Alf Nachemson Memorial Lecture

About the Alf Nachemson Memorial Lecture

Dr. Alf Nachemson was a distinguished orthopaedic surgeon and researcher from Sweden, a founding member of the Institute for Work & Health’s Scientific Advisory Committee and co-editor of the Institute-based Cochrane Collaboration Back Review Group from 1995 to 2002.

The annual Alf Nachemson Lecture was established by the Institute in 2002 to honour Dr. Nachemson’s significant contribution to the use of research evidence in clinical decision-making. Dr. Nachemson passed away in 2006, and the lecture was renamed the Alf Nachemson Memorial Lecture.

The lectureship is awarded to a prominent national or international individual who has made a significant and unique contribution to:

  • causes or management of work-related musculoskeletal pain
  • evidence-based practice in the prevention of work-related injury, illness or disability
  • emerging challenges in the interface between work and health
  • the role of evidence in policy-making.

2017 Alf Nachemson Memorial Lecture

On November 1 at Toronto's Design Exchange, Dr. Linda M. Goldenhar, Director of Research and Evaluation at CPWR—The Center for Construction Research and Training in Silver Spring, Maryland, gave the 2017 Alf Nachemson Memorial Lecture. An expert in the safety culture and climate of construction workplaces, Goldenhar talked about the research that led her team to develop, first, a workbook to help strengthen jobsite safety climate by improving performance in eight areas identified as leading indicators of health and safety outcomes and, more recently, an online tool that assesses a workplace’s safety climate maturity. She also shared preliminary evaluation findings of a program that she and her team developed to improve jobsite supervisory leadership—one of the eight safety climate leading indicators identified as critical by construction stakeholders. You can listen to her presenation, with slides, by clicking below.

High-hazard industries: Addressing safety culture, climate and leadership to improve outcomes

Past Nachemson presentations

2016: Wolfgang Zimmermann, founder and executive director of the National Institute of Disability Management and Research (NIDMAR), was celebrated for his contributions to improving workplace practices surrounding the (re)integration of people with disabilities. Three people talked about the impact of Zimmermann's work in their own organizations: Andrew King, former national leader for health, safety and environment at United Steelworkers in Canada; Joachim Breuer, director general of German Social Accident Insurance (DGUV); and the Honourable Wayne G. Wouters, PC, former Clerk of the Privy Council and Secretary to the Cabinet in Ottawa. Zimmermann then followed with a discussion of the challenges that still lie ahead. Watch the videos of the four presentations on the IWH You Tube Channel.

2015: Judy Geary was a member of the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) executive team that led significant reforms to strengthen case management and vocational rehabilitation services for workers disabled by a work-related injury or illness. In her lecture, Using research evidence to help prevent work disability in Ontario, Geary outlined the lessons learned in integrating research evidence in the reform of valued public services.Listen to the slidecast of the full lecture (slides with audio).

2014: Dr. Paul Schulte, long-time director of the Education and Information Division at the U.S. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), shared his perspective on moving research into practice. In his lecture titled, Assessing the impact of NIOSH resarch on worker health protection (2.6 MB, PDF), Schulte offered lessons learned about how best to ensure that research does, indeed, have an effect on worker health protection. Watch the slidecast of the full lecture (slides with audio).

2013: Dr. Mieke Koehoorn shared examples of the contribution of research to informing regulatory and compensation policy in worker health protection in British Columbia through the Partnership for Work, Health and Safety in her presentation titled Research informing policy: How to make an impact (845 KB, PDF). Listen to/view the slidecast of the full lecture (slides with audio). Watch videos of Dr. Koehoorn summarizing the main points of her lecture: On a unique research-policy partnershipOn the impact of research on policy and On the challenges of a research-policy relationship.

2012: Dr. Michael Silverstein offered his views on how we might modernize our regulatory standards and practices to keep pace with the changing world of work in his presentation titled Thirty years after OHSA: Keeping pace with the changing world of work (1.8 MB, PDF). Listen to/view the slidecast (slides with audio).

2011: Dr. Robert T. Reville talked about Research informing public policy: Workers' compensation in California (353 KB, PDF). Listen to/view the slidecast (slides with audio).

2010: Dr. Terrence Sullivan talked about Improving quality and performance in health services: Reflections from Cancer Care Ontario (2.4 MB). Watch an interview with Dr. Sullivan prior to the 2010 lecture.

2009: Dr. Joan Eakin talked about No small matter: Unpacking the problem of health and safety in small workplaces (35 KB).>

2008: Dr. Thomas Wickizer talked about Quality improvement in health-care services for injured workers (257 KB).

2007: David Stuewe discussed Safety climate: the role of leadership in enhancing workplace safety (312 KB).

2006: Dr. Barbara Silverstein spoke on Preventing the burden of workplace musculoskeletal disorders: What do we know about what works? (470 KB).

2005: Dr. Glenn Pransky delivered his remarks on Reducing disability and improving return to work: Where do we go from here? (275 KB).>

2004: Dr. Graham Lowe discussed Healthy work environments: Canada's next big idea. (537 KB).

2003: Dr. Jeremy Grimshaw, in the inaugural Nachemson lecture, delivered his talk on Future prospects for evidence-based practice: Getting closer to the destination. (194 KB)