Employment-related geographical mobility and return to work after work injury

Summary:

Complex/extended mobility to and within work is associated with a range of hazards and challenges related to visibility, regulatory effectiveness and workers’ voice. There is limited research on RTW within the mobile labour force including among the precariously employed.

In research undertaken during our partnership development, Cherry et al. (2019a,b) compared RTW among compensated workers injured in Alberta who were also resident in Alberta with those injured in Alberta and resident in Atlantic Canada. They found some non-resident workers might be hesitant to report injuries and different patterns of temporary disability days for Alberta workers versus Atlantic Canadian workers employed in Alberta with longer and lower RTW associated with recovery/rehabilitation outside of Alberta.

This study also found injured Atlantic Canadian workers were more likely to be in the construction sector, tended to have higher pre-injury incomes than those from Alberta and interview data from this and other studies has pointed to the role family and community supports play in RTW for these workers. Other research has found disability days tend to be longer for workers resident in rural than urban areas.

The Mobility and Return to Work stream extends this research by examining RTW in three sectors associated with diverse kinds of complex/extended mobility to and within work: construction, seafaring and fish harvesting.

It looks at mobility and RTW among internally and interprovincially mobile workers in BC’s construction sector building on an ongoing UBC quantitative, multi-province study of RTW in construction and on Cherry et al. and other work. Research among fish harvesting and seafaring workers in B.C. will extend previous research done by Shan and others on policy and practice, compensation and return to work among Chinese seafarers, OHS policy and hazards confronting seafarers working on Canada’s St. Lawrence Seaway and fish harvester and seafarer OHS law in Eastern Canada.

The mobility stream also includes a third, small study. Dr. Elise Thorburn is completing a research project as part of her medical degree on challenges Newfoundland physicians experience treating mobile workers, including as this relates to RTW.

The construction, seafaring and fish harvesting sectors tend to be male dominated, as are many sectors associated with extended/complex mobility for work. They are associated with strong internal gender divisions of labour with women more likely to be concentrated in residential construction and in service and administrative work within the sector. Similar patterns exist in seafaring and in fishing. Attention will be paid to gender-related patterns in employment and RTW in the analysis. Gender-related concerns will also be integrated into the research by encompassing attention to the role of family members in RTW in these sectors.

Researchers:

Barbara Neis, John Lewis Paton Distinguished Professor, Dept. of Sociology and Senior Research Associate, SafetyNet Centre for Occupational Health and Safety Research, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

Chris McLeod, Associate Professor, School of Population and Public Health University of British Columbia

Desai Shan, Associate Professor, Community Health and Humanities Department, Faculty of Medicine, Memorial University

Robert MacPherson, Research Associate, University of British Columbia

Dana Howse, post-doctoral fellow, Memorial University, SafetyNet Centre for Occupational Health and Safety Research

Elise Thorburn, Ph.D., Faculty of Medicine, Memorial University

Katherine Lippel, Distinguished Research Chair in Occupational Health and Safety Law, University of Ottawa, Law Faculty, Civil Law section

Partners: 

Newfoundland and Labrador Federation of Labour (NLFL)

Publications :

Katherine Lippel et Barbara Neis, Occupational Health and Safety and Employment-Related Geographical Mobility, New Solutions: A Journal of Occupational and Environmental Health Policy (2019) 29 (3) 297-477

Katherine Lippel & David Walters, «Regulating health and safety and workers' compensation in Canada for the mobile workforce: now you see them, now you don't», (2019) 29 (3) New Solutions: A Journal of Occupational and Environmental Health Policy 317-348

Cherry, N., J-M. Galarneau, W. Haynes. 2019a. Total disability days in interprovincial and home-province workers injured in Alberta, Canada: a mixed-methods study with matched-pair analysis of compensation data and participant interviews. AJIM 2019; 1-10. DOI: 10.1002/ajim.23065.

Cherry, N. J-M. Galarneau, M. Haan, W. Haynes, K. Lippel. 2019b. Work injuries in internal migrants to Alberta, Canada. Do workers’ compensation records provide an unbiased estimate of risk? (2019) 62 American Journal of Industrial Medicine, 486-495. DOI: 10.1002/ajim.22981.

Conferences:

D. Howse. (2019). (Im)mobility and return to work: Challenges related to policy and place. Presentation to the Return-to-Work Roundtable: “What Makes Return to Work Work?” Signal Hill Campus, Memorial University, St. John’s, NL, September 23, 2019. 

