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An Act to modernize the occupational health and safety system in brief

Important

The CNESST reminds you that according to the Charter of the French Language, companies established in Québec must use French in their activities and communicate in this language with their workers and clients. We invite you to use the French versions of the communications available in this section.

Following the assent to the Loi modernisant le régime de santé et de sécurité du travail, you will find on this page a summary of the objectives, a description of the changes and a reminder of the former legislative provisions.

You may consult the Loi modernisant le régime de santé et de sécurité du travail on the website of the Assemblée nationale under the tab Assent at the bottom of the page.

Select one of the clients mainly targeted by new obligations

 
 

Effective October 6, 2021

Placement agency – prevention

Ensure the legal obligations of a placement agency under the Loi sur la santé et la sécurité du travail when entering into a contract or agreement with another party

A placement agency, or any other employer, that hires or loans the services of a worker cannot transfer or limit its legal obligations by contract or agreement to another party under the Loi sur la santé et la sécurité du travail.

Former provision

There was no specific section regarding employment agencies in the Loi sur la santé et la sécurité du travail. Both the employment agency and the client company must ensure that the obligations under the Act are met.

Clientele affected by this measure:
  • Employers
  • Workers
  • Partners
  • Other stakeholders

Committee on occupational lung diseases

Allow an analysis of a worker’s record by a committee on occupational lung diseases in certain circumstances

The Loi sur les accidents du travail et les maladies professionnelles (LATMP) contains specific provisions concerning an occupational lung disease that affects a worker.

If the person claims to have an occupational lung disease, the CNESST submits their record to a committee on occupational lung diseases, whose members are appointed by the Minister of Labour, Employment and Social Solidarity, for examination. A written report, including the diagnosis, is sent to the CNESST.

The committee may, however, only proceed with the analysis of the worker's record when it deems that a physical examination is not necessary and the worker consents, or when the worker is deceased. This may be the case, for example, if the worker is unable to attend the examination or if he or she has significant difficulty in getting there.

The LATMP provides that, in order to render their opinions or reports, the committee on occupational lung diseases and the special committee will obtain a copy of the record or the portion of the record that is relevant to the worker's employment injury. For example, the committee on occupational lung diseases and the special committee will have access to the worker's work history, which will allow them to render more complete opinions.

Former provision

The LATMP does not provide that a committee on occupational lung diseased can produce an opinion without examining a worker.

The LATMP provides that only x-rays of the worker's lungs are forwarded to the chairperson of the committee on occupational lung diseases. The LATMP does not provide that, in order to render opinions or reports, the committee on occupational lung diseases obtains the worker's record or other documents that are part of his or her medical record.

Clientele affected by this measure:
  • Employers
  • Workers
  • Partners
  • Other stakeholders

Scientific committee on occupational diseases – Règlement sur les maladies professionnelles

Create a committee that will provide the CNESST with independent scientific information to support its decision regarding occupational diseases

The scientific committee on occupational diseases reports to the ministère du Travail, de l’Emploi et de la Solidarité sociale. It is made up of 5 members from the medical and scientific community and appointed by the government.

This committee’s mandate is to make recommendations to the Minister of ministère du Travail, de l’Emploi et de la Solidarité sociale and to the CNESST:

  • by conducting scientific monitoring, identifying and analyzing research and studies on occupational diseases, including those produced by the Institut national de santé publique du Québec and the Institut de recherche Robert-Sauvé en santé et en sécurité du travail
  • by analyzing the causal relations between diseases and contaminants or the risks peculiar to a type of work
  • by producing written opinions on the identification of occupational diseases, on contaminants or on the peculiar risk factors related to occupational diseases and on the criteria for their determination

The committee may create subcommittees composed of experts and may consult any expert or public body or entrust it to carrying out work.

When developing its opinions and recommendations, it must take into account the specific realities of women and men

The committee's recommendations are sent to the Minister of ministère du Travail, de l’Emploi et de la Solidarité sociale and to the CNESST. The process is ongoing to allow for the eventual updating of the Règlement sur les maladies professionnelles.

Former provision

An advisory committee of the Board of directors makes recommendations on regulatory work related to occupational diseases.

Clientele affected by this measure:
  • Employers
  • Workers
  • Partners
  • Other stakeholders

Benefit guidelines for late claims

Entitlement to retroactive benefits resulting from an occupational disease

The Loi sur les accidents du travail et les maladies professionnelles provides for a framework for the amounts and the moment from which the worker is entitled to certain benefits.

This framework concerns in particular the entitlement to income replacement indemnity and health services when a claim for an occupational disease is submitted more than 3 years after the diagnosis.

In these situations, the entitlement to these benefits begins as of the filing of the claim, and not as of the date of the onset of the occupational disease or the worker's inability to perform his or her job.

Former provision

There were no rules governing the handling of late-filed claims.

Clientele affected by this measure:
  • Employers
  • Workers
  • Partners
  • Other stakeholders

Governance

Update the rules of governance of the CNESST

The positions of Chairman of the Board of Directors and Chief Executive Officer are separated to form the positions of President and Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board of directors of the CNESST (French only).

The individuals in these positions are appointed by the government.

The government consults with the most representative union and employers’ associations before appointing the Chairman of the Board of Directors.

Other measures modelled on the Loi sur la gouvernance des sociétés d’État are added, including the introduction of independence criteria for the chairman of the board of directors and the creation of governance and ethics, audit and human resources committees.

Former provision

A single individual holds the position of Chairman of the Board of Directors and Chief Executive Officer, appointed by the government after consultation with the most representative union and employers’ associations. The governance and ethics, audit and human resources committees of the board of directors are already in place, functional and enshrined in the internal regulations of the CNESST.

Important

The person who serves as Chairman of the Board of Directors and Chief Executive Officer shall become President and Chief Executive Officer for the remainder of his or her term. He or she also assumes the position of Chairman of the Board of Directors until the appointment of his or her successor.

Clientele affected by this measure:
  • Employers
  • Workers
  • Partners
  • Other stakeholders

Imputation of the cost of employment injuries

Requiring a final decision regarding the eligibility of an injury before granting a transfer of the charge

The Loi sur les accidents du travail et les maladies professionnelles requires that a final decision recognizing the eligibility of an injury be rendered before granting a transfer of the cost (French only) of benefits related to those employment injuries to all employers, in cases where an injury or illness has:

  • occurred solely because of the gross and willful negligence of a worker
  • occurred in connection with or as a result of a worker's care for an employment injury or failure to provide such care or as a result of a rehabilitation measure or individualized rehabilitation plan

The general principle of imputation is that the CNESST imputes the cost of benefits related to an employment injury to the employer with whom the injury occurs. These two situations are exceptions to this principle and entitle the employer to a transfer of the cost of benefits when the conditions of application are met.

Former provision

The former provisions did not specifically provide for the transfer of the cost of benefits for an employment injury that occurred solely because of the worker's gross and willful negligence.

The former provisions did not mention the requirement to obtain a final decision regarding the eligibility of an injury before granting a transfer.

Clientele affected by this measure:
  • Employers
  • Workers
  • Partners
  • Other stakeholders

Impute the cost of noise-induced hearing loss that is recognized as an occupational disease to one or more unit groups

The CNESST imputes the cost of benefits related to noise-induced hearing loss that is recognized as an occupational disease to one or more groups of units that the CNESST determines by regulation.

The imputation will be based on the nature of the work that most contributed to the worker's hearing loss. If it is impossible to determine the nature of the work that most contributed to the appearance of the hearing loss, all employers will be imputed.

Former provision

The law provided for imputing the cost of benefits to each of the employers with whom the worker performed work of a nature to cause the occupational disease, in proportion to the length of time worked for each employer and the extent of the danger presented by that work.

