers when they do raise health and safety concerns.

The conference supports the prevention efforts of worker health and safety activists in all sectors and also recognizes Global Ergonomics Month. Conference participants will engage in plenaries and interactive workshops to share their workplace experiences and strategies to overcome barriers to identifying, assessing and controlling MSD hazards. Conference participants will also provide all important feedback to WHSC and OHCOW on what other tools and resources they need to support their MSD prevention efforts.

Read more about the study here.

Moving from pain to prevention: Taking action to prevent MSDs

Opening address Sunday, October 25, 2015, 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
(followed by a reception)
Plenary and workshops Monday, October 26, 2015, 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
(Breakfast service begins at 7:30 am)
Location Sheraton Hamilton Hotel, 116 King Street West, Hamilton, Ontario
Cost $85.00 plus HST
(includes opening night reception, breakfast, lunch and breaks on Monday)
Target audience Worker health and safety activists and their union representatives
Please print and complete the conference registration form. Send your completed form to WHSC by fax to 416-441-1043, or scan and email it to, or mail it to WHSC/OHCOW Workers’ Ergo Conference, 802-15 Gervais Drive, Toronto, ON M3C 1Y8.
(Note: sponsoring unions can ask to be invoiced by WHSC.)
Help spread the word: Please download and share our MSD conference flyer and agenda.
Questions? Email us at or call us toll-free 1-888-869-7950 and ask to speak with a WHSC Training Services Representative.