IRSST - Institut de recherche Robert-Sauvé en santé et en sécurité du travail

1977-1980: “An economy that continues to put machines before people is bound to fail.”
René Lévesque

In 1978, the Government of Québec launched a vast public consultation process with the publication of its white paper on occupational health and safety. This White Paper generated a true public debate within Québec society and set forth the government’s goals regarding occupational health and safety (OHS).

The creation of the IRSST in 1980 undoubtedly helped rectify the situation. Today, most of the OHS research activities in Québec are conducted or funded by the IRSST. Also, thanks to research mappings and links established with other research centres, we are cognizant of the problems targeted by other research centres around the globe. Regarding the applicability of the results obtained, the Institute invests great energy in transferring knowledge to ensure their usefulness in workplaces.

“It is very difficult to describe the current situation regarding research in the field of occupational health and safety. On the one hand, a number of research activities appear to exist that are directly, or more often indirectly, related to worker health and safety. On the other, the application of research results appears very random and inconsistent. Generally speaking, information is non-existent or incomplete.”

An excerpt from the Livre blanc sur la santé et la sécurité au travail, this statement depicts the state of OHS research at the time.

1977: Occupational health and safety – a priority

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1978: Québec policy on worker health and safety

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1979: An Act Respecting Occupational Health and Safety

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1980: Industrial hygiene laboratories

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