Exploratory study on OSH problems in performing arts

The Canadian Institut Robert Sauvé has conducted a research project on OSH for
performing artists. The purpose of this exploratory study was to more
effectively delineate OHS issues in the performing arts. It was developed and
produced in collaboration with the members of a tripartite committeee, chaired
by the CSST, and stakeholders from cultural enterprises. The study reveals the
necessity of a systematic approach to OHS issues in this sector and presents a
series of recommendations for research and intervention.

The socioeconomic profile of artists demonstrates that some artists and
creators live in an economically precarious conditions and that some of them
lead a "double life" to have an adequate income. The data presented in this
document confirm that the culture sector is a non-traditional sector in terms
of the organization of work. This form of organization of work is
characterized, in particular, by an irregular work rhythm, alternating between
extremely active and intense periods and periods of forced inactivity. Thus,
intermittent projects and temporary work are the plight of numerous workers in
this sector.

The problem of workers in non-traditional situations is the focus of increased
attention on the part of governments, service agencies and researchers. It is
thus legitimate to consider whether the employment status of performing arts
workers also weakens their occupational health and safety. After closely
examining the methodology and the results of nearly a hundred studies published
since 1984 regarding the effects of precarious employment on health and safety
in the industrialized countries, they conclude that these effects are
increasingly numerous and evident. Of the 93 articles, monographs and book
chapters reviewed, 76 indicate that precarious employment is associated with a
deterioration in occupational health and safety, be it injury rate, risks of d
isease, exposure to risks or workers' or managers' knowledge of their
specific responsibilities for prevention or legal supervision.

Further Information - Source: European Agency for Safety and Health at Work