MRO Magazine

New occupational disease initiative unveiled in Newfoundland and Labrador

St. John's, NF -- Many workers face a wide range of medical conditions that are related to their work, however...


November 20, 2009
By MRO Magazine

St. John’s, NF — Many workers face a wide range of medical conditions that are related to their work, however the connection between work and disease is often not recognized. In October 2009, the Workplace Health, Safety and Compensation Commission (WHSCC) of Newfoundland and Labrador launched a new occupational disease initiative to provide the Commission with access to the scientific and medical advice and information they need to assess claims and award fair and timely compensation to workers and families impacted by occupational disease.


The WHSCC signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Institut de recherche Robert-Sauvé en santé et en sécurité du travail (IRSST), a renowned leader in the area of occupational health and safety research. On behalf of the WHSCC, the IRSST will carry out medical and scientific research and offer expert advice on specific subjects relating to occupational diseases.



The research projects and expertise will allow the IRSST to obtain relevant scientific data and evidence to support the WHSCC in the timely and effective resolution of claims for occupational disease. For its part, the IRSST will have the opportunity to develop new knowledge that will be beneficial for all those impacted by occupational disease issues.


An Occupational Disease Advisory Panel (ODAP) was created by WHSCC to provide oversight on occupational disease matters and to address the government’s action plan. The ODAP and the new partnership with the IRSST allows for the transfer of key medical and scientific knowledge to the WHSCC, health care professionals and other parties in the province, with an interest in occupational disease.


Following an assessment of the occupational disease issues currently being addressed by the WHSCC, the ODAP has approved a medical and scientific review of the literature on various factors related to occupational disease for shipyard workers, which will be completed by the IRSST.


For more about the IRSST, visit


For more about the WHSCC, visit