Joan Eakin

Researcher, Legislation Theme

Joan Eakin is an academic researcher participating in RAACWI. She is a medical sociologist (a person with a PhD degree in Sociology who focuses on health and health care related issues). She is a professor in the Department of Public Health Sciences at the University of Toronto where she teaches research methodology (the principles and procedures of doing research) and does research in the field of work, health and safety.

Her primary research interests include the social aspects of prevention, experience of illness, injury and disability, rehabilitation and return to work, especially in small workplaces. She has recently done a study of return to work in small workplaces in response to Ontario's policies  and practices of early return to work, and she is currently finishing a study of front-line WSIB work. She has studied workers, employers, and compensation board professionals in an effort  to understand their different (and sometimes competing) perspectives and practices. Within RAACWI, she and her colleagues are studying the role of doctors in the compensation and return to work process. She is also supervising the research of one of her students, Dana Howse, who is exploring how injury and illness is (or is not) reported in the workplace.

Joan originates from Montreal, but has also lived and worked in Calgary before coming to Toronto in 1987. She is married and has three grown kids and, unlike most folk, loves snow and winter!

Joan has been a member of the Expert Panel that recently submitted its report to the Minister of Labour of Ontario on reform of the province's prevention and regulatory system for occupational health and safety.

Related Research

Eakin, J. Towards a standpoint perspective: Occupational health and safety from the perspective of the workers, Policy and Practice in Health and Safety, 2010, 8 (2).

Eakin, J., Champoux, D., MacEachen, E. Health and safety in small workplaces: Refocusing Upstream. Canadian Journal of Public Health, 2010, 102 (Supp 1):S29-S33.

Facey, M. and Eakin, J. Contingent work and ill-health: Conceptualizing the links, Social Theory & Health, 2010, 8 (4): 326?349.

Eakin, J. and Endicott, M. Knowledge translation through research-based theatre/L'Application des connaissances par le théâtre fondé sur la recherche, Healthcare Policy, 2006, 2 (2) 51-55.

Eakin, J. MacEachen, E. and Clarke, J. 'Playing it smart' with return to work: Small workplace experience under Ontario's policy of self-reliance and early return, Policy and Practice in Health and Safety, 2003, 01 (2) 20-41.

Eakin, J., Clarke, J. and MacEachen, E. Return to Work in Small Workplaces: Sociological Perspective on Workplace Experience with Ontario's 'Early and Safe' Strategy. Institute for Work and Health Working Paper No. 206. April, 2003.

Eakin, J. and MacEachen, E. Health and the social relations of work: a study of the health-related experiences of employees in small workplaces, Sociology of Health and Illness, 1998 20(6): 896-914.

Eakin, J. Leaving it up to the workers: sociological perspective on the management of health and safety in small workplaces, International Journal of Health Services, 1992, 22:689-704.

Eakin, J. The discourse of abuse in return-to-work: A hidden epidemic of suffering, Chapter 9, in Peterson, C. and Mayhew, C. (Eds.), Occupational Health and Safety: International Influences and the new Epidemics Baywood Publishing, 2005, pp. 159-174.

Tarasuk, V. and Eakin, J. The problem of legitimacy in the experience of work-related back injury, Qualitative Health Research, 1995, 5 (2): 204-221.

Tarasuk, V. and Eakin, J. Back problems are for life: perceived vulnerability and its implications for chronic disability, Journal of Occupational Rehabilitation, 1994, 4(1): 55-64.

Joan Eakin