British Columbia Environmental & Occupational Health Research Network


The BC Environmental and Occupational Health Research Network (BCEOHRN) was founded in 2005 through an award from the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research.

As of March 31, 2010, BCEOHRN is no longer funded as a Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research Health of Population Network. 

BCEOHRN is now a society!
We have been granted society status by the provincial government. The new society maintains the same vision and mission as the original BCEOHRN. Our new Board of Directors has been formed, and members have volunteered to assume various responsibilities.

Hugh Davies – President (includes fundraising and Special Interest Groups)
Larry Frisch – Treasurer
Heather Stewart – Secretary (includes conference planning and membership)
Luisa Giles – Director at large (assisting secretary/treasurer)
Lydia Ma
Ken Cooper
Tanya Wahbe
Sarah Henderson
Anne Lee

The new board is very interested in having other BCEOHRN members join them in helping to shape the direction of our new Society.
Please contact us ( if you are interested in the following:
• becoming a Director of the BCEOHRN Society
• helping to organize the 2013 Scientific Conference and AGM
• assisting with fundraising/special events
• assisting with the newsletter/website

 BCEOHRN’s Overarching Strategic Goals

1. Improved research capacity through enabling inter-institutional collaboration to develop innovative research ideas.
2. Student support through a mentorship program with Special Interest Groups.
3. Improved knowledge transfer by hosting one meeting each year that brings together stakeholders (researchers, educators, policy makers, trainees) to address occupational and environmental health issues that are priorities to British Columbians.


The Network is currently comprised of over 1,000 members from across the province. Detailed information about our members can be viewed at our members’ database available by clicking the button at the top of any page on our website. Members are:
• University-based and community-based researchers from many disciplines
• Research trainees and students
• People who work in environmental and occupational health fields, and are interested in research
• Service providers
• Policy-makers, including local and regional health authority representatives

Core Activities

- Information sharing
- Building connections
- Support services
- Member-driven activities
- Knowledge Translation and Exchange (KTE)

BCEOHRN’s Primary Success Factors

- Active Membership
- Geographic Relationship-Building
- Diverse Board of Directors & Leadership
- Knowledge Translation and Exchange (KTE)
- Low overheads
- Forward Strategic Planning
- Performance Measurement

Performance Measurement

BCEOHRN underwent an external peer review through MSFHR’s Infrastructure Program in the spring of 2007. The panel gave the Network a rating of ‘excellent’, using CIHR’s rating scheme.

In the winter of 2007/08 BCEOHRN carried out a members’ satisfaction survey. Overall the results were overwhelmingly favourable. The majority of the respondents were highly satisfied with BCEOHRN’s services and feel BCEOHRN is supportive of their activities.

For more details, visit the About Us section.




Join Us!

Researchers, students and users of research affiliated with projects in environmental/occupational health in British Columbia are invited to sign up as members of the Network (free!) to enjoy membership benefits.

Members are invited to submit web site content ideas to the Webmaster.


Visit the BCEOHRN members' database

which includes:

  • Members’ contact information;
  • Members’ professional and academic backgrounds;
  • Members’ research projects;
  • Members’ research interests (both current and future, to help you find future collaborators!);
  • Mentoring opportunities;
  • Shareable skills, tools, resources and data;
  • Student opportunities;
  • And grey literature from BC.

Click Here to Enter Database



BCEOHRN 2012 Spring Scientific Workshop and AGM


The BCEOHRN 2012 Workshop and Annual General Meeting was held May 31st and June 1st, 2012 in conjunction with the Canadian Association for Research on Work and Health (CARWH) 2012 Conference at the Fairmont Waterfront Hotel in Vancouver, BC.

This BCEOHRN event was free for BCEOHRN members, and included a student’s training and networking half-day; scientific plenary sessions with emphasis on topics related to environmental and occupational health equity; an evening social and poster session; and the BCEOHRN annual general meeting.
There were a limited number of travel bursaries available to BCEOHRN student members. BCEOHRN collaborated with CARWH 2012 Conference organizers and their official host, WorkSafeBC, to develop an exciting and cross-cutting program that maximized networking and learning opportunities for BCEOHRN members.

If you would like to suggest a topic or theme for consideration in future programming, or would like to volunteer for a future organizing committee, please contact Hugh Davies (

Open Data Pilot Project

The Open Data Pilot is part of the Government of Canada’s commitment to open government, which is being pursued along three streams: open data, open information and open dialogue, and aims to drive innovation and economic opportunities for all Canadians.
The Open Data Pilot seeks to improve the ability of the public to find, download and use Government of Canada data. You are invited to search the catalogue, download datasets and explore the possibilities of Open Data.
Details: here


The IRSST is making accessible the scientific information documented by its Strategic Watch Department. Aimed at all audiences, but particularly the scientific community and OHS professionals and stakeholders, these blogs cover OHS, Noise and vibration, Contaminants, Work context , Protective equipment, Machine safety, Occupational rehabilitation, OHS statistics, Musculoskeletal disorders.
Details: here

