WorkSafeBC encourages and supports the development and use of the best scientific evidence on a broad range of workplace health and safety issues. In 2000, the WorkSafeBC Research Secretariat was created to:
• Support and finance high-quality scientific research that will lead to a reduction in work-related injury, disease, and death.
• Effectively translate research knowledge into practical applications that can be used in the workplace to prevent occupational injury and disease, and that can be used by WorkSafeBC to ensure fair compensation for injured or ill workers and to foster successful rehabilitation and productive return to work.
Between 2001, when funding began, and the end of 2010, the Research Secretariat awarded a total of $17.4 million in grants for more than 175 projects covering a wide range of topics and scientific disciplines, as well as 23 research training awards to master’s and doctoral students engaged in research activities that fall within WorkSafeBC’s mandate.
Projects have ranged from measuring the full costs and benefits of occupational health and safety interventions in health care to studying heart disease in firefighters and paramedics; developing a training video for employees with developmental disabilities; and studying the use of new technology to deliver and evaluate continuing medical education for physicians regarding workplace injury management.
Through a rigorously evaluated competitive process, the Research Secretariat provides grants for researchers and innovators. Through the Research at Work funding stream, professional researchers can apply for development or operational grants for scientifically valid projects that relate to WorkSafeBC’s mandate and demonstrate strong potential for impact.
Example: Comparing treatment protocols
Dr Jack Taunton was the principal investigator in a study to determine if ultrasound-guided dextrose injection therapy (UDIT) would achieve similar benefits if the time between treatments and the space between injection sites were reduced in patients with chronic injuries of the Achilles tendon or plantar fascia. The findings provided further evidence that UDIT results in improvements in pain and tendon healing.
However, for Achilles tendon injuries, the modified treatment protocol was associated with slower improvements in pain and tendon healing, and a need for more treatments.
The Innovation at Work stream provides support for research aimed at developing practical, shop-floor solutions that translate knowledge into practice or solve specific problems in the workplace. This funding opportunity is open to anyone with appropriate experience and ability.
Example: Participatory ergonomics
Dwayne Van Eerd and his team explored ways of assessing and enhancing the benefits of participatory ergonomic interventions to reduce musculoskeletal injuries. Following the project’s initial success, the team was awarded an innovation grant to develop a participatory ergonomics guide for BC workplaces.
The grant application process
WorkSafeBC’s Research Secretariat holds regular grant competitions. The competition for Research at Work funding typically closes in January or February, while Innovation at Work competitions typically occur twice a year. All applications are reviewed by scientific peer reviewers, and then by an internal relevance review committee and an external stakeholder advisory committee.
Programs and partnerships
WorkSafeBC’s Research Secretariat holds systematic review competitions on an as-needed basis, targeting specific issues of interest to WorkSafeBC. Systematic reviews, completed or in progress, include carpal tunnel/cubital tunnel syndrome in workers, bronchogenic carcinoma in asbestos-exposed workers, low back pain in workers, multiple sclerosis as a compensable consequence, and primary cancer of the skin.
During the past several years, the Research Secretariat has formed partnerships with workers’ compensation organizations in other jurisdictions across Canada to support innovative research that benefits all Canadian workers, and a unique partnership with the Centre for Health Services and Policy Research (CHSPR) at UBC to develop a comprehensive picture of health and wellness trends for BC’s workers.
For more information about WorkSafeBC’s Research Secretariat, its programs, or results; or to apply for a grant, please call 604 244-6300, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit WorkSafeBC.com and click “Research” in the Quick Links menu.
— Susan Dixon
Manager, Knowledge Transfer, WorkSafeBC Research Secretariat
Mark your calendars
Don’t miss the annual WorkSafeBC conference for physicians
Saturday, 22 October 2011, in downtown Vancouver.
This article is the opinion of WorkSafeBC and has not been peer reviewed by the BCMJ Editorial Board.
Above is the information needed to cite this article in your paper or presentation. The International Committee
of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) recommends the following citation style, which is the now nearly universally
accepted citation style for scientific papers:
Halpern SD, Ubel PA, Caplan AL, Marion DW, Palmer AM, Schiding JK, et al. Solid-organ transplantation in HIV-infected patients. N Engl J Med. 2002;347:284-7.
About the ICMJE and citation styles
The ICMJE is small group of editors of general medical journals who first met informally in Vancouver, British Columbia, in 1978 to establish guidelines for the format of manuscripts submitted to their journals. The group became known as the Vancouver Group. Its requirements for manuscripts, including formats for bibliographic references developed by the U.S. National Library of Medicine (NLM), were first published in 1979. The Vancouver Group expanded and evolved into the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE), which meets annually. The ICMJE created the Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing, and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals to help authors and editors create and distribute accurate, clear, easily accessible reports of biomedical studies.
An alternate version of ICMJE style is to additionally list the month an issue number, but since most journals use continuous pagination, the shorter form provides sufficient information to locate the reference. The NLM now lists all authors.
BCMJ standard citation style is a slight modification of the ICMJE/NLM style, as follows:
- Only the first three authors are listed, followed by "et al."
- There is no period after the journal name.
- Page numbers are not abbreviated.
For more information on the ICMJE Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing, and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals, visit www.icmje.org