Emile Tompa


Emile Tompa

“As an economist, I have always been interested in how environment, in conjunction with individual characteristics, shape people’s engagement in society over the life course. My work generally relates to two broad areas of research: the changing nature of work, and the interaction between workers, systems and program design. These interests led me directly to the research questions at the heart of CRWDP.”


Key Appointments

  • Director, Centre for Research on Work Disability Policy
  • Senior Scientist, Institute for Work & Health
  • Associate Professor, Department of Economics, McMaster University
  • Assistant Professor, Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto
  • Editorial Board, Journal of Occupational Rehabilitation
  • Mentor, Work Disability Prevention CIHR Strategic Training Program



  • PhD, Labour and Health Economics, McMaster University
  • MA, Economics, University of Toronto
  • MBA, University of British Columbia


Areas of expertise

  • Policy analysis of health & safety and disability system design
  • Economic evaluation of workplace interventions for primary and secondary prevention
  • Impact of labour market experiences (particularly precarious employment) on health and well-being


Research Activities

Dr. Tompa’s research interests include examining the consequences of health & safety system design features and other labour-market policies, programs and practices for the health and well-being of individuals and populations. His second area of research is focused on workplace interventions directed at improving the health and well being of workers, specifically the economic evaluation of such interventions. He is the lead editor of a methods text published by Oxford University Press in 2008 on the economic evaluation of occupation health and safety interventions, and has lead several intervention evaluation studies. Tompa’s third area of research is on labour-market experiences and their health and human development consequences, with a particular focus on precarious employment.


Recent Publications

Tompa E, Foley M, Van Eerd D. forthcoming. Chapter 37: Economic Analysis of Ergonomic Interventions. In: Wilson JR and Corlett N. (eds.) Evaluation of Human Work, 4th Edition. Taylor & Francis Group.

Tompa E, van der Beek A, van Tulder M. forthcoming. Chapter 22: Disability Management: Economic Considerations. In: Handbook on Return to Work, Schultz IZ, Robert Gatchel R (eds.) Springer.

van Dongen JM, Tompa E, Clune L, Sarnocinska-Hart A, Bongers PM, van Tulder MW, van der Beek AJ, van Wier MF. 2013. Bridging the gap between the economic evaluation literature and daily practice in occupational health: a qualitative study among decision makers in the healthcare sector. Implementation Science. 8(1):57

Guzman J, Ibrahimova A, Tompa E, Koehoorn M, Alamgir H. (2013). Non-wage losses associated with occupational injury among healthcare workers. Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine. 55(8):910-6.

Tompa E, Hogg-Johnson S, Amick B, Wang Y, Shen E, Mustard C, Robson L, Saunders R. 2013. Financial Incentives of Experience Rating in Workers’ Compensation: New Evidence from a Program Change in Ontario Canada. Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine. 55(3):292-304.

Uegaki K, van der Beek AJ. Tompa E, van Tulder MW. 2013. Chapter 23: Cost-effectiveness of interventions for prevention of work disability. In: Handbook of Work Disability: Prevention and Management, Anema H, Loisel P (eds.) Springer. pp. 373-388.

Tompa E. 2013. Chapter 4: Measuring the burden of work disability: A review of methods, measurement issues, and evidence. In: Handbook of Work Disability: Prevention and Management, Anema H, Loisel P (eds.) Springer. pp. 43-58.

Veltri A, Pagell M, Johnston D, Tompa E, Robson L, Amick BC III, Hogg-Johnson S, Macdonald S. 2013. Understanding Safety in the Context of Business Operations: An Exploratory Study using Case Studies. Safety Science. 55:119–134.

Scott-Marshall H, Fang M, Morassaei S, Tompa E. 2013. Marital Formation in Individuals with Permanent Work-Related Impairment. Disability and Health Journal. 6(1):43-51.

Tompa E, Dolinschi R, Natale J. 2013. Economic Evaluation of a Participatory Ergonomics Intervention in a Textile Plant. Applied Ergonomics, 44: 480-487.

Tompa E, Cullen K, McLeod C. 2012. Update on a Systematic Literature Review on the Behavioural Incentives of Experience Rating. Policy and Practice in Health and Safety. 10(2):47-65.

Hogg-Johnson S, Robson L, Cole DC, Amick III BC, Tompa E, Smith PM, van Eerd D. Mustard CA. 2012. A Randomized Controlled Study to Evaluate the Effectiveness of Targeted Occupational Health & Safety Consultation or Inspection in Ontario Manufacturing Workplaces. Occupational and Environmental Medicine, 69(12): 890-900.

Tompa E. 2012. Experience rating in workers’ compensation: guest editor editorial. Policy and Practice in Health and Safety. Special Issue, 10(1): 1-2.

Tompa E, Hogg-Johnson S, Amick B, Wang Y, Shen E, Mustard C, Robson L. 2012. Financial Incentives in Workers’ Compensation: An Analysis of the Experience Rating in Ontario Canada. Policy and Practice in Health and Safety. Special Issue, 10(1): 117-137.

