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Opioids and Work Data Tool

The Opioids and Work Data Tool is an interactive data visualization tool used for exploring data on cases and rates of opioid-related harms occurring among a large group of Ontario workers.

The tool includes three dashboards, each displaying data for a different opioid-related harm identified in emergency department and hospitalization records:

  • Poisonings
  • Mental and behavioural disorders
  • Adverse reactions

Graphs within each dashboard can be customized to show trends in opioid-related harms over time, as well as the characteristics of the workers experiencing these harms (i.e., their age, sex, health region, occupation, and industry).

What is the source of the data?

This tool uses occupational and health data of approximately 1.7 million Ontario workers in the Occupational Disease Surveillance System (ODSS). Workers are included in the ODSS if they had an accepted lost-time workers’ compensation claim for a work-related injury or illness between 1983 and 2019.

The data include:

  • Occupation and industry information at the time workers experienced their work-related injuries or illnesses
  • Diagnoses of each opioid-related harm from records of workers’ hospitalizations and visits to emergency departments in Ontario hospitals from 2006 to 2022
  • Workers’ demographic information (age, sex, and health region)

What should be considered when using this tool?

  • This tool shows opioid-related harms experienced by workers in the ODSS. Workers are included in the ODSS if they had an accepted lost-time workers’ compensation claim for a work-related injury or illness between 1983 and 2019.
  • Opioid-related harms occurring in this group are not necessarily due to opioids prescribed for or used for the work-related injury or illness reported in the workers’ compensation claim records.
  • Occupation and industry were recorded only at the time the worker experienced their work-related injury or illness. The data do not account for whether individuals changed their occupation or industry over time.

The data in the tool do not capture:

  • The reason for opioid use (we do not know if the worker used opioids for their work-related injury or illness or for another reason)
  • Source of the opioid leading to harm (whether the opioids were prescribed or not)
  • History of opioid use among workers (we do not know when workers began using opioids)
  • Opioid-related harms experienced by workers who did not visit an Ontario hospital (in many cases, people who experience an opioid-related poisoning do not make it to a hospital)
  • Outcome of the opioid-related harm (whether fatal or non-fatal)
  • Opioid-related harms experienced by other workers in the Ontario population, including workers who had workers’ compensation claims with no lost time or those with rejected claims, workers with work-related injuries and illnesses who have not submitted a claim, and workers not covered by the Ontario Workplace Safety and Insurance Board
  • A worker’s gender (the tool only includes information on sex assigned at birth)

How can this tool be used?

Individuals and groups within workplaces can use this tool to be more aware of opioid-related harms occurring among workers. It can help them to understand the extent to which such harms are occurring in their industry, in occupations within their industry, or in their region. This information may help workplaces assess the potential for opioid-related harms in their worker population and spark conversations on the significance of these harms and the need for preventive action. It may also help shape decisions to address the potential harms of opioid use in occupational health, safety, and wellness programs. The information may also lead to discussions about work-related reasons for opioid use. If a workplace is concerned that their workers may be at risk, resources are available to help raise awareness and prevent opioid-related harms.

Public health professionals, policy makers, and others who develop policies, programs, and guidance to prevent or reduce opioid-related harms can also use this tool to identify groups of workers at risk of opioid-related harms and determine whether initiatives should be considered for workplaces, certain industries, or particular regions.

How can graphs from this tool be shared?

You can share the graphs from the Opioids and Work Data Tool in three ways:

Download iconThe download button at the bottom of each dashboard can be used to download the current graph as a PNG, PDF, or PowerPoint file.

Share iconsThe social media and email icons below each dashboard can be used to share a link to the selected dashboard webpage, which includes the dashboard with the default graph view.

Print iconThe print icon below each dashboard can be used to print the selected dashboard webpage that includes the current graph.

What help is available when using the tool?

Step-by-step instructions on how to use the Opioids and Work Data Tool are available in a User Guide. The guide also includes some helpful Supporting Information with more detailed descriptions on data sources, definitions of terms, and calculations. See the User Guide.

What’s next?

The Opioids and Work Data Tool is just one component of this study. Sign up to learn when other results become available.

Contact information

For questions about this tool, please contact

We are hoping to understand how people are planning on using the information provided in the Opioids and Work Data Tool.
Take our short survey to tell us how you might use this tool.