A first portrait of employment and workplace health and safety among 15-year-olds based on the Québec Longitudinal Study of Child Development (QLSCD)

Montréal, March 30, 2016 – The Institut de la statistique du Québec and the Institut de recherche Robert-Sauvé en santé et en sécurité du travail (IRSST) today made available to the public a fascicle and a report on youth employment during the school year. The results presented in these two publications are based on analyses of QLSCD data collected in 2013, when the teenagers were about 15 years of age and most of them were in Secondary 3.

These publications indicate that 41% of 15-year-old QLSCD participants worked during the school year—43% of them worked for an employer or the family business, and the rest had paid odd jobs. 8 out of 10 young people who worked reported having a job in order to increase their financial independence.

Regarding workplace health and safety, 68% of youth who worked for an employer or for the family business in the month prior to the survey were exposed to at least one ergonomic hazard such as making repetitive movements involving the hands or arms, working with their back bent or twisted, or handling heavy loads without help. Nearly 21% of those who had a job were injured or almost injured. Among 15-year-olds who worked during the school year, about 64% had already heard about workplace health and safety.

The data and comparative analyses did not show any differences between students who had a job and those who did not with respect to school involvement and perceived health status.

Following this initial portrait, the employment and workplace health and safety data collected through the QLSCD will be analyzed in relation to other aspects of young people’s lives documented in this study, such as sleep, academic achievement and student retention.

About the QLSCD

The QLSCD, carried out by the Institut de la statistique du Québec, is being conducted on a representative sample of children born in Québec in 1997-1998. The main objective of this study is to understand the trajectories which, in early childhood, lead to academic success or failure in the school system. Data collection was funded by the Ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux, the Ministère de la Famille, the Lucie and André Chagnon Foundation, the Institut de la statistique du Québec, the Centre hospitalier universitaire Sainte-Justine, the IRSST and the Ministère de l’Éducation et de l’Enseignement supérieur.

The fascicle and other publications based on the QLSCD are available under “Publications” on the website of the study.

The report is available on the website of the IRSST.


The Institut de la statistique du Québec produces, analyses and disseminates official, objective and quality statistical information on various aspects of Québec society. It is responsible for carrying out all statistical surveys of general interest. The relevance of its work makes it a strategic ally for decision makers and all those wishing to learn more about Québec.

The Institut de recherche Robert-Sauvé en santé et en sécurité du travail (IRSST) is the first OHS research centre in Canada. It conducts and funds research aimed at eliminating workplace health and safety hazards and supporting the rehabilitation of injured workers.


  • Élise Ledoux
    Chercheuse et responsable du champ de recherche Prévention durable en SST et environnement de travail
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    Institut de recherche Robert-Sauvé en santé et en sécurité du travail IRSST : http://www.irsst.qc.ca
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