OHCOW - Services - Education - research

By: Ohcow  09-12-2011

A research service to investigate and report on illnesses and injuries.

OHCOW has been involved in research studies on several different topics. We collect statistics on different diseases and on the substances workers are exposed to that may cause these diseases. We will use our extensive library and search for the latest scientific literature on your question. We will use this information to write a report that compares your workplace situation to that of other workers we have studied.

OHCOW now has a Cluster Registry of Occupational Disease and Reproductive Hazards. A cluster is a group of health events (for example, cancer cases, miscarriages) which take place

>> at the same workplace or
>> among workers doing the same job or
>> among workers exposed to similar hazards

The registry is a computerized list of clusters reported to OHCOW that have happened in different places and among different groups of workers. The registry will allow OHCOW with its clinics across the province to collect and store this information. If we know about small clusters of disease, we can see where we should do more research and where we can suggest changes to the workplace. This can eliminate hazards and save lives.

Example of Research Services that OHCOW has provided:

Lifetime Histories Breast Cancer Research Study  

A research team in Windsor, Ontario led by Dr. Jim Brophy (Executive Director of OHCOW Sarnia-Lambton) and Dr. Margaret Keith (Occupational Health Research Coordinator, OHCOW Sarnia-Lambton) is conducting a study to explore potential breast cancer risk factors.  This three-year project, begun in 2003, will ultimately involve 1,000 female breast cancer patients and 1,000 female community controls.Kathy Mayville, from OHCOW Windsor, is the project office coordinator.  She and trained research assistants administer a detailed questionnaire by interview.  Along with data regarding known and suspected breast cancer risk factors, a full occupational and exposure history is gathered for evaluation by a professional exposure assessment panel. The Lifetime Histories Breast Cancer Research Study is sponsored by the OHCOW, hosted by the University of Windsor, and conducted with the cooperation of the Windsor Regional Cancer Centre (WRCC) and Windsor Regional Hospital (WRH).  The research is funded by the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation, the Breast Cancer Society of Canada, Green Shield Foundation, and private donations. The long-term goal of the research is to better understand the causes of breast cancer in order to develop effective prevention strategies to decrease risk.   

This study builds on two previous studies undertaken with support from OHCOW. Computerized Recording of Occupations Made Easy (CROME), which was initiated in 1995, produced findings of an elevated risk for breast cancer among women who had ever farmed, particularly among those aged 55 and under. The second study, funded by the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board Research Advisory Council (WSIB RAC) in 1998, produced findings indicating that women who ever farmed have almost a doubling of breast cancer risk and those who ever farmed and then worked in auto-related industry had a further elevated risk.

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OHCOW - Services - Inquiry

Normally this information would be confidential and the workers would not be told which residents had a history of violence. The group home workers' need for a safe workplace seemed to conflict with the residents' rights to confidentiality. OHCOW staff will answer your questions about workplace health and safety issues. An inquiry service to answer workplace health and safety questions.


OHCOW - Services - Education - education

OHCOW also helps to educate doctors, medical students, nurses and nursing students so they are more aware of workplace health issues. Our goal is to make you aware of health hazards in your workplace so you can avoid illness or injury. An outreach and education service to make people aware of health and safety issues. OHCOW staff will speak to your group about health and safety issues.


OHCOW - Services - Education

Clinics currently provide workplace parties with access to multi-disciplinary occupational health teams which include the services of occupational physicians, nurses, ergonomists, and industrial hygienists. These services are also used by family physicians and specialists who want to know what role the workplace has in dealing with their patients.


OHCOW - About Us - About OHCOW - diagnostics

However, if you give your consent, this information will be shared with the joint health and safety committee at your workplace or with others who are helping with your case. An OHCOW nurse will take detailed notes on your work history, your health and what you have been exposed to at work. The nurse will share this information with the OHCOW doctor, who will then examine you and ask you more questions.


OHCOW - About Us - About OHCOW - group

A repetitive strain injury is an injury that happens because you repeat the same type of movement over and over again at your job. OHCOW staff can work with the joint health and safety committee to help it understand very technical reports it must deal with. They will point out any health and safety problems and present them to the joint health and safety committee. A group service for joint health and safety committees and groups of workers.