Modernization of the occupational health and safety system

Québec City, April 5, 2012 – MEDIAL has been a leading occupational health and safety partner with hundreds of Québec employers for nearly twenty years.  Two days ago, the Minister of Labour, Lise Thériault, released Bill 60, proposing significant and beneficial legislative changes in prevention.

 

Following the Camiré report, a certain management-union consensus had been obtained on certain aspects. The document entitled “La modernisation du régime de santé et sécurité du travail” (The modernization of the occupational health and safety system), produced by the Commission de la santé et de la sécurité du travail (CSST), then identified the proposed legislative amendments. Medial recognizes and salutes the prevention efforts. These efforts will further the occupational health and safety of Québec workers.

 

Prevention (Act respecting occupational health and safety)

According to the Government’s official press release, over 14,000 employers will be affected by this reform, thus involving over 2 million additional workers. Upon reading the bill, it must be deduced that the proposed modernization will involve a regulatory reform ensuring that these employers will have to adopt a prevention program and establish an occupational health and safety committee. According to the above-mentioned document on modernization of the occupational health and safety system, it must be deduced that a prevention program will be made mandatory for all Québec employers with an establishment of 20 or more workers and that a health and safety committee will be mandatory for all Québec employers with an establishment of 35 or more workers. It should also be noted that the employer henceforth will be responsible for deploying a health program for an establishment.

 

Act respecting industrial accidents and occupational diseases

In matters of compensation, domestics henceforth will be covered by the system, without specifying who will pay the contribution for this coverage. This implies that all Québec employers will be responsible. The introduction of complementary measures for reintegration of workers was also proposed. The direct involvement of the attending physician will necessarily present a major challenge. Medial supports the employer associations who recently responded to the bill, illustrating the unfairness mentioned in previous discussions. In particular, we should mention the overcompensation of some part-time employees and the difficulty of recovery of overpayments.

 

MEDIAL supports the Fédération des chambres des commerces du Québec and intends to present certain points through that organization at the Parliamentary Hearing that will be held soon.

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Marcel Curodeau
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