Clientele affected by this measure:
  • Employers
  • Workers
  • Partners
  • Other stakeholders

Hearing loss recognized as an occupational disease is no longer part of the exception for charging the cost of benefits for occupational injuries for which the worker can continue to work beyond the day on which the injury occurred

The general principle of imputation is that the CNESST charges the cost of benefits related to an employment injury to the employer where the injury occurs. An exception to this principle is the charging of the cost of benefits to all employers in the case of an employment injury that does not render the worker unable to perform his or her job beyond the day on which the injury occurred. However, this exception no longer applies to cases of hearing loss recognized as an occupational disease..

Former provision

The former provision covered all occupational injuries that do not render the worker unable to perform his or her job beyond the day on which the injury occurred, which included noise-induced hearing loss recognized as an occupational disease.

Clientele affected by this measure:
  • Employers
  • Workers
  • Partners
  • Other stakeholders

Certification program – prevention

Encourage employers to take charge of health and safety in the workplace through a certification program and financial incentive

The Loi sur la santé et la sécurité du travail gives new powers to the CNESST to encourage employers to take charge of occupational health and safety.

The CNESST will be able to develop a certification program to encourage employers to take charge of occupational health and safety.

The CNESST may also provide a financial incentive to employers to encourage them to implement measures to protect occupational health and safety and to implement prevention measures in their workplaces.

The terms and conditions of the certification program and the financial incentive will be defined by regulation.

Former provision

These powers did not previously exist in the Loi sur la santé et la sécurité du travail.

Clientele affected by this measure:
  • Employers
  • Workers
  • Partners
  • Other stakeholders

Building owner – prevention

Obligation of building owners with one or more occupying employers to protect the health and safety of workers

Where a building is used by one or more employer-occupants, the owner of the premises shall, in those parts not under the control of an employer, take such steps as are necessary to ensure the health and safety of persons working in the premises. Places that are not under the control of the occupying employer must be safe.

Former provision

The owner of a building was only required to comply with this obligation when at least 2 employers occupied the premises.

Clientele affected by this measure:
  • Employers
  • Workers
  • Partners
  • Other stakeholders

Regulation respecting occupational diseases

Update the list of occupational diseases, specify the specific conditions related to them and provide the criteria for eligibility of a claim for noise-induced hearing loss

The list of occupational diseases is updated according to the evolution of scientific knowledge. Its updating will be facilitated by the adoption of regulations that will make it possible to specify the specific conditions related to the diseases listed. The processing of claims for occupational diseases is also standardized by the presence of specific conditions.

For workers, the identification of specific conditions makes it easier to demonstrate the relationship between the exposure and the development of the occupational disease.

The Règlement sur les maladies professionnelles includes 8 sections regarding:

  1. diseases caused by chemical agents
  2. biological agents and infectious or parasitic diseases
  3. skin diseases
  4. diseases caused by physical agents
  5. respiratory system diseases
  6. musculoskeletal disorders
  7. mental disorders
  8. oncological diseases

The regulations also include some additions, including specific conditions for:

  • Parkinson's disease
  • certain cancers prevalent with firefighters
  • post-traumatic stress disorder

The CNESST will also be able to determine, by regulation, eligibility criteria for a claim for a disease whose diagnosis is a hearing impairment caused by noise. The regulations do not provide for anything in this regard at the time of assent.

Former provision

The list of occupational diseases is found in Schedule I of the Loi sur les accidents du travail et les maladies professionnelles, in force since 1985. It has 5 sections comprising of the type of work and the name of the disease, namely diseases caused by toxic products or substances, diseases caused by infectious agents, diseases caused by physical agents, skin diseases caused by agents other than infectious agents, and lung diseases caused by organic and inorganic dusts.

The CNESST also had policies on eligibility for certain types of cancers prevalent with firefighters.

Clientele affected by this measure:
  • Employers
  • Workers
  • Partners
  • Other stakeholders

Revalorization of fines

Increase fines for offences under the Loi sur les accidents du travail et les maladies professionnelles

The amount of fines is increased to discourage offences under the Loi sur les accidents du travail et les maladies professionnelles. Depending on the nature of the offence, these fines vary from $500 to $10,000 for individuals and from $1,000 to $20,000 for a legal person.

The minimum and maximum fine thresholds are doubled for the first offence and tripled the next time.

Former provision

Depending on the nature of the offence, the amount of the fine varies between $300 and $8,000 for individuals or a legal person.

Clientele affected by this measure:
  • Employers
  • Workers
  • Partners
  • Other stakeholders

Support for the analysis of cancer claims – Règlement sur les maladies professionnelles

Create committees on occupational oncology diseases

When a worker files a claim with the CNESST alleging that he or she has an occupational oncological disease, the CNESST submits the worker's record to a committee on occupational oncology diseases, whose members are appointed by the government, except in the following cases

  • the worker is presumed to be suffering from an occupational disease provided for in the Règlement sur les maladies professionnelles and his or her work experience corresponds to the specific conditions listed in connection with this disease
  • the worker is covered by the medical evaluation procedure applicable to occupational lung diseases

The committee has 40 days from the time of the CNESST’s request to examine the worker. However, the committee may proceed only by reviewing the worker's record when it determines that a physical examination is not necessary and the worker consents or when the worker is deceased.

The committee on occupational oncology diseases will report the diagnosis in writing within 20 days, as the case may be, of studying the record or examining the worker. If its diagnosis is positive, the committee shall report its findings with respect to the worker's functional limitations, percentage of physical impairment and tolerance to a contaminant or any other risk factor that caused the worker's illness or that may expose the worker to a recurrence, relapse or aggravation. The committee also gives its opinion on the link between the occupational disease and the specific characteristics or risks of the work performed by the worker.

The CNESST is then bound by the diagnosis, the functional limitations and the percentage of physical impairment stated by the committee on occupational oncological diseases for the analysis of the eligibility of the claim.

The CNESST covers the funding and expenses related to the activities of the committee, which must submit a report on those expenses.

Note

The committee may be formed by the government as of the date of assent. Provisions become fully effective 60 days after all members of an initial committee are appointed.

Former provision

For claims related to cancer other than lung related cancer, no specific medical assessment procedure was provided for in the law.

Clientele affected by this measure:
  • Employers
  • Workers
  • Partners
  • Other stakeholders

Trainees

Clarify trainee coverage

A trainee who carries out an unpaid observation period in a workplace, under the responsibility of an educational institution, is now covered by the CNESST and protected in the event of a work accident or occupational disease.

Former provision

The Loi sur les accidents du travail et les maladies professionnelles does not cover unpaid job shadowing.

Clientele affected by this measure:
  • Employers
  • Workers
  • Partners
  • Other stakeholders

The notions of trainee and employer are specified

The Loi sur la santé et la sécurité du travail confirms the status of employer of the educational institution towards the student who is doing an observation or work placement under its responsibility.

It also grants the status of worker to a student who performs, under the responsibility of an educational institution, an observation or work placement.

Former provision

Recognition of the status of worker of a student who completes an observation or work term under the responsibility of an educational institution is possible in the cases provided for by regulation. However, no regulation has been adopted.

Clientele affected by this measure:
  • Employers
  • Workers
  • Partners
  • Other stakeholders

Telework

Applying the Loi sur la santé et la sécurité du travail to the telework context

The telework (French only) location is considered a workplace under the Loi sur la santé et la sécurité du travail (LSST). As such, the Act applies to both the teleworking worker and the employer, subject to any incompatible provision.

Without the worker's consent, a CNESST inspector may not enter a teleworking location where the activity takes place in a dwelling house.

If a judge of the Cour du Québec, having jurisdiction in the locality where the house is located, is satisfied that there are reasonable grounds to believe that the worker or a person in or near such a place is exposed to a danger threatening his or her life, health, safety or physical or mental well-being, the judge may grant an order authorizing the CNESST inspector to enter the house without the worker's consent.

