Canadian Journal of Public Health

, Volume 101, Supplement 1, pp S46–S52 | Cite as

Research Opportunities Using Administrative Databases and Existing Surveys for New Knowledge in Occupational Health and Safety in Canada, Quebec, Ontario and British Columbia

  • Peter M. SmithEmail author
  • Susan R. Stock
  • Christopher B. McLeod
  • Mieke Koehoorn
  • Alain Marchand
  • Cameron A. Mustard


In Canada, many datasets are initially collected for purposes other than occupational health and safety (OHS) research. These include administrative health care billing records, pharmaceutical records, vital statistics, provincial cancer registries and workers’ compensation claims data. In addition, many national and provincial health surveys, while not focused specifically on occupational health and safety, collect data on the health status and health determinants of populations, and such data can be used for investigating OHS issues among Canadian workers. This paper provides examples of the use of administrative and survey data for OHS research projects from the provinces of Quebec, Ontario and British Columbia to illustrate the potential of such data. These three provinces have a long history of using administrative and survey data for OHS research and have developed capacity in this regard for improving access to data, for linkage of records across databases and for developing methods to answer OHS questions. As research using these data sources expands, a consistent understanding within the work and health research community must be forged concerning the strengths and limitations of these data resources and their comparability.

Key words

Surveillance work injury and illness Quebec Ontario British Columbia 


Au Canada, de nombreuses bases de données sont recueillies au départ dans d’autres buts que la recherche sur la santé et la sécurité du travail (SST): les fichiers de facturation des services de santé, les fichiers pharmaceutiques, les registres d’état civil, les registres provinciaux du cancer et les fichiers d’indemnisation des lésions professionnelles. De plus, beaucoup d’enquêtes fédérales et provinciales sur la santé, bien qu’elles ne portent pas spécifiquement sur la SST, recueillent des données sur l’état de santé et les déterminants de la santé des populations, et ces données peuvent servir à étudier des questions de SST dans la main-d’œuvre canadienne. Dans cet article, nous donnons des exemples probants de l’utilisation de données administratives et de données d’enquête pour des projets de recherche en SST dans les provinces du Québec, de l’Ontario et de la Colombie-Britannique afin d’illustrer le potentiel de ces données. Ces trois provinces utilisent depuis longtemps des données administratives et des données d’enquête pour la recherche en SST et ont développé des capacités à cet égard pour améliorer l’accès aux données, jumeler les dossiers de différentes bases de données et élaborer des méthodes pour répondre aux questions de SST. Comme il se fait de plus en plus de recherche à l’aide de ces sources de données, la communauté des chercheurs en SST devrait développer la même compréhension des forces et faiblesses de ces sources de données et de leur comparabilité.

Mots clés

surveillance accidents du travail maladies professionnelles Québec Ontario Colombie-Britannique 


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Copyright information

© The Canadian Public Health Association 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Peter M. Smith
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Susan R. Stock
    • 3
    • 4
  • Christopher B. McLeod
    • 5
    • 6
    • 7
    • 8
  • Mieke Koehoorn
    • 6
    • 7
    • 8
  • Alain Marchand
    • 9
  • Cameron A. Mustard
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Institute for Work & Health481 University AveTorontoCanada
  2. 2.Dalla Lana School of Public HealthUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada
  3. 3.Institut national de santé publique du QuébecQuébecCanada
  4. 4.Department of Social and Preventive MedicineUniversité de MontréalMontrealCanada
  5. 5.Human Early Learning PartnershipUniversity of British ColumbiaVancouverCanada
  6. 6.School of Population and Public Health, UBCVancouverCanada
  7. 7.Centre for Health Services and Policy Research, UBCVancouverCanada
  8. 8.School of Environmental Health, UBCVancouverCanada
  9. 9.School of Industrial RelationsUniversité de MontréalMontrealCanada

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