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

Seasonal employment and occupational health: a review of the knowledge and the feasibility of an analytical method for monitoring musculoskeletal disorders


Seasonal activities play an important role in the economies of many countries. Commonly associated with natural resource exploitation activities, such as agriculture, forestry and fishing, seasonal work is also frequent in several other sectors, including tourism, food processing, teaching, and some public services.

It is well known that seasonal workers have demanding work schedules and alternate between “peak season” and “off-season” periods. However, there is sparse data on the effects of these types of working conditions on their health.

This preliminary study will be used as a springboard for a future project to establish and assess an adapted ergonomic intervention in the context of seasonal work and to encourage an improvement of work situations to prevent musculoskeletal disorders.

The researchers intend to determine the current state of knowledge about seasonal work and its characteristics in order to target priority activity sectors and problem areas, and to develop an analytical method to monitor specific musculoskeletal health indicators during the working season and the off-season.