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Course Description

This presentation focuses on:

Occupational injuries are common for police service members. The physical demands of police work along with operational stress, make return to work (RTW) for police service members challenging.

We conducted in-depth interviews with members of Ontario police services (sworn and civilian) who have experience with work absence and RTW. A thematic analysis was used for the qualitative interview data. Five themes emerged describing key aspects of the RTW process: Accommodation, Communication, Trust-building, as well as Context and Culture. Details and illustrative quotes provide practical information about how to improve the RTW process in policing.

Learning Outcomes

  • Barriers to RTW in policing
  • Practical recommendations for overcoming barriers


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Scientist, Institute for Work & Health, Canada

Dwayne Van Eerd, PhD

Dr. Dwayne Van Eerd is a scientist at the Institute for Work & Health, where he has been a researcher since 1997. He has an MSc and BSc in kinesiology from the University of Waterloo, an MSc in health research methodology from McMaster University, and a PhD in work and health from the Faculty of Applied Health Sciences at the University of Waterloo. Upon getting his MSc in kinesiology, Van Eerd got his start in occupational health and safety research in a clinical setting, studying musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) of the upper body in musicians, painters, writers and other artists. Now a scientist with the Institute for Work & Health, he focuses primarily on the prevention of work-related injuries, as well as on the implementation of programs and practices to prevent work injury and disability related to physical and mental health. His research projects include evaluations of workplace MSD and mental health practices/programs and their implementation, and systematic reviews of the prevention literature. Van Eerd also practices and researches integrated knowledge transfer and exchange.

Course curriculum

  • 1

    Return to Work in Police Services: Injured Not Broken

    • Pre-Survey

    • Return to Work in Police Services: Injured Not Broken

    • Return to Work in Police Services: Injured Not Broken

    • Evaluation Survey