Research Focus

Our Institute places focus on the following three areas:

Populations of special interest

Social justice is a key principle for EPID@Work. Current research under this theme includes projects to assist older workers and Indigenous workers in sustaining work and preventing injury or disability. Future projects will include injured workers, homeless people, and those with intellectual and developmental disabilities. With fewer supports in place for people in the North, the Institute is working to find ways to help these populations succeed at work.

With substantial experience working with populations of special interest, Dr. Helle Moeller  is the theme leader for this area of research.

Musculoskeletal injuries:

Historically, Northern Ontario jobs involve many high-risk, physically demanding workplaces: forestry, mining, etc. We continue to work in this area to improve musculoskeletal injury prevention and related disability prevention in the workplace. Current projects in this theme include testing a supervisor-training program for disability prevention, a collaboration with the Institute for Work & Health on prevention of rheumatic disease in young adults, and projects on firefighter injury prevention.

Dr. Kathryn Sinden has been working in musculoskeletal injury and disability prevention for over 20 years and is the lead for the MSK injury research area.

Mental health in the workplace:

A recent survey of Thunder Bay employers found that 40% included mental health as a high priority issue. EPID@Work has collaborated with the Thunder Bay District Health Unit on the Superior Mental Wellness @ Work project, with the Nokiiwin Tribal Council to build an e-mental health app, and received funding from the Workers’ Compensation Board of Manitoba to address workplace accommodations for mental health disorders. EPID@Work will continue to build important collaborations to expand this important area of research – one current area of expansion is an investigation of the mental health of transport truck drivers.

Dr. Lynn Martin, with considerable experience working in the area of mental health, is the theme leader for this area of the Institute.