Research in Progress
Workplace Health


Adults spend at least a third of their waking hours at work. So it is not surprising that work can lead to an array of health impacts: traumatic injuries, repetitive motion joint and tendon injuries, asthma, and stress-related mental health problems. Recent evidence also indicates that chronic diseases predominantly affecting post-retirement life, such as cancer, heart disease, obstructive lung disease, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, and arthritis may be related to work.

CHER’s research addresses these issues along a continuum from identifying diseases and their proximate risk factors to devising means of mitigating exposure and preventing future disease.

Current Research

Research Project Description More information
Acoustics and Noise Research Group The Group's objective is to optimize acoustical environments to the benefit of the health, safety, education, well-being and comfort of people. This involves Ecological and Engineering Acoustics Research. The objective is being achieved by the theoretical and experimental study of sound and its effects, and by the development of prediction tools, measurment techniques, control measures and strategies. Research group's website
Asthma Job Exposure Matrix This website is maintained to provide access to a scientific tool designed for epidemiologists who want to estimate occupational risks for asthma in general population studies. The tool is a job exposure matrix, with an embedded semi-expert re-evaluation tool. Project website
Back Study Back injuries are among the most common workplace injuries,
but their causes and the best means of preventing them are
not well understood. The purpose of the Back Study is to investigate back injuries and risk factors for back injuries in five heavy industries in British Columbia. The ultimate goal is to develop strategies to prevent back injuries.
Project website
CAREX Canada: The Information System on Occupational Exposure to Carcinogens The objective of the CAREX Canada project is to develop estimates of the numbers of workers occupationally exposed to British Columbia's most common workplace carcinogens. Project website
Heart Disease in Firefighters The goal of this research study is to understand the risk of heart disease associated with working as a professional firefighter. Project website
Heart Disease in Paramedics The goal of this research study is to understand the risk of heart disease associated with working as a professional paramedic. Project website
Lung Health Study The UBC Lung Health Study aims to learn about whether changes that occur in the lungs early in a person’s working life, in response to irritants or allergens at work, predict the development of chronic breathing problems later on. Project website
Tree Planter Health Study The Tree planter Health Study is investigating occupational exposure of tree planters to chemicals in their workplace, notably fertilizers and pesticides. Project website
Workplace Noise Control This study aims to identify factors influencing the use of engineered noise controls (ENCs) in workplaces. The ultimate goal is to develop strategies to prevent hearing loss. Project website
UBC Sawmill Study The goal of this study is to investigate whether chemicals, dusts, and other potential exposures in the sawmills cause work-related illnesses and injuries. Project website

Last reviewed November 19, 2007

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November 19, 2007