Preventing Occupational Disease: Designing a System that Works

This research was supported with funds from WorkSafeBC
through the Innovation at Work program (grant #: RS2014-IG26)

Canadian stakeholders have expressed great interest in the primary prevention of occupational disease, but there is currently little systematic evidence to guide them in the search for effective approaches for Canadian contexts. The objectives of this project were to:

  1. identify strategies with a demonstrated capacity to prevent the following four occupational diseases: noise-related hearing loss, occupational cancers, occupational asthma and occupational contact dermatitis.
  2. assess whether these strategies are applicable in the Canadian context including in small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and among vulnerably situated labour forces including those that are precariously employed.
  3. involve key stakeholders in occupational disease prevention across Canada as members of the team, through key informant discussions and broader consultations.

A multidisciplinary team, with expertise in the four occupational diseases of interest, worked with a network of researchers, regulators and other prevention stakeholders to guide the project. 


Final Report to WorkSafeBC (March, 2017)

A scoping review to identify strategies that work to prevent four important occupational diseases
Anya R. Keefe, Paul A. Demers, Barbara Neis, Victoria H. Arrandale, Hugh W. Davies, Zhiwei Gao, Kevin Hedges, D. Linn Holness, Mieke Koehoorn, Susan R. Stock, Stephen Bornstein
American Journal of Industrial Medicine (2020), 63, 6, 490-516.

More information:

Dr. Barbara Neis (Project Lead),, 709-864-7244