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

Preventive Practices in Food Processing Companies in the Context of the COVID-19 Pandemic


The COVID-19 pandemic is creating significant occupational health and safety (OHS) challenges for employers, who have an obligation to provide their workers with a safe environment (AOHS, section 51).

New recommendations regarding public and occupational health require companies to rethink their preventive practices in order to adequately protect workers from the SRAS-CoV2 virus without causing new physical, chemical, psychosocial or biomechanical constraints.

This research project aims to document the preventive practices adapted to the pandemic context implemented by food processing companies. More specifically, the team will document the preventive practices introduced in both the emergency and the recovery phases of the pandemic. The challenges encountered and success factors in terms of the organizational context (e.g., diversity of worker populations, work schedules, site layout, production organization, risk management system) will be taken into account to identify lessons learned and possible solutions for the post-crisis phase. Guiding principles for OHS management in the context of the pandemic will be presented.

This project stems from a call for research proposals focused on the development of short-term solutions or advancement of knowledge regarding OHS in a pandemic context.

To achieve these objectives, we are seeking the collaboration of 15 food processing companies. Individual remote interviews (by Zoom or telephone) will be conducted with four to six people from each company who have contributed to OHS transformations during the pandemic or experienced changes: managers (OHS, HR, production, quality), supervisors and workers. This study is being carried out in accordance with the IRSST’s ethical regulations.

  Volunteers needed for this study.

Additional Information

Type: Project
Number: 2020-0064
Status: Ongoing