Clientele affected by this measure:
  • Employers
  • Workers
  • Partners
  • Other stakeholders

Digital transformation

Encourage the use of electronic service delivery

The CNESST has the regulatory authority to determine management fees for the employer's file. In particular, it may vary these fees according to the method of communication used in order to encourage the electronic delivery of services.

Former provision

All employers pay a flat fee for case management.

Clientele affected by this measure:
  • Employers
  • Workers
  • Partners
  • Other stakeholders

Promote electronic service delivery through the use of new technologies

The CNESST, in certain situations, can now require from its clients :

  • the medium (physical or digital) to collect information about them
  • the technology to transmit certain documents to it or to receive them from it

The CNESST must assist any person who requests it to help him or her use the required technology or medium.

Former provision

No technology or support required from clients to send documents to the CNESST or to receive them.

Clientele affected by this measure:
  • Employers
  • Workers
  • Partners
  • Other stakeholders

Provide alternative means for CNESST inspectors to transmit decisions on a worker's right to refuse to perform work

New technologies allow other means than registered mail to transmit decisions, with reasons and confirmed in writing, rendered by a CNESST inspector, following a worker's right to refuse to perform his or her work. These other means of transmission must allow the inspector to provide proof of delivery to the persons concerned. This amendment takes into account the Loi concernant le cadre juridique des technologies de l’information.

Former provision

The inspector determines as soon as possible whether or not there is a danger justifying the worker's refusal to perform his work. The decision is motivated and confirmed in writing and is sent to the persons concerned by registered mail.

Clientele affected by this measure:
  • Employers
  • Workers
  • Partners
  • Other stakeholders

Transmission of decisions by the CNESST

Make it possible to designate a person other than the employer to receive a decision

When a decision is made by the CNESST, it must be in writing, with reasons, and notified to the persons concerned as soon as possible. If this person is the employer, he may designate a person to receive the decision on his behalf. In this context, the decision is considered to be transmitted to the employer.

Former provision

Even if the employer appoints a representative to act on his behalf, section 354 of the Loi sur les accidents du travail et les maladies professionnelles specifies that the CNESST must still notify the employer.

Clientele affected by this measure:
  • Employers
  • Workers
  • Partners
  • Other stakeholders

Violence – prevention

Requiring employers to take the necessary measures in the workplace to counter physical or psychological violence

In the workplace, the employer must take the necessary measures to ensure the protection of a worker exposed to a situation of physical or psychological violence, including spousal, family or sexual violence. In the case of spousal or family violence, the employer is required to take these measures when it knows or ought reasonably to know that the worker is exposed to such violence.

Former provision

The Loi sur la santé et la sécurité du travail specifies that the employer must take the necessary measures to protect the health and ensure the safety and physical well-being of the worker. However, there is no specific mention of violence.

Clientele affected by this measure:
  • Employers
  • Workers
  • Partners
  • Other stakeholders

Effective January 1, 2022

Labour Standards Contribution

Subject more employers to the labour standards contribution

New employers are now required to pay the labour standards contribution, including

  • the public service
  • health care institutions
  • educational institutions
  • municipalities
  • public transit authorities
  • day care centres

This contribution is calculated annually by businesses and is paid to Revenu Québec using the Summary of Employer Deductions and Contributions form.

The rate of the labour standards contribution applicable for 2022 is 0.06% for all employers subject to the Act, compared to 0.07% previously.

To simplify the implementation of this new obligation, a gradation of the contribution rate is foreseen over 3 years for many of the newly subjected employers.

Their rate is 0.02% for the year 2022, 0.03% for the year 2023 and 0.05% for the year 2024. Starting in 2025, their contribution rate will be the same as for other employers.

If you have questions about the labour standards contribution, please contact Revenu Québec.

Former provision

New employers who are required to pay the labour standards assessment were previously exempt.

Clientele affected by this measure:
  • Employers
  • Workers
  • Partners
  • Other stakeholders

Effective April 6, 2022

Definition of an executive officer

Adjust the definition of executive officer to harmonize it with the definition in the various incorporation acts

The definition of executive officer is revised. An executive officer within the meaning of the Loi sur les accidents du travail et les maladies professionnelles is now a member of the board of directors of a legal person or a person who assumes such powers, if all powers have been withdrawn from the board of directors by a unanimous agreement of the members. Such a member of the board of directors or person must also exercise oversight and management functions of the legal person.

Former provision

The definition in the Loi sur les accidents du travail et les maladies professionnelles specifies that an executive officer is a member of the board of directors of a legal person who also performs the functions of president, vice-president, secretary or treasurer of that legal person.

Clientele affected by this measure:
  • Employers
  • Workers
  • Partners
  • Other stakeholders

Limitation period for compensation following the death of a worker

Imposing a limitation period on a beneficiary's entitlement to a death benefits

The right to a death benefit is prescribed by 7 years from the date of the worker's death. A beneficiary whose rights are time-barred may not file a claim.

Former provision

There was no limitation period for death benefits.

Clientele affected by this measure:
  • Employers
  • Workers
  • Partners
  • Other stakeholders

Framework regarding suppliers of goods and services

Ensure better quality control of suppliers of goods and services and establish an authorization regime.

The Loi sur les accidents du travail et les maladies professionnelles provides for a system of authorization for providers who wish to offer goods and services to a beneficiary. It also provides framework regarding the payments they may require or receive and for powers to verify the correct application of the Act by the providers.

A person or company wishing to be a supplier must obtain authorization from the CNESST before providing goods or services to a beneficiary. The person or company must apply for such an authorization by providing the required information and documentation. The CNESST will refuse to grant an authorization if a person or company does not meet the conditions set out in the regulations. The CNESST may suspend or revoke a supplier's authorization if the supplier does not comply with these conditions.

Former provision

The registration of suppliers of goods and services was not based on legal criteria. The CNESST therefore had no legal basis to grant, refuse, suspend or revoke the authorization of a delinquent supplier.

Important

A provider who has already obtained a provider number before the date that is 6 months after the date on which the Act is assented to is deemed to be a CNESST-authorized provider.

Clientele affected by this measure:
  • Employers
  • Workers
  • Partners
  • Other stakeholders

Interim plan - prevention

Put in place an interim solution for prevention and worker participation prior to the adoption of the Règlement sur les mécanismes de prévention

The prevention mechanisms for priority groups I, II and III establishments are maintained until the relevant provisions of the Loi modernisant le régime de santé et de sécurité du travail come into force. These provisions will come into force with the regulations on prevention and participation mechanisms for establishments.

Priority groups I and II establishments that do not have a health and safety committee and a prevention representative formed or designated in accordance with the Act, as well as priority group III establishments, must have in place the participation mechanisms provided for in the interim plan.

The other establishments must have in place the measures of the interim plan for:

  • prevention mechanisms: prevention program or action plan
  • mechanisms for worker participation: health and safety committee, safety representative or liaison officer

Note

The interim solution must be in place until the coming into force of the relevant provisions of the Loi modernisant le régime de santé et de sécurité du travail, which cannot be later than 4 years after the date of assent of this Act. The coming into force of the regulations on prevention and participation mechanisms for establishments will coincide with the coming into force of these provisions.

 

Interim plan on prevention and participation mechanisms

Establishments with 20 or more workers must :

  • record the identification and analysis of risks that may affect workers' health, including chemical, biological, physical, psychological, ergonomic and psychosocial risks related to work, as well as those that may affect their safety
  • establish a health and safety committee
  • designate at least one health and safety representative

Establishments with fewer than 20 workers must :

  • record the identification of risks that may affect workers' health, including chemical, biological, physical, psychological, ergonomic and psychosocial risks related to work, as well as those that may affect their safety
  • designate a liaison officer

For employers who have several establishments, if the activities are of the same nature, an approach that applies to some or all of these establishments may be used. The employer must carry out a risk identification and analysis which must take into account all the activities carried out in the establishments of the group. A health and safety committee and at least one health and safety representative for the whole of such covered establishments must be formed or designated in these circumstances.

