Title: Buddies in Bad Times: The Role of Co-workers in the Return to Work Process (IWH Project 2240)
Category: Compensation, Disability Management and Return to Work
Subcategory: Compensation, Disability Management and Return to Work
Co-worker support is important for successful return to work, yet there is little understanding of the challenges that face co-workers when an injured colleague returns to work (RTW) on modified or accommodated duties. To better understand these challenges, we will interview unionized electricians working within the industrial construction sector. We will examine the social, organizational and systemic barriers that might work against the creation of a supportive and respectful accommodated work environment. The project has strong partners in the construction sector and electrical trades who will be engaged in consultative workshops during the study, and in a targeted dissemination of the findings.
The goals of this project are:
• to understand the social dimensions of RTW from the perspective of co-workers,
• to explore their perceived role in the process of supporting an injured colleague’s RTW,
• to determine, from their perspective, what are the opportunities and challenges of the RTW process for injured colleagues.
The findings of the research study will be disseminated using the networks of our stakeholder partners including that of the IBEW, Ontario General Contractors Association (OGCA), the Building Trades Council, Council of Ontario Construction Associations (COCA), as well as the internal communication of Guild Electric Limited. The IBEW has 15,000 members in Ontario; the Building Trades’ network includes 14 trades and 122 locals across Ontario; OGCA has 217 members and several alliances and partnerships with other associations. Guild Electric Limited is a large company with 500 employees.
Agnieszka Kosny, Ivan Steenstra (Institute for Work & Health), Desree Kramer, Richard Wells (University of Waterloo)
Year Funded: 2010
Funding Agency: Institute for Work & Health (IWH), Workplace Safety and Insurance Board of Ontario
Link to research website:
Keywords: return to work, construction, work disability