Occupational health

4 January 2012

Exposure to Nonhuman Primates: Situation, Reference and Intervention Guide

In 2002, the Table de coordination nationale de maladies infectieuses tasked a multisectoral working group with the development of a professional practice and intervention guide for persons who work with nonhuman primates. In 2010, the Table asked the Institut national de santé publique du Québec (INSPQ) to publish the guide and make it available to the public.

This guide is intended primarily for public health professionals, clinicians, emergency physicians, veterinary physicians, and occupational health and safety physicians who work in the organizations concerned with the exposure to nonhuman primates (including physicians responsible for occupational health in the public system).

21 October 2011

Public Health Scientific Advisory on the Prevention of Farm Injuries in Québec: Synthesis Report

  • Agriculture continues to dominate the primary industrial sector in Québec, but this field of activity is changing and must adapt to new socioeconomic realities such as pressure from open markets, numerous technological changes, declining farm incomes, farmers' high debt load, an aging farm population, and a shortage of young and beginning farmers. Another issue is the growing use of outside workers and migrant workers in this sector, where union representation is virtually non-existent and only 40% of farms are covered by the Commission de la santé et de la sécurité du travail du Québec (CSST).
  • The farm is a place where people live as well as work. Therefore, among the issues to consider when developing agri-food policies, safety is of vital concern since it is likely to improve both living and working conditions in the sector.
  • In terms of the scope of injuries, agriculture is one of the economic sectors most at risk. In Canada, it ranks as the fourth most h…
20 September 2011

Québec Survey on Working and Employment Conditions and Occupational Health and Safety (EQCOTESST): Summary Report

In recent decades, the world of work has undergone a number of major transformations, which in turn have had considerable impact on both work organization and employment relationships. These changes have often been introduced for economic reasons in the context of increasingly globalized markets. However, it is becoming more and more apparent that they sometimes have negative impacts on workers’ health and safety. This survey was carried out as part of Québec’s Minister of Labour’s responsibility for conducting a study of changes in working conditions in Québec every five years, in collaboration with the organizations concerned, with the ultimate aim of influencing the future course of public policy (see section 11 of the Act respecting the ministère du Travail, R.S.Q., c. M-32.2). A better knowledge of working and employment conditions and how they relate to the health and safety of Québec workers is vital to providing strategic support for orienting occupational health and safety…

1 April 2011

Asbestos: Current Knowledge on the Exposure and Diseases of Workers and the General Population in Québec from 2003 to 2009

This document reports on the Québec data acquired since 2003 on asbestos exposure and asbestos-related diseases, both among workers and in the general population. However, the aim is not to update the knowledge on asbestos as such. This report also summarizes the status of the Québec surveillance system for asbestos exposures and asbestos-related diseases, which will be introduced by the Institut national de santé publique du Québec (INSPQ), as a result of the adoption of the Policy concerning the increased and safe use of chrysotile asbestos in Québec.

The most recent data (2004) on environmental exposure to asbestos in outdoor air identified no asbestos fibres in Montréal and in the city of Québec. However, in Thetford Mines, the average airborne asbestos concentration was 0.0043 fibre/ml (f/ml) by transmission electron microscopy (TEM). This concentration was 215 times higher than that obtained in the air outside buildings involved in litigation regarding the removal of a…

25 March 2011

Reference framework for screening and medical surveillance in occupational health: Summary

By its very nature, screening is characterised by administering a test to presymptomatic or early symptomatic individuals who may benefit from a more effective intervention if it is performed before the usual time of diagnosis.

Far from being a trivial intervention, screening can lead to significant consequences to the people screened. Therefore, before offering screening to workers, its effectiveness and the predominance of benefits over disadvantages must be demonstrated at the population level. Furthermore, screening should have the recommended characteristics in order that the expected benefits can be observed in practice.

Approaches using algorithms or flowcharts are generally meant to be sequential. Our approach had to be flexible and allow for compromises. The proposed approach involves three key decision-making nodes, which must generally be addressed in a sequential manner. Generally speaking, a satisfactory response to one of them is required before moving…

Comité d'experts sur le dépistage et la surveillance médicale en santé au travail
29 July 2010

Cancer risk assessment for workers exposed to nitrosamines in a warehouse of finished rubber products in the Eastern Townships (Québec, Canada)

This risk assessment was undertaken at the request of Dr. Louise Soulière, director of public health and evaluation at the Agence de la santé et des services sociaux de l'Estrie.

The objective of this work is to assess whether workers in a warehouse of finished rubber products in the Eastern Townships are at risk of contracting cancer because of the presence of nitrosamines in the workplace ambient air and, in the case of a non-zero risk, to suggest a threshold limit not to be exceeded in order to make the risk negligible.

The methodology used involves estimating workers' exposure to nitrosamines in the warehouse; assessing the carcinogenic potential for humans of the main nitrosamine molecules found in that environment; estimating the dose-cancer excess relationship based on epidemiological studies published so far and estimating the cancer risk associated with such exposure. This will allow suggesting an occupational exposure limit aimed at preventing the type of c…

11 February 2010

Effects of workplace noise exposure during pregnancy: Systematic review with meta-analysis and meta-regression - Abstract

To summarize the available scientific information on the effects of workplace noise exposure during pregnancy. The studied effects on pregnancy are: spontaneous abortion (SA), stillbirth (SB), congenital anomalies (CA), preterm delivery (PTD), low birth weight (LBW), small-forgestational- age (SGA) infant, pre-eclampsia (PE) and gestational hypertension (GHT). The effect of workplace noise during pregnancy on the child's hearing is also addressed.

First, two bibliographic searches, one in Medline and the other in Embase, were performed to identify the original epidemiological studies that evaluated the effects of workplace noise on pregnancy. Studies published in French or in English between 1970 and August 2008 were selected. The bibliographies of the articles and the personal files of the author completed the list of the articles for consultation. There was no systematic search for unpublished material. The pr…