Former provision

Prevention mechanisms were deployed for priority groups I, II and III. Participation mechanisms were deployed for priority groups I and II depending on the size of the institution. None of these mechanisms were deployed for the other institutions.

Clientele affected by this measure:
  • Employers
  • Workers
  • Partners
  • Other stakeholders

Domestic workers

Provide coverage for workers who perform domestic tasks

A domestic worker is covered by the Loi sur les accidents du travail et les maladies professionnelles (LATMP) in the case of an industrial accident or occupational disease when he or she performs work for the same individual for a minimum of:

  • 420 hours in a one-year period; or
  • 30 hours per week in a period of 7 consecutive weeks

And, has as a primary function one or more of these tasks:

  • perform housekeeping or maintenance work
  • providing care or custody of a person or animal
  • perform any other domestic duties in an individual's home
  • acting as a driver or bodyguard for an individual
  • performing any other work in the private sphere of an individual

A domestic worker who is excluded from the definition of worker under the LATMP can benefit from personal protection from the CNESST. The cost of this coverage will be borne by the domestic worker.

An individual who employs a domestic worker covered by the Act must register as an employer with the CNESST. An individual who employs a domestic worker who is not covered by the Act can protect him or her by purchasing optional coverage at his or her own expense.

Former provision

The domestic worker is specifically excluded from the definition of worker. They are not automatically covered by the CNESST.

Clientele affected by this measure:
  • Employers
  • Workers
  • Partners
  • Other stakeholders

Effective October 6, 2022

Temporary assignment of work

Ensure a better supervision of the temporary assignment of work process by the use of a single form by all involved actors

The employer of a worker who has suffered an employment injury must now use the CNESST form for a temporary assignment of work.

Temporary assignment is authorized if the treating health professional believes that :

  • the worker is reasonably able to perform the work
  • this work does not pose a danger to the worker's health, safety and physical and mental well-being due to his or her injury
  • the work is beneficial to his or her rehabilitation

The treating health care professional will indicate on the form the worker's temporary physical or mental functional limitations.

The attending health professional must give a favourable opinion to allow the employer to proceed with a temporary assignment.

The employer must send the form to the CNESST, whether or not the temporary assignment is authorized by the attending health professional.

Former provision

No specific forms are required by the Loi sur les accidents du travail et les maladies professionnelles (LATMP). In-house forms can be used to document the offer of a temporary assignment and the opinion of the treating health professional.

The employer may propose a single temporary assignment to be assessed by the treating health professional, who is not required to identify the temporary functional limitations.

Clientele affected by this measure:
  • Employers
  • Workers
  • Partners
  • Other stakeholders

Promote employer and worker adherence to temporary assignments of work

When an employer offers a worker a temporary assignment that involves fewer hours than the worker's regular job, the employer must indicate on the temporary assignment form the option they choose for the payment of wages. The employer must inform the CNESST before the temporary assignment begins.

The employer has 2 options:

  • They pay 100% of the wages and employment benefits that the worker would have received if he or she had continued to work.
    • The employer pays 100% of the wages and benefits of the job held by the worker at the time of the injury as if he or she were still working full time. It claims reimbursement from the CNESST for the net wages paid for hours paid but not worked, up to the amount of the income replacement indemnity to which the worker would have been entitled to without this assignment (within 90 days of the end of a pay period).
  • They pay the worker wages for the hours worked and the CNESST pays the worker an amount equal to the income replacement indemnity to make up the difference between the amount of income replacement indemnity to which the worker would be entitled, but for the assignment, and the net wages paid to the worker by the employer for that work.

The employer has 90 days from the end of a pay period to request reimbursement from the CNESST. The employer may ask the CNESST to change the option chosen for the same temporary assignment only once.

Former provision

The CNESST encourages the implementation of temporary assignment, but these practices are not provided for in the Loi sur les accidents du travail et les maladies professionnelles. Moreover, since the temporary assignment form is not mandatory, practices vary.

Clientele affected by this measure:
  • Employers
  • Workers
  • Partners
  • Other stakeholders

Bureau d’évaluation médicale

Revise the powers of the Bureau d'évaluation médicale regarding the consolidation of an employment injury

The CNESST must forward the contestation and the worker's complete medical record without delay to the Bureau d'évaluation médicale (BEM) (French only), whose members are appointed by the Minister of ministère du Travail, de l’Emploi et de la Solidarité sociale, so that a member of the BEM can make an assessment. The CNESST must also notify the Minister of ministère du Travail, de l’Emploi et de la Solidarité sociale of the subject matter of the contestation and the names and addresses of the health professionals concerned. This is to specify the former provision to ensure that the medical record is transmitted to the BEM at the same time as the contestation, which was not the case before.

When the member of the BEM expresses an opinion on the date of consolidation, he or she must also do so on the existence of functional limitations and on the percentage of permanent physical or mental impairment of the worker. However, he is not required to express his opinion on these matters if medical reasons prevent him from doing so. However, he must explain his reasons in his opinion.

When the BEM member is of the opinion that the injury no longer requires care or treatment, he or she may rule on the date of consolidation.

When a health professional acts as a member of the BEM, he or she may not be a member of :

  • A committee on occupational lung diseases
  • a special committee
  • a committee on occupational oncological diseases
  • a scientific committee

Note

The measure regarding the inability of a BEM member to serve on another committee is effective now. The other provisions regarding the BEM will be effective one year after the Act is assented to.

Former provision

The CNESST submits disputes without delay to the Bureau d'évaluation médicale by notifying the minister of the subject matter of the dispute and informing him or her of the names and addresses of the parties and health professionals involved. It shall promptly send the medical record to a member of the BEM when designated by the minister. The BEM member has the discretionary power to express his opinion on certain medical matters for which the treating health professional or the health professional designated by the employer or the CNESST has not previously given his opinion, if he or she deems it appropriate.

Clientele affected by this measure:
  • Employers
  • Workers
  • Partners
  • Other stakeholders

Duty to accommodate

Oversee the duty to accommodate by promoting the prompt and sustainable return to work of workers who have suffered an employment injury

This measure enhances the previous measures regarding the right to return to work in order to facilitate the reintegration of a worker into his or her employment, an equivalent employment or a suitable employment.

If no rehabilitation measure enables the worker to return to his or her employment or to an equivalent employment, the CNESST determines, in collaboration with the worker and the employer, whether a suitable employment is available with the latter. The CNESST then assesses whether the implementation of rehabilitation measures is necessary to enable the worker to hold an available suitable employment. If so, the CNESST implements, in collaboration with the employer and the worker, an appropriate vocational rehabilitation program.

The CNESST assesses, in collaboration with the employer and the worker, the need for reasonable accommodation to reintegrate the worker into the employer's workplace, such as adjusted tasks and modification of the work schedule or work organization. Only the CNESST can determine whether a reasonable accommodation is necessary to enable the worker to hold a suitable employment available with the employer. However, the employer can demonstrate that the accommodation would impose undue hardship.

If it deems it necessary, the CNESST may authorize a gradual return to work and the financial support that goes with it in order to facilitate the worker's reintegration into his or her employer's workplace.

The CNESST may order an employer who refuses to cooperate in the return-to-work process or to reintegrate the worker into his or her employment, an equivalent employment or a suitable employment that is available, despite a decision to that effect, to pay a monetary administrative penalty. The penalty is equivalent to the income replacement benefit to which the worker would have been entitled during the period the employer was in default. The amount of the penalty can be up to a maximum of one year's income replacement benefits. This amount is paid into the Occupational Health and Safety Fund.

