With thirty-five years of health and safety research experience, Dr. Karen Messing says the quality and impact of research is far improved when you involve and talk to workers.
Messing, professor emeritus of ergonomics at the Université du Québec à Montréal, explored this theme and others at an Institute for Work & Health plenary focused on her latest book, Pain and Prejudice: What Science Can Learn about Work from the People Who Do It.
Through some personal accounts, Messing’s latest book explains how dedicated academic, government and labour partnerships allowed her to delve into the real concerns and suffering of workers, especially low-paid workers. Support for this research is dwindling warns Messing describing it as an, “empathy gap—an inability or unwillingness among scientists or decision-makers to put themselves in the workers’ position.”
Author of 130 peer-reviewed articles and the highly regarded, One-eyed Science: Occupational Health and Working Women
, Messing is co-founder of CINBIOSE
, which conducts interdisciplinary research and training on workplace and environmental health issues. With CINBIOSE researchers and union partners, she also co-founded L'invisible qui fait mal
(the Invisible that hurts), which promotes research on women’s occupational health and safety issues.
For her outstanding and innovative approaches to ergonomic and occupational health research, Messing was the 2014 recipient of the William P. Yant Award from the American Industrial Hygiene Association.
Other related resources:
IWH plenary with Dr. Karen Messing
Worker-centred research by Labour OHCOW Academic Research Collaboration (LOARC)
For our part, the Workers Health & Safety Centre assists workplace parties through training programs
and information services
aimed at raising awareness of a host of hazards and targeting prevention at the workplace level. To learn more, contact WHSC and ask to speak with a training services representative.