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

Is there an association between summer temperatures, ozone levels and workers’ compensation in Quebec?


Heat waves are associated with higher mortality rates among both workers and the general population. In Québec, nine workers died of heatstroke between 1988 and 2003 and four more between 2005 and 2010.

The direct effects of heat in the workplace, as well as some indirect effects (fatigue, diminished alertness, etc.) are fairly well documented. Furthermore, high summer heat is often accompanied by high levels of irritating pollutants, particularly tropospheric (ground-level) ozone, which may affect respiratory health. Yet the relationship between occupational illness and injury and outdoor temperature has been studied very little. To explore this relationship and focus on Quebec data on the subject, scientists will study the effects of outdoor heat and levels of tropospheric ozone on the occurrence of occupational illness and injury. Based on CSST compensation records, they will specifically target occupational illness and injury directly and indirectly associated with hyperthermia and respiratory involvement resulting from the irritant effects of ground-level ozone.

The study will gather the first Quebec data on the link between occupational illness and injury, outdoor temperature and ground-level ozone levels, highlighting the nature of the illnesses and injuries, as well as the economic sectors and types of jobs most often concerned.

Additional Information

Type: Project
Number: 2011-0047
Status: Completed
Year of completion: 2015
Research Field: Special Projects
  • France Labrèche (IRSST)
  • Joseph Zayed (Université de Montréal)
  • Audrey Smargiassi (Université de Montréal)
  • Patrice Duguay (IRSST)
  • Marc-Antoine Busque (IRSST)