Former provision

The duty to accommodate requires the employer to reintegrate the worker into the business, even after the right to return to work has expired.

The CNESST decides on the availability of suitable employment based on the information gathered from the parties.

The CNESST may determine suitable employment with required changes if the selected return to work solution requires:

  • a specific adjustment to make an employment suitable or available
  • that the requested changes meet the criteria of suitable employment
  • that the employer agrees to adapt the employment to reintegrate the worker into the organization

If the employer disagrees to make the necessary changes to the employment selected to reinstate the worker, the CNESST may still require the employer to accommodate the worker when these conditions are met:

  • the worker wishes to be accommodated and remain employed by the same organization
  • the accommodation proposed by the CNESST would make the employment suitable or available
  • the implementation of the proposed accommodation would not impose undue hardship on the employer

If the employer believes that the proposed accommodation is a major obstacle to its business, it must explain its reasons to the CNESST by providing supporting documentation.

The CNESST will analyze the relevance of the information provided by the employer.

Clientele affected by this measure:
  • Employers
  • Workers
  • Partners
  • Other stakeholders

Rehabilitation

Provide rehabilitation measures to the worker prior to the recovery or stabilization of the employment injury

When the claim is accepted, the CNESST may grant the worker rehabilitation measures adapted to his or her state of health to promote his or her return to work before the consolidation of the employment injury.

These measures must enable the worker to develop his or her ability to gradually return to work. Terms and conditions are provided for the payment of wages by the employer during this period. The CNESST must submit the measure to the treating health professional, unless it has no effect on the worker's state of health.

When the CNESST considers that the worker may be entitled to a personal rehabilitation plan, it may grant him rehabilitation measures before the consolidation of his employment injury for a purpose other than to promote his return to work. It must also submit these measures to the treating health professional, unless they have no effect on the worker's health.

A rehabilitation measure may continue after the worker's employment injury has healed or stabilized. In particular, the CNESST may use means to provide the worker with a home, a vehicle or recreational equipment adapted to his or her condition.

Former provision

The Loi sur les accidents du travail et les maladies professionnelles does not provide for any rehabilitation intervention before the recovery or stabilization of the employment injury. The CNESST may exercise its discretionary power to allow rehabilitation measures when the employer agrees with them. Otherwise, the CNESST must wait until the date of consolidation of the worker's employment injury.

Clientele affected by this measure:
  • Employers
  • Workers
  • Partners
  • Other stakeholders

Job search support and accompaniment

Provide job search support and accompaniment services to the worker

The CNESST provides job search support and accompaniment services to workers who are capable of performing a suitable employment when such employment is not available with their employer.

A worker who regains the ability to perform his or her employment after the time limit for exercising the right to return to work has expired and who is not reinstated with his or her employer because of undue hardship is also entitled to job search support and accompaniment services.

These workers are entitled to income replacement benefits for a period of up to one year of job search. During this period, they are required to participate in job search support and accompaniment services.

If they fail or refuse to participate, their income replacement indemnity may be reduced or suspended. CNESST services may also be suspended or terminated.

Former provision

The CNESST can offer job search support services. The worker is not required to participate.

Clientele affected by this measure:
  • Employers
  • Workers
  • Partners
  • Other stakeholders

Experienced worker

Continue, under certain conditions, the payment of income replacement benefits to workers who are at least 60 years old at the time of their employment injury

A worker who suffers an employment injury while at least 60 years of age is entitled to full income replacement benefits until age 65 when:

  • the worker is unable to work for his or her employer
  • the employer does not have suitable employment available

This benefit will then be reduced until age 68.

Former provision

For some workers who cannot return to their employer, compensation may continue until age 68 if:

Clientele affected by this measure:
  • Employers
  • Workers
  • Partners
  • Other stakeholders

Effective January 1, 2023

Job-site committee – Construction

Implement the provisions of the Loi sur la santé et la sécurité du travail regarding the job-site committee

As soon as work begins, a job-site committee shall be formed by the principal contractor where it is foreseen that activities on a construction site will simultaneously occupy 20 or more construction workers at any one time.

The job-site committee shall consist of:

  • a health and safety coordinator (for work sites with more than 100 workers or where the investment exceeds $12 million) or at least one representative of the principal contractor
  • a representative of each of the employers present
  • a health and safety representative
  • one representative from each representative association with at least one affiliated construction worker on site

The job-site committee shall oversee the application of the prevention program, receive complaints and follow-up on accident notices and inspection reports.

The health and safety coordinator or another member designated by the principal contractor shall coordinate the activities of the job-site committee.

Members of the job-site committee shall participate in training programs. They may take time off work, without loss of pay, for the time required to attend such programs. Registration, travel and accommodation expenses are covered by the CNESST.

Job-site committee meetings shall be held at least once every 2 weeks, unless the construction site has 100 or more workers, in which case the committee shall meet at least once a week.

Former provision

The Code de sécurité pour les travaux de construction provided :

  • that a job-site committee be formed when there are 25 or more workers on a site
  • that, when the site has more than 150 workers or the cost of the work exceeds $8 million, the safety officer becomes a member of the job-site committee
  • that no training is required for participants
Clientele affected by this measure:
  • Employers
  • Workers
  • Partners
  • Other stakeholders

Health and Safety Coordinator – Construction

Define the role of the health and safety coordinator

The principal contractor must designate one or more health and safety coordinators when activities on a site are expected to occupy at least 100 construction workers simultaneously or when the cost of work on the site exceeds $12 million.

The functions of the health and safety coordinator are, in particular:

  • to participate in the preparation and updating of the prevention program implemented on the construction site
  • with a view to the safety of the construction workers, to supervise the setting up and operation of mechanisms to coordinate the activities of employers who are on the construction site simultaneously
  • to inspect workplaces
  • to investigate incidents that have caused or could have caused a work accident
  • to accompany the CNESST inspector during inspection visits

The health and safety coordinator must participate in training programs. He may, without loss of pay, take time off as necessary to participate in these programs. Registration, travel and accommodation expenses are covered by the CNESST.

Former provision 

This function was previously known as a "construction site safety officer." A safety officer must be hired on a site where the cost of the work exceeds $8 million or which employs 150 or more workers at any time during the work.

The Code de sécurité pour les travaux de construction requires candidates to have experience before the training program and a certificate issued by the CNESST at the end of the training program.

Clientele affected by this measure:
  • Employers
  • Workers
  • Partners
  • Other stakeholders

Site-specific prevention program

Specify the specific elements of the prevention program on a construction site

Where it is foreseen that activities on a construction site will simultaneously occupy 10 or more construction workers at any one time, the principal contractor shall, prior to the commencement of the work, ensure that a prevention program is developed.

The objective of the prevention program for a construction site is to eliminate at the source the dangers to the health, safety and physical and mental well-being of the construction workers.

The prevention program must include:

  • the identification and analysis of risks that may affect workers' health, including chemical, biological, physical, ergonomic, psychosocial, work-related and safety risks
  • measures and priorities for action to eliminate and control identified risks through prioritization of prevention measures
  • supervision, evaluation, maintenance and follow-up measures to ensure that the risks identified are eliminated or controlled
  • identification of the individual protective means and equipment to meet the needs of the workers
  • occupational health and safety training and information programs
  • the establishment and updating of a list of dangerous substances used on the construction site and the contaminants that may be emitted
  • maintaining an adequate first aid service to respond to emergencies

The prevention program must be sent to the CNESST before the start of the work when it is foreseen that the activities on a construction site will simultaneously occupy at least 20 construction workers at any one time.

Clientele affected by this measure:
  • Employers
  • Workers
  • Partners
  • Other stakeholders

Health and Safety Representative - construction

Define the role of the construction health and safety representative

The health and safety representative contributes to the identification of situations that may be a source of danger for workers. 