SOEH Seminars Series

Throughout the academic year, UBC’s School of Environmental Health (SOEH) hosts a weekly research seminar open to all members of the University community and to the public. SOEH now uses Live Classroom - state-of-the-art technology that provides an interactive online learning experience.
The seminars are open to the general public - no registration is required.
Details: here

CESI Indicators Update

Environment Canada updated results of the Canadian Environmental Sustainability Indicators (CESI) initiative. Key findings at the national level are as follows:
Air quality:
Exposure to ground level ozone levels has increased in Canada 13% between 1990 and 2007. There were no significant changes in exposure to fine particulates for the period 2000-
Water quality:
The majority of rivers and lakes in Canada have fair or better water quality. Of the sites monitored, 82% rated freshwater quality as “excellent”, “good” or “fair”, and 18% rated freshwater quality as “marginal” and “poor”.
Greenhouse gases:
Canada’s 2008 greenhouse gas emissions decreased 2.1% from 2007 levels.
Protected areas (new this year):
Canada has protected 9.4% or 939,993 square kilometers of its land as of mid-2009. About 0.6% of its marine territory has been protected. There has been an increase of approximately 81% of the overall area protected since 1990.
For all of the updated information, link to the CESI indicators site here.

Canadian Community Health Survey: Healthy Aging

Statistics Canada’s Canadian Community Health Survey: Healthy Aging The Canadian Community Health Survey focuses on the health of Canadians aged 45 and over by examining the various factors that have an impact on healthy aging, such as general health and well being, the use of health care services, social participation, and work and retirement transitions. The data were collected from December 2008 to November 2009, and about 30,900 individuals aged 45 years and older in the provinces were interviewed. The data are now available through the Statistics Canada website

The First Nations Environmental Health Guide

A First Nations environmental health guide, Your Health at Home, was also launched to provide useful information and practical tips for First Nations to keep their homes safer and healthier.
More information on the First Nations guide can be found here

Government of Canada launches the Environmental Health Guide

The Government of Canada launched a four-year public education campaign to help make Canadian families more aware of the environmental health risks around them. As part of the campaign, Hazardcheck, a guide that provides simple advice that Canadians can take to keep their homes safer and healthier for themselves and their children.
For more information on the guide, please visit the website

Federal Government Decision to Eliminate the Mandatory Long-Form Census in Favour of a Voluntary Survey

The federal government recently decided to eliminate the mandatory long-form census in favour of a voluntary survey. This is an unfortunate news for occupational and environmental health researchers and those working in occupational and environmental health surveillance as it will prevent access to quality data about the state of the Canadian population for a wide range of relevant indicators. Arguably, a voluntary long form would result in a non-representative sample of the Canadian population and therefore would be of limited value for generalisable research. A reduction in information about the Canadian population, in turn, restricts knowledge available for all kinds of resource allocation and policy decisions, including those related to occupational and environmental health.

Those wishing more information about this issue can refer to recent media articles:
Globe & Mail
Toronto Star

If you wish to voice your opinion about this decision, you can take part in a web petition, which has been started to protest this move to make the long census form voluntary. It can be found here .
Also, the Digital Economy Consultation federal website has a voting poll to save the Census (note registration is required). Click here for more details.

WebEx Alternative

BCEOHRN members who were disappointed to learn that BCEOHRN is no longer able to provide WebEx service will be pleased to learn of a free alternative.

If your team is interested in free web conferencing, explore Dim Dim (desktop sharing) and Skype (audio):


Workplace Bullying SIG

New BCEOHRN Mentorship Special Interest Group!
Workplace Bullying SIG

This Special Interest Group is created to seek participation and initiate discussion from researchers, students and professionals interested in the topic of workplace bullying and to find solutions for the problem of workplace bullying. Workplace bullying is a leading cause of ill health and reduced safety and well-being for people on the job in all sectors and at all levels of employment in the province. In health science related fields these include study of people who bully and the effect their behaviour has on targets, on bystanders, and on the workplace environment overall in terms of physical and psychological illness, absenteeism, disability, return to work obstacles, and the potential for violence. As well as study in these areas, there is a need for data, diagnostics, and metrics to measure the negative effects and then the effectiveness of remedies.

Details: Workplace Bullying SIG webpage

BCEOHRN Operates Green

In September a paper newsletter and flyer for the AGM being held in November in Vancouver was mailed to select groups and members. Mailing a paper newsletter is part of BCEOHRN’s communications strategy, aimed at raising awareness of the Network and its operations by encouraging recipients to post these materials for others’ interest. BCEOHRN materials are printed using water-based inks on recycled content paper to reduce their environmental footprint.

BCEOHRN endeavours to reduce its impact on the environment to the greatest extent possible through all of its operations: by encouraging the use of web-based technologies to reduce carbon emissions created by travel; by reducing the use of paper and encouraging members to likewise do so; and by managing events and meetings using green principles.

For BCEOHRN’s green tips, download "Going Carbon Neutral for HoPNs" (pdf).

Last updated November 08, 2012

Last updated October 20, 2008