D. Howse. (2019). Work mobility with a physical disability: reflections on research with injured workers. Panel remarks at the Disability and Work in Canada Atlantic Engagement Session, The Learning Centre, St. John’s, NL, June 18, 2019. 

D. Howse, Cherry, N., Haynes, W., Lippel, K., MacEachen, E., Neis, B., and Senthanar, S. (2019). Return-to-work policy and practice challenges for injured mobile workers. A presentation as part of the Work Wellness and Disability Prevention Institute (WWDPI) Webinar ‘Workers’ Compensation Challenges for the Mobile Workforce: Policy and Practice in Canadian Jurisdictions’ with presenters K. Lippel and D. Howse, and moderator, B. Neis. May 30, 2019. 

D. Howse. (2019). Return to work among injured mobile workers: Impacts on families and caregivers. Presentation of planned postdoctoral research to the Symposium on Return to Work in a Changing World of Work, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON, May 16-17, 2019.

Cherry, N. 2019. What can Workers’ Compensation Board data tell us about return to work among inter-provincial workers? Presentation to Return to Work in a Changing World of Work, Ottawa, May 16, 2019.

D. Howse, Cherry, N., Haynes, W., Lippel, K., MacEachen, E., Neis, B., and Senthanar, S. (2019). Return-to-work policy and practice challenges for injured mobile workers. Presentation to the Symposium on Return to Work in a Changing World of Work, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON, May 16-17, 2019.

Lippel, K. (2019). Employment related geographical mobility and workers’ compensation: key policy issues emerging from pilot studies. Symposium on Return to Work in a Changing World of Work, Ottawa. May 16 2019.

McLeod, C. and R. Macpherson, 2019. Does being injured outside of your province of residence affect your work disability duration? A comparative analysis of six Canadian workers’ compensation jurisdictions. Symposium on Return to Work in a Changing World of Work, Ottawa, May 15-17.

Shan, D. (2019). “Policy and Practice in Return to Work after Work Injury: Challenges for Maritime Workers in Canada” Symposium on Return to Work in a Changing World of Work, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON. May 16-17.

D. Howse. (2019). Challenges of Return to Work among Mobile Injured Workers. Researchers Studying Families on the Move Panel Presentation to the Families on the Move Conference, Satellite Event of the Vanier Institute’s Families in Canada Conference, Memorial University’s Signal Hill Campus, St. John’s, NL, March 27-28, 2019.

D. Howse. (2018). The research perspective on the lived experience of work disability. Panel presentation to the Disability and Work in Canada Conference, Ottawa, ON, December 4-5, 2018. 

D. Howse. (2018). Accommodating Injured Mobile Workers: Are They Visible in the Literature? A presentation to the On the Move Partnership Final Symposium, Memorial University’s Signal Hill Campus, St. John’s, NL, November 18-21, 2018.

D. Howse, W. Haynes, K. Lippel, E. MacEachen, B. Neis, S. Senthanar. (2018). Work disability and return to work: Policy and program challenges for mobile workers. Presentation to the Canadian Association for Research on Work and Health (CARWH) 2018 Conference: Research and Practice to Improve health in a Changing World of Work, October 21-23, 2018, Vancouver, BC. 

D. Howse. (2018). Return to work among mobile workers. Presentation to the On the Move NL Field Component Team Meeting, Memorial University, St. John’s, NL, May 25, 2018.

D. Howse, K. Lippel, E. MacEachen, B. Neis and S. Senthanar. (2018). Work Injury and return to work in the context of work mobility: Implications for Families. A presentation to the Families, Mobility and Work Atlantic Canadian Symposium, University of Prince Edward Island, Charlottetown, PEI, May 15-17, 2018. 

D. Howse. (2018). How well does the return-to-work process in Newfoundland and Labrador work for injured workers? Presentation to the Disability Inclusion Group’s Roundtable on Inclusion 2018: Work and Disability in Newfoundland and Labrador, St. John’s, NL, April 17, 2018.

Lippel K. and D. Howse. 2019.  “Workers’ Compensation Challenges for the Mobile Workforce: Policy and Practice in Canadian Jurisdictions.” Health and the Mobile Workforce Webinar Series presented by the Work Wellness and Disability Prevention Institute and the On the Move Partnership (WWDPI)

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