He or she presents his or her observations to the principal contractor and the job-site committee. He/she participates in the inspection of workplaces and in the investigation of events that have caused or could have caused a work-related accident. He/she accompanies the CNESST inspector during inspection visits. He/she must also:

  • receive a copy of accident notices
  • identify situations that may be a source of danger for construction workers
  • make such recommendations as it considers appropriate, including those concerning work-related psychosocial risks, to the worksite committee or, failing that, to the construction workers or their representative association, the employer and the health and safety coordinator, or the principal contractor
  • assist construction workers in exercising their rights under the Loi sur la santé et la sécurité du travail and its regulations
  • intervene in cases where the worker exercises his right of refusal
  • file a complaint with the CNESST, if necessary

When the activities on a construction site simultaneously occupy between 10 and 99 workers at a particular stage of the work, a health and safety representative must be appointed as soon as work begins. The health and safety representative shall be chosen by the majority of the workers on the site or by the representative association with the most affiliated construction workers on the site. The minimum amount of time that the health and safety representative may spend per day on these duties is part-time and is determined by regulation.

The health and safety representative(s) shall perform this function on a full-time basis when the work site consists of 100 or more construction workers simultaneously or when the cost of the work site exceeds $12 million. They are then designated by all the representative associations. The minimum number of full-time health and safety representatives on a construction site is determined by regulation.

Former provision

This position was previously known as the prevention representative.

The appointment of a prevention representative is optional for the representative association.

Clientele affected by this measure:
  • Employers
  • Workers
  • Partners
  • Other stakeholders

Protective re-assignment for pregnant or breastfeeding workers

Provide for the establishment of protocols to ensure protective re-assignment of pregnant or breastfeeding workers in certain contexts

Protective re-assignment of pregnant or breastfeeding workers is subject to protocols developed and updated by the national public health director (NPHD). These protocols identify dangers and associated working conditions in the workplace. The NPHD may consult any expert or public agency in the development and updating of these protocols.

The Certificate for the preventive withdrawal and assignment of the pregnant or breastfeeding worker (French only), within the framework of the For a Safe Maternity Experience Program, is issued by the professional who provides pregnancy care or the professional who provides the postnatal care. He or she must evaluate, in accordance with protocols developed by the NPHD, whether the working conditions of the worker involve physical dangers to herself by reason of her pregnancy, her unborn child, or to the child she is breast-feeding.

If the dangers and associated working conditions are not identified by a protocol, the professional providing pregnancy or postnatal care shall consult with a physician in charge of occupational health or the public health director for the region in which the establishment is located, or his/her designee.

Former provision

The Certificate for preventive withdrawal and assignment of a pregnant or nursing worker (French only) may be issued by the physician in charge of health services in the establishment in which the worker is employed, by another physician or by a specialized nurse practitioner. In all cases, a physician in charge of health services in the establishment, the public health director of the region in which the establishment is situated or the person designated by the latter must be consulted to issue the certificate.

Clientele affected by this measure:
  • Employers
  • Workers
  • Partners
  • Other stakeholders

Effective April 6, 2023

Administrative remedies

Add a maximum processing time for an application for administrative review

The time limit for the contestation a decision made on an application for administrative review before the Tribunal administratif du travail is now 60 days from the date of notification.

Persons may contest before the Tribunal administratif du travail a decision for which they have applied for review. They may do so if the CNESST has not made a decision within 90 days of receiving the application. Where more time is requested by the person who applied for the review to present observations or produce documents, the 90-day period begins when the observations or documents are made.

Former provision

There is no time limit for the processing of an application for review by the CNESST.

The time limit for contesting a decision rendered by the CNESST following an application for administrative review is 45 days.

Clientele affected by this measure:
  • Employers
  • Workers
  • Partners
  • Other stakeholders

Harmonization of the provision allowing the CNESST to reconsider a decision to correct an error

The CNESST may reconsider a decision to correct any error within 90 days of that decision. It may not reconsider a decision to correct an error if a decision was made following an application for administrative review of that decision or if it was contested directly before the Tribunal administratif du travail in the following cases

  • a decision was rendered following an opinion given by the Bureau d'évaluation médicale
  • a decision was rendered following an opinion of the special committee, which analyzes occupational lung diseases
  • a decision was rendered following a report made by a committee on occupational oncological diseases
Former provision

The CNESST may reconsider a decision to correct any errors within 90 days if the decision has not been made following an application for review of the decision. CNESST decisions must be subject to an administrative review decision before they can be appealed to the Tribunal administratif du travail.

Clientele affected by this measure:
  • Employers
  • Workers
  • Partners
  • Other stakeholders

Allow a person to apply for a review of a CNESST decision or to contest it before the Tribunal administratif du travail

A person who disagrees with a CNESST decision may now, at his or her option:

This review or contestation can be made following :

  • a decision was rendered following an opinion given by the Bureau d'évaluation médicale
  • a decision was rendered following an opinion of the special committee, which analyzes occupational lung diseases
  • a decision was rendered following a report made by a committee on occupational oncological diseases
  • a financing decision
Former provision

The CNESST did not offer this option. The person could apply for an administrative review, and only when they received this decision could they contest it before the Tribunal administratif du travail if they disagree.

Clientele affected by this measure:
  • Employers
  • Workers
  • Partners
  • Other stakeholders

As of January 1, 2024

Mandatory training in construction – prevention

Require job-site committee members, the health and safety representative and the health and safety coordinator to obtain a certificate for training on construction sites

Job-site committee members, the health and safety representative and the health and safety coordinator must obtain a certificate for theoretical training.

The certificate is issued by the CNESST or by a body recognized by it.

Job-site committee

A member of a job-site committee must obtain a certificate for at least one hour of training.

A member of a job-site committee who already holds a health and safety coordinator training certificate or a health and safety representative training certificate is not required to complete this training.

Health and safety representative

The duration of the training for the health and safety representative is determined by the amount of time he devotes to his functions:

  • part time: 3 hours of training is required
  • full time: 40 hours of training is required

A worker who already holds, on December 31, 2022, a construction site safety officer certificate is not required to complete full-time health and safety representative training.

Health and safety coordinator

The health and safety coordinator must obtain a certificate for at least 240 hours of training.

A worker who already holds, on December 31, 2022, a construction site safety officer certificate is not required to complete this training.

The Regulation respecting prevention mechanisms specific to a construction site sets out the subjects that must be covered in the training completed by the job-site committee member, the health and safety representative and the health and safety coordinator.

Former provision

There was no provision on the obligation to participate in training, except for the safety officer, who must currently hold a certificate issued by the CNESST. With the coming into force of the Loi modernisant le régime de santé et de sécurité du travail, the safety officer is replaced by the health and safety coordinator.

Clientele affected by this measure:
  • Employers
  • Workers
  • Partners
  • Other stakeholders

Reimbursement of expenses for training programs – prevention

Allow reimbursement of training program costs for worker participation mechanisms

Within the framework of the training programs for worker participation mechanisms on construction sites, the CNESST assumes the registration, travel and accommodation expenses for the following persons

  • the health and safety coordinator
  • the health and safety representative
  • the members of the job-site committee

These persons are required to participate in training programs in accordance with the terms and conditions and the deadlines set out in the regulation.

Coming into force: by decree

As part of the training programs for establishment worker participation mechanisms, the CNESST covers the registration, travel and accommodation costs for the following persons

  • the liaison officer
  • the health and safety representative
  • health and safety committee members
Former provision

The establishment prevention representative could take time off work, without loss of pay, to participate in training programs. Registration, travel and accommodation expenses were covered by the CNESST, in accordance with the regulations. There was no provision for the construction prevention representative.

