Ellen MacEachen MSc, PhD
Dalla Lana School of Public Health (DLSPH)

Contact Info

T: (519) 888-4567 37248


University of Waterloo
200 University Avenue West
Waterloo, ON, N2L 3G1


Contact Faculty Member for more information

Research Interests

Occupational Science, Rehabilitation Health Services Studies

Ellen MacEachen is an associate professor with the Department of Public Health and Health Systems at the University of Waterloo and co-director of the Centre for Research on Work Disability Policy. She is an academic council member with the Pacific Coast University for Workplace Health Sciences and past-president of the Canadian Association for Research on Work and Health.

MacEachen’s research focuses on systems for work and health, both for work reintegration after injury and for prevention of illness and injury. She examines government and workplace programs and policies and considers how systems play out in practice. She is particularly interested in vulnerable workers and how people in precarious employment are able to access system supports. She is currently organising an edited book on work disability policy with contributors from fourteen countries describing their systems, including both successes and lessons learned.   


Research Synopsis

My research examines the design and performance of work and health systems to identify how they can be improved and adapted to fast changing economic, social and technological environments of our global economy.

I am particularly interested in international work disability policy and the health risks and opportunities of new forms of work (such as “sharing economy” gigs). I specialise in qualitative and evaluation research methods and my research is informed by a sociological lens, which means that my studies are sensitive to complex interrelationships between individuals and broader contexts. I co-direct the Centre for Research on Work Disability Policy, where I work closely with community stakeholders.

Publications and Awards

Recent Publications

  1. MacEachen, E., Kosny, A., Stahl, C., O’Hagan, F., Redgrift, L., Sanford, S., Carrasco, C., Tompa, E., Mahood, Q. Systematic review of qualitative literature on occupational health and safety legislation and regulatory enforcement planning and implementation. Scandinavian Journal of Work, Environment and Health, 2016, 42 (1), 3-16.
  2. MacEachen, E., Lippel, K., Saunders, R., Kosny, A., Mansfield, L., Carrasco, C., Pugliese, D. Workers’ compensation experience rating rules and the danger to worker safety in the temporary work agency sector. Policy and Practice in Health and Safety, 2012, 10(1), 77-95.
  3. MacEachen, E., Kosny, A., Ferrier, S., Chambers, L. The ‘toxic dose’ of system problems: why some injured workers don’t return to work as expected, Journal of Occupational Rehabilitation, 2010, 20(3), 349-366.
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