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Research priorities

When we consider proposals for research funding, we look for projects that support one or more of WorkSafeBC's key strategic initiatives and goals. Projects should have clear potential to positively impact health and safety in B.C. workplaces or in the workers' compensation system.

Research needs and relevance

WorkSafeBC and our Board of Directors want to ensure that the research we support addresses real needs for workers and employers, as well as for the organization and our partners.

We support research that can provide tangible and quantifiable benefits where possible, by helping to identify potential solutions to real problems. In awarding research funding, WorkSafeBC and our partners will consider projects that fall within our mandate of:

  • Preventing occupational injury and disease
  • Promoting successful rehabilitation and return-to-work
  • Ensuring fair compensation for injured workers

When preparing an application, be sure to consider these questions:

  • What is the problem to be solved and how will the research attempt to solve it?
  • How will the research be done?
  • Why is the research important and how does the research support the mandate of WorkSafeBC and/or our partners?
  • How will we know if the research has been successful in solving the problem?

Research priorities

Our 2017 research priorities are:

Priority area
Sub-topic or question
Reduction of serious injury
  • Reducing frequency of accident types that result in large numbers of serious injuries
Mental health
  • Prevention of work-related mental disorders
  • Prevention of bullying and harassment in the workplace
  • Impacts of varying disability management models on return-to-work outcomes for mental health disorders
Health care
  • Treatment of serious injuries
  • Treatment of mental disorders
  • Diagnostic tools or methods
  • Medical causation
  • Rehabilitation program evaluation
Improvement of return-to-work outcomes
  • Effective return-to-work tools in various contexts? (industries, occupations, geographical locations, organizational cultures)
Human factors
  • Influences of behavioural change
  • Effective education and training to improve safety behaviour
  • Incentives, penalties, and other regulatory levers
  • Leadership roles — management and supervisors
Reduction of occupational exposure and prevention of occupational disease
  • Silica exposure
  • Emerging disease
  • Diesel exhaust
  • Infectious disease
  • Nanotechnologies
  • Mesothelioma
  • Pesticides
Societal change
  • Changing demographics in the workforce
  • Transient workers, ageing and gender differences
  • Promoting health and safety culture
  • Attitudes towards health and safety
  • Improving health and safety for vulnerable workers (migrant workers, new and young workers)
  • New methods, ideas, processes or technological changes for workplaces to prevent injury and promote workplace health and safety
  • New methods for WorkSafeBC to target or identify opportunities to improve prevention strategies
Small business
  • Approaches to improving health and safety practices in small business