Clientele affected by this measure:
  • Employers
  • Workers
  • Partners
  • Other stakeholders

On a date or dates to be determined by the government

Financial assistance for occupational health and safety

Specify the conditions for granting occupational health and safety financial assistance

The CNESST may grant financial assistance to an association or a body for a project that is aimed at training or providing information on occupational health and safety. However, the project must take into account the priorities established by the CNESST. In addition, the association or body must not have received other funding for the same period.

A new grant program will be created for this section. The terms and conditions of this program will include eligibility criteria, eligible and ineligible activities and evaluation criteria.

Former provision

Section 167 of the Loi sur la santé et la sécurité du travail is not as specific on the conditions for receiving financial assistance in matters of occupational health and safety, particularly with regard to the CNESST's priorities and on not being able to receive other amounts over the same period.

Clientele affected by this measure:
  • Employers
  • Workers
  • Partners
  • Other stakeholders

Liaison officer - prevention

Designate a health and safety liaison officer in establishments with less than 20 workers

In establishments with fewer than 20 workers, a liaison is designated by:

The functions of this person are to:

  • cooperate with the employer to facilitate the communication of occupational health and safety information between the employer and the workers in the establishment
  • collaborate in the preparation and implementation of the prevention program or action plan by presenting recommendations in writing to the employer
  • make written recommendations on the identification of risks in the workplace
  • file a complaint with the CNESST, if necessary

The recommendations must be implemented by the employer within 30 days. Once this period has expired, the liaison officer may file a complaint against the employer with the CNESST.

The liaison officer is protected by the Loi sur la santé et la sécurité du travail. The employer may not dismiss, suspend, relocate, discriminate against or retaliate against the liaison officer or impose any other penalty on the liaison officer for performing his or her duties.

The liaison officer must participate in training, the content and duration of which are determined by the CNESST. He or she may take time off work for the time necessary to perform his or her duties and to participate in training determined by the CNESST.

Former provision

The liaison officer did not exist. A prevention representative was designated when an occupational health and safety committee was in place in the Priority groups I and II establishments.

Clientele affected by this measure:
  • Employers
  • Workers
  • Partners
  • Other stakeholders

Joint sector-based associations

Encourage the creation of joint sector-based associations in other sectors of activity

An agreement may be reached between one or more employers' associations and one or more union associations to create a joint sector-based occupational health and safety association (JSA) (French only). The JSA covers one or more sectors of activity to which these associations belong. However, a sector of activity cannot be covered by several JSAs.

If there is no agreement, one or more employers' representatives or one or more workers' representatives may enter into an agreement to cover one or more industries to which they belong.

The agreement must contain all the elements prescribed by regulation and come into force upon approval by the CNESST.

A JSA is administered by a board of directors composed equally of members from each of the sectors of activity it covers.

It may enter into an agreement with one or more JSAs to exchange training and services.

The JSA is required to develop a program of activities that respects the priorities communicated to it by the CNESST. It must also take into account the prevention objectives of the Loi sur la santé et la sécurité du travail and the specific needs of each of the sectors of activity it covers.

It submits its programming and budget planning approved by its Board of Directors, and the CNESST awards a grant. When a JSA defaults on its obligations, the CNESST may revoke the approval of the agreement or reduce the amount of the grant after giving the JSA three months' notice.

The JSA provides training, information, research and counselling services. This includes support for establishments to develop and implement prevention programs and action plans. It can also collaborate with the CNESST on working committees on subjects related to the prevention of employment injuries.

Former provision

Non-unionized workers cannot form a JSA. The JSAs are formed through an agreement between the employer and union associations in a given sector.

The JSA submits to the CNESST the programming of its activities as well as its budgetary planning approved by its Board of Directors.

Clientele affected by this measure:
  • Employers
  • Workers
  • Partners
  • Other stakeholders

Health and safety committee – prevention

Make health and safety committees mandatory in establishments that have at least 20 workers during the year

All establishments that have at least 20 workers during the year are required to form a health and safety committee (French only). When counting the number of workers, those whose services are lent or hired out to the employer must be included.

The CNESST may require the formation of a health and safety committee if it deems it necessary, regardless of the number of workers in the establishment.

The requirement to form a health and safety committee does not apply to an establishment with 20 or more workers for less than 21 days in a year. When the number of workers in an establishment falls below 20 in a year, the health and safety committee must be maintained until December 31 of the following year.

The terms and conditions of the health and safety committee shall be determined by agreement between:

  • the employer, the certified association and the workers not represented by a certified association of the establishment (number of workers present in the committee)
  • the members of the committee (operating rules, minimum time the health and safety representative can devote to his or her duties)

Until an agreement is reached on the minimum frequency of meetings, the committee meets every 3 months.

If there is no agreement on the number of worker representatives on the committee or on the rules of operation, the number and rules of operation are those established by regulation.

Members of the health and safety committee shall undergo mandatory training. The time limit for taking this training, the content and the duration are determined by regulation.

With regard to the committee's functions (French only), the committee may now consult or request the collaboration of an occupational health provider to make recommendations in the health component of the establishment's prevention program.

Former provision 

Only establishments with more than 20 workers associated with priority groups I and II are required to form a health and safety committee if one of the parties so requests.

The composition of the committee, the manner in which its members are appointed and its rules of operation are determined by regulation and not by agreement.

Clientele affected by this measure:
  • Employers
  • Workers
  • Partners
  • Other stakeholders

Mandatory training for establishments – prevention

Require health and safety committee members, the health and safety representative and the health and safety liaison officer to participate in a training program for establishments

Health and safety committee members, the health and safety liaison officer and the health and safety representative must participate in a training program in order to fulfil their role and functions in establishments.

However, the prevention representative is not required to participate in this training.

The content and duration of the training are determined by regulation for:

  • health and safety committee members
  • the health and safety representative

In the case of the health and safety liaison officer, the CNESST determines the content and duration of the training.

Health and safety committee members, the health and safety liaison officer and the health and safety representative may, without loss of pay, take time off as necessary to participate in these training programs.

Former provision

Training is not mandatory. However, the prevention representative may:

  • participate in training programs whose content and duration are approved by the CNESST
  • without loss of pay, take time off as necessary to participate in these training programs
  • be reimbursed for registration, travel and accommodation expenses by the CNESST
Clientele affected by this measure:
  • Employers
  • Workers
  • Partners
  • Other stakeholders

Dangerous substances and contaminants

Identify dangerous substances and contaminants in establishments for prevention purposes

The employer shall draw up and keep up to date a register of the dangerous substances and contaminants, identified by regulation, that are present in the employer's establishment. The content of the register, which may include a list of workers exposed to these contaminants or dangerous materials, and the manner in which the register is to be transmitted to the CNESST are determined by regulation.

The employer must communicate to the workers, the health and safety committee (French only), the certified association and the director of public health the list of dangerous substances used in the establishment and the contaminants that may be emitted there.

Former provision

The employer shall communicate to the workers, the health and safety committee, the certified association, the director of public health and the CNESST the list of dangerous substances and contaminants present in the establishment.

The employer shall establish and keep up to date a register of the characteristics of the work stations, in which the dangerous substances and contaminants present and the characteristics of the work performed by each worker in his or her job are identified.

This register shall be made available to the health and safety committee and the prevention representative.

Clientele affected by this measure:
  • Employers
  • Workers
  • Partners
  • Other stakeholders

Action plan

Make a prevention action plan mandatory in establishments with less than 20 workers

Establishments with less than 20 workers must develop and implement a prevention action plan specific to their establishment.

This action plan shares the same objectives as the prevention program for establishments with at least 20 workers.

This action plan must include:

  • the identification of risks that may affect the health of the establishment's workers, including chemical, biological, physical, ergonomic and psychosocial risks related to work, as well as those that may affect their safety
  • the measures and priorities for action to eliminate or, failing that, control the risks identified through the hierarchy of preventive measures and the timetables for achieving these measures and priorities
  • monitoring and maintenance measures to ensure that the identified risks are eliminated or controlled
  • identification of the individual protective means and equipment to meet the needs of workers
  • occupational health and safety training and information

If there is an occupational health program applicable to its establishment, the employer has the obligation to develop health elements in its action plan.

