Workers Health & Safety Centre

IWH plenary to introduce new gender, work and health research program

The Institute for Work & Health (IWH) is hosting an open plenary to launch a new five-year research program exploring how sex and gender matter in work and health.

“Women make up nearly half of labour force participants, yet much of what we know about the relationship between working conditions and health is based on measures developed for men and frameworks tested in male-dominated workplaces,” says IWH scientist Dr. Peter Smith who will lead the program.

Smith will also lead the upcoming plenary sharing details about this new research program into how sex and gender shape injury risk, the relationship between the work environment and chronic illnesses, and time off work after a work-related injury.

What:  Plenary—How do sex and gender matter in work and health?     
When: Tuesday, October 14, 2014, 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
Where: Hart House Debates Room (University of Toronto),
7 Hart House Circle, Toronto
Who Open Invitation
The lack of attention to the issue of gender-based occupational health and safety is not new. Noted occupational health researcher from the Université du Québec à Montréal Dr. Karen Messing professed her astonishment about how little attention researchers and policymakers paid to this issue in her 1998 book entitled One-Eyed Science. She observed for instance, “There are standards for how much weight a stevedore (dockworker) can lift and how often, but none for how many shirts a woman can sew on a shift. There is a threshold limit value for exposure to asbestos for miners, but no limit to the number of insults a receptionist may hear per hour without a break.”
The IWH’s new research program supported by the Institute of Gender and Health at the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), will help to hi-light the unique needs of working women in terms of injury and illness prevention. 
"By engaging with leading occupational health and safety stakeholders throughout the research process, this new research knowledge will help shape the development of gender- and sex-sensitive policies and practices to improve the health of all working Canadians,” says Smith.

The IWH plenary is free and open to all. Seats are limited. If you plan to attend, please RSVP to Albana Çanga ( or 416-927-2027 ext. 2160.
Want more details on this and other IWH plenaries?
Want to know more about the CIHR support for research into gender, work and health?
Want to know how WHSC training and information services can help your workplace address the health and safety concerns of all workers.
Call:   1-888-869-7950