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

The challenges of green jobs in Quebec’s photovoltaic industry: sustainable development opportunities and emerging health and safety risks for workers


Photovoltaic systems convert solar energy (photons) into electric power. Because the technology is associated with energy production with a small ecological footprint, photovoltaic industry jobs are classified as “green” by the United Nations Environment Programme. The industry occupies a special place in the Québec energy landscape, and the favourable local environment suggests that it may experience significant growth in the future. Currently estimated at 2,000 to 2,500, the number of workers should increase in the coming years.
However, in many discussions and recommendations, national and international organizations have highlighted the need to analyze the level of safety and the potential health and safety risks for workers. These risks are related to the extraction or manufacturing procedures for the basic materials and to the installation, maintenance, recovery and recycling of the various photovoltaic system components.
The general objective of this study is to develop an overview of the industry in Québec and to determine the areas of concern from an occupational health and safety (OHS) standpoint by identifying the potential risks related to the chemical substances and manufacturing and operating processes involved. The project will also identify the priority OHS needs in this industry.

Additional Information

Type: Project
Number: 2011-0051
Status: Completed
Year of completion: 2014
Research Field: Special Projects
  • Joseph Zayed (Université de Montréal)