Mansfield L, MacEachen E, Tompa E, Kalcevich C, Endicott M, Yeung N. 2012. A Critical Review of Literature on Experience Rating in Workers’ Compensation Systems. Policy and Practice in Health and Safety. 10(1): 3-25.

Soklaridis S, Cassidy JD, van der Velde G, Tompa E, Hogg-Johnston S. 2012. The Economic Cost of Return-To Work: The Employer’s Perspective.  Work: A Journal of Prevention, Assessment and Rehabilitation. 43(3): 255-262.

Smith PM, Hogg-Johnson S, Mustard C, Chen C, Tompa E. 2012. Comparing the Risk Factors Associated with Serious Versus and Less Serious Work-Related Injuries in Ontario Between 1991 and 2006. American Journal of Industrial Medicine. 55:84–91.

Moore IC, Tompa E. 2011. Understanding Changes Over Time in Workers' Compensation Claim Rates Using Time Series Analytic Techniques. Occupational and Environmental Medicine. 68(11): 837-841.

Scott-Marshall H, Tompa E. 2011. The Health Consequences of Precarious Employment Experiences. Work: A Journal of Prevention, Assessment and Rehabilitation. 38(4): 369-82.

Smith PM, Chen C, Hogg-Johnson S, Mustard CA, Tompa E. 2011. Trends in the Health Care Use and Expenditures Associated with No-Lost-Time Claims in Ontario: 1991 to 2006. Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine. 53(2): 211-207.

Tompa E, Lund J, Yabroff R. 2011. Chapter 15: Health Economics and Cancer Survivorship. In: Health Services for Cancer Survivors, Feuerstein E, Ganz P. (eds.), Springer, pp. 299-327.


Recently Funded Grants

Steenstra IA (Principal Investigator), Lowe G, McIntosh G, Saunders R, Chappel J, Geary J, White M, Beaton DE, Gignac M, Gross D, Irvin E, Loisel P, Pransky G, Puts M, Scott-Marshall H, Tompa E, Van Eerd D, Wilkie R, Ceilen B, Thorpe K (Co-Investigators). A review of the role of aging in return to work and stay at work. Re-Submitted April 2, 2013 to CIHR Knowledge Synthesis Grant competition. $89,622 over 1 year (2013-2014).

Tompa E, MacEachen E. (Co-Directors), Baril-Gingras G, Bornstein S, Boucher N, Breslin C, Calvert J, Cooke G, Côté P, Coutu MF, Dawe D, de Boer C, Dewa C, Durand MJ, Facey M, Gewurtz R, Grignon M, Hanes R, Heymann J, Holness L, Jennissen T, Koehoorn M, Laberge M, Latimer E, McLeod C, Montreuil S, Neis B, Noël A, O’Campo P, Ostry A, Premji S, Provencher Y, Rioux M, Saunders R, Scott-Marshall H, Shaw L, Small S, White M, Zeytinoglu I (37 Co-Investigators), Bernier J, Finkler E, Franche RL, Helfand N, Ison T, King A, Lippel K, Loisel P, MacAhonic P, Mendelson M, Stapleton J, Torjman S (12 Collaborators). (Total of 49 co-investigators and collaborators and 45 partner organizations). Income Security and Labour-Market Engagement: Envisioning the Future of Disability Policy in Canada. Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) Partnership Grant. $2,760,782 over 7 years (2013-2020).

Tompa E (Principal Investigator), Saunders R, Mustard C (Co-investigators). Impairment and work disability of workers' compensation claimants in Ontario, a cohort study of new claimants from 1998-2006. CIHR, Operating Grant, 2013-2015 for $204,685 over 2.5 years (2013-2015).

Demers P (Team Grant Lead) Assessment of the Human and Economic Burden of Workplace Cancer, Multisector team grants in prevention research, Canadian Cancer Society Research Institute (CCSRI). Demers P, Davies H, Kramer D, Tompa E (Principal Investigators). $1,000,0000 over 4 years. Estimation of Economic Burden, Tompa E (Project Lead), Hyatt D, McLeod C (Project Co-investigators). $256,635 over 3 years (2013-2015).

Smith PM (Principal Investigator), Breslin C, Lamontagne A, Saunders R, Tompa E (Co-Investigators). Developing a conceptual framework for understanding and measuring occupational health and safety vulnerability. CIHR Operating Grant. $173,796 over 2 years (2012-2014).

Tompa E (Co-Principal Investigator), MacEachen E. Challenges of workplace injury prevention through financial incentives in a global economy. CIHR, Dissemination events: June 15, 2012. $25,000 over 1 year (2012-2013).

Tompa E (Principal Investigator), Scott-Marshall HK, Ballantyne PJ, Saunders R, Hogg-Johnson S (Co-Investigators). Work Injury and Poverty: Investigating Prevalence across Programs and over Time. Workplace Safety & Insurance Board Research Advisory Council (WSIB-RAC). $88,160 over 2 years (2011-2013).


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