1–3 June 2017 — University of British Columbia

ISCRR is pleased to be a participating organisation member for the upcoming conference, Safe, Healthy and Productive Workplaces: Learning from Research and Practice, 1–2 June 2017 being held at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, BC, Canada. The conference features keynote and plenary speakers from England, Scotland, Wales, Canada and the USA.

In addition to some great plenary speakers the conference is hosting a series of break-out discussion sessions to identify hot topics, information needs and research gaps across different sectors.

Date: 1-3 June 2017
Main Event: University of British Columbia
Satellite Sites: University of Northern British Columbia and University of British Columbia, Okanagan Campus

Some program highlights

Addressing Workplace Stressors Contributing to Poor Health, Decreased Productivity, and Prolonged Work Absence

Robert J. Gatchel, PhD, ABPP

Current research has found many workplace stressors can contribute to negative health, productivity problems, and absenteeism. Fortunately, there are now many intervention and prevention approaches to help decrease the likelihood of increased stress in the workplace. This presentation will provide an update on what is known about the effects of workplace stress and effective prevention and intervention approaches to decrease work stress.

Accommodating Employees with Nonvisible Disabilities in the Workplace: From Research to Practice

Izabela Schultz, PhD
Professor, Rehabilitation Counseling Psychology, Department of Educational and Counseling Psychology and Special Education, University of British Columbia

There is a significant gap between escalating nonvisible occupational disability statistics, especially in mental health, and the skills and knowledge resources available to employers, case managers, vocational rehabilitation professionals and healthcare providers. This presentation will provide evidence-based guidance and best practices for accommodating employees who have nonvisible disabilities before chronic disability sets, to assist with a healthy and sustainable return to work and maximize productivity in the workplace.

Collaboration between BC Transit, Their Unions and WorkSafeBC to Improve Return-To-Work (RTW) Outcomes

Brian Anderson
Vice President, Operations and Chief Operating Officer (COO), BC Transit

Ben Williams
President of Unifor Local 333BC

Dale Walker
Vice President, Employer, Industry and Worker Services, WorkSafeBC

This keynote presentation will discuss a journey in implementing a research to practice initiative to facilitate best practices of disability prevention, including the perspectives from both the employer and their union. What motivated them? How this collaboration led to positive changes to the employer's organizational and safety culture, and revitalised their joint labour management communication.

Emotional Intelligence: How Can We Improve Workplace Culture and Resilience?

Debbie Cohen, OBE MD FFOM FRCGP FRCP FAcadMEd
Occupational Health Physician, Director, the Centre for Psychosocial Research, Occupational and Physician Health, Cardiff University

Workplaces now provide well-being opportunities alongside tighter processes to manage sickness absence.  Offering doses of well-being and mindfulness, whilst helpful, don’t seem to make a difference to the ever-increasing reports of stress, distress, and burnout. This plenary will discuss the importance of effective communication and Emotional Intelligence if we are to help build resilient, compassionate, and productive workplaces in the future.

How to Build Better Outcomes for the Return to Work Conversation for Healthcare Providers and Employers?

Debbie Cohen, OBE MD FFOM FRCGP FRCP FAcadMEd
Occupational Health Physician, Director, the Centre for Psychosocial Research, Occupational and Physician Health, Cardiff University

It’s not just what you say but how you say it”.  Conversations about return to work are often delayed and lead to poor outcomes. It is not just healthcare professionals who struggle with conversations about health and work, line managers and human resource professionals also lack confidence in having effective and supportive conversations. What are effective models of change? How can we shift the attitudes and behaviours of patients / employees in terms of work and health? What does the research show? How can we improve both importance of these conversations and confidence to have them?

Avoiding Workloss from Musculoskeletal Problems – A Toolkit for Employers

Anthony D Woolf, BSc, MBBS; FRCP
Honorary Professor of Rheumatology, University of Exeter Medical School

Musculoskeletal (MSK) problems such as back, shoulder and knee pain are the leading cause of working days lost in the UK, Canada and internationally. This presentation will discuss an evidence-informed employer-focused toolkit on musculoskeletal (MSK) health promotion and work loss prevention developed in collaboration with Public Health England and Business in the Community, academic researchers and other contributors. The content is based on research evidence and on experiences of what employers and employees, including those with MSK problems, have found to reduce the impact of such problems on work.

Early Interventionfor Musculoskeletal Problems – A Toolkit for Healthcare Professionals

Anthony D Woolf, BSc, MBBS; FRCP
Honorary Professor of Rheumatology, University of Exeter Medical School

The best outcome for reducing the impact of musculoskeletal (MSK) conditions is by early intervention, once it is clear that spontaneous resolution is not going to happen. The challenge is how to implement this. This presentation will discuss a toolkit to enable the establishment of an Early Intervention System for musculoskeletal problems. The Toolkit is aimed at clinicians who wish to develop an EI system and policy makers and funders who will need to resource it.

Scotland's Healthy Working Lives - Improving the Health of the Working Age Population

Ewan B Macdonald, OBE
Professor, University of Glasgow; Head, Healthy Working Lives Group; Institute of Health & Wellbeing, University of Glasgow

In the U.K. less than 30% of all working people have access to occupational health and safety services. In Scotland there is also an increased prevalence of poor lifestyles and the ill health associated with obesity, alcohol, and smoking. Health care is provided by the National Health Services which is a free treatment service.  However the NHS did not until recently have the same focus on rehabilitation and return to work after injury. Learn about the development of the Scottish Healthy Working Lives Strategy, what interventions have been implemented and how they have utilized the bio-psychosocial model to support their goal that all services should be focussed on "enabling individuals to be able to do as much as possible, for as long as possible, or as long as they want in their working and personal lives".

The Challenges in Helping an Ageing Workforce Extend Their Working Lives

Ewan B Macdonald, OBE
Professor, University of Glasgow; Head, Healthy Working Lives Group; Institute of Health & Wellbeing, University of Glasgow

Globally the workforce is ageing and retirement age is being extended. These workers and their employers face the challenges of increasing multi-morbidity, which pose new challenges for their occupational health and safety advisors who are responsible for keeping them well and at work. This presentation will provide a deeper understanding on the impact of the rise of chronic diseases in the working age population and how to reduce the functional limitation of ageing in the workforce.

Economic Benefits of Early Intervention

Robert J. Gatchel, PhD, ABPP
Distinguished Professor of the Department of Psychology, College of Science, The University of Texas at Arlington

This presentation will present data from recent studies that have specifically investigated timing of interventions and its impact on cost savings and return to work as well as new research providing evidence that workers who have been on long-term disability should not be considered “throw away” workers. Dr. Gatchel will describe what predictor variables were found for successful outcomes for early intervention and workers with prolonged work absence.

Program and registration

Safe, Healthy, and Productive Workplaces: Learning from Research and Practice

Register now

Can’t attend the conference in person? Sessions in the main plenary hall will be live broadcast.
Register now for live broadcast.

Conference program