Former provision

No action plan is included in the prevention mechanisms.

Clientele affected by this measure:
  • Employers
  • Workers
  • Partners
  • Other stakeholders

Prevention program

Expand the prevention program to more establishments

An employer who has 20 or more workers in an establishment during the year is required to develop and implement a prevention program specific to that establishment.

Workers whose services are lent or hired out shall be considered for the purpose of determining the number of workers in the establishment.

If the number of workers in an establishment falls below 20 during the year, the employer must maintain the prevention program until December 31 of the following year.

A prevention program must be developed in an establishment with less than 20 workers in the cases and under the conditions provided for by regulation.

The prevention program contains 2 components: one on safety and the other on health. The employer must take into account the occupational health programs in the development of its prevention program. They will be developed by the CNESST, in collaboration with the Minister of ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux, and published on its website.

The prevention program must include:

  • the identification and analysis of risks that may affect workers' health, including chemical, biological, physical, ergonomic and psychosocial risks related to the work, and those related to the workers’ safety
  • measures and priorities for action to eliminate or, failing that, control the risks identified by prioritizing preventive measures
  • the monitoring, evaluation, maintenance and follow-up measures to ensure that the risks identified are eliminated or controlled
  • identification of individual protective means and equipment, which comply with regulations and are best suited to meet the needs of the workers
  • pre-employment and in-service health examinations required by regulation
  • occupational health and safety training and information programs
  • the establishment and maintenance of a list of dangerous substances used in the establishment and contaminants that may be emitted from the establishment
  • the maintenance of an adequate first aid service to respond to emergencies

Employers with multiple locations where activities of the same nature are conducted may develop and implement a prevention program for some or all of their locations. 

Former provision

Employers who belong to priority groups I, II or III must implement a prevention program. When the establishment has more than 20 workers, the employer must transmit the prevention program to the CNESST.

The physician in charge must develop a health program specific to the establishment, then send it to the CNESST and the director of public health.

Work-related psychosocial risks are not formally mentioned in the prevention program.

Clientele affected by this measure:
  • Employers
  • Workers
  • Partners
  • Other stakeholders

Prevention program for multiple establishments

Allow the establishment of a single prevention program for an employer with several establishments where activities of the same nature are carried out

An employer who has several establishments where activities of the same nature are carried out may develop and implement a single prevention program for some or all of its establishments.

To determine whether the activities are of the same nature, the performance of comparable duties by the workers and the conditions under which they are performed shall be taken into consideration. The employer shall take into account the application guide on this subject developed by the CNESST and published on its website.

In this context, the prevention program:

  • must apply for at least 3 years
  • must take into account all the activities carried out in these establishments
  • must also include establishments with fewer than 20 workers

Where a multi-establishment prevention program is established, the employer must establish a health and safety committee (French only) for all sites covered by the prevention program (multi-establishment health and safety committee). Agreement may be reached to establish additional health and safety committees. At least one multi-establishment health and safety representative shall be designated for these establishments. The number of representatives and the manner of their designation shall be determined by agreement between the employer and the workers of each of these establishments.

To protect the health or ensure the safety and physical or mental well-being of workers, the CNESST may require the development and implementation of a prevention program specific to each establishment it designates.

If the establishments have activities of a different nature, the employer must develop and implement a specific prevention program for each of these establishments.

Clientele affected by this measure:
  • Employers
  • Workers
  • Partners
  • Other stakeholders

Health and safety representative - prevention

Define the role of the health and safety representative

Once a health and safety committee (French only) is formed in an establishment, a health and safety representative must be designated by the workers. The health and safety representative is, by virtue of office, a member of the health and safety committee.

In certain cases and under the conditions provided for by regulation, a health and safety representative must be appointed in an establishment with fewer than 20 workers.

If the CNESST deems it necessary to protect the health or ensure the safety and physical or mental well-being of workers, it may require that a health and safety representative be appointed in an establishment where there is no health and safety committee.

If the CNESST deems it necessary to protect the health or ensure the safety and physical or mental well-being of workers, it may require that a health and safety representative be appointed in an establishment where there is no health and safety committee.

The function of this representative is to: 

  • inspect workplaces
  • receive notices of accidents and investigate incidents that have or may have caused an accident and informing the health and safety committee, where one exists, of the results of any investigation conducted
  • identify situations that may be a source of danger to workers
  • make any recommendations he or she considers appropriate, including those concerning work-related psychosocial risks, to the health and safety committee or, failing that, to the workers or their certified association and to the employer
  • accompany the CNESST inspector during his or her visits
  • file complaints with the CNESST
  • assist workers in exercising their rights under the Act and regulations
  • intervene in cases where the worker exercises his or her right of refusal
  • collaborate in the development and implementation of the employer's prevention program or action plan by writing recommendations to the employer
  • participate in the identification and analysis of risks that may affect the health and safety of workers in the establishment and in the identification of dangerous substances and contaminants present in the workplace, and to communicate to the health and safety committee, where it exists, the elements resulting from the identification and analysis in which he or she has participated
Former provision

This function was previously called prevention representative. Only establishments with more than 20 workers associated with priority groups I and II are required to have a prevention representative when a health and safety committee is formed.

In the absence of a committee, a representative may be appointed by the certified association or the workers.

The functions of the health and safety committee and the representative are duplicated, particularly with respect to the identification of risks and investigations following occupational accidents.

Minimum requirements for the performance of the duties of the prevention representative are prescribed by regulation.

Clientele affected by this measure:
  • Employers
  • Workers
  • Partners
  • Other stakeholders

Réseau de santé publique en santé au travail

Clarify the relationship between the CNESST and the Réseau de santé publique en santé au travail and the objectives of the occupational health programs

In collaboration with the Minister of ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux, the CNESST :

  • develops occupational health programs
  • determines the occupational health priorities and the territories or establishments, or categories of establishments, to which the occupational health programs apply
  • prepares specifications for the integrated health and social services centers that specify the expectations and requirements for occupational health, including the implementation of occupational health programs

The CNESST and the Minister of ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux enter into a management and accountability framework agreement setting out the minimum content of the contracts to be entered into between the CNESST and the CISSS, as well as the rules applicable to the management of the contracts and to the reporting that must be carried out.

Based on the specifications, the CISSS develop a service offer and the CNESST enters into a contract with each of them, under which the center undertakes to provide the necessary services, particularly those for the implementation of occupational health programs. This contract is filed by each CISSS with the Minister of ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux.

The objectives of the occupational health programs include:.

  • to allow the identification of risks that may alter the health of workers and the possible impacts on them
  • propose methods and techniques to identify, control or eliminate these risks
  • specify the services offered by occupational health providers and the director of public health to support employers in developing the health elements of their prevention program or action plan

Occupational health programs are published on the CNESST website.

Former provision

The CNESST develops occupational health programs and a standard contract that must be submitted to the Minister of ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux for agreement. These come into effect upon government approval.

This agreement is the basis for the contract signed with each of the designated integrated centers and the CNESST, under which the center undertakes to provide the services necessary for the implementation of occupational health programs within its territory.

Clientele affected by this measure:
  • Employers
  • Workers
  • Partners
  • Other stakeholders

Supporting occupational health providers

The physician in charge of occupational health or any other occupational health provider shall :

  • collaborate, at the request of the Minister of ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux, in the development of occupational health programs
  • collaborate, at the request of an employer or, when the CNESST or a director of public health deems it appropriate to protect the health of workers, in the development and implementation of the health elements of the prevention program or action plan
  • carry out the activities provided for in the specifications and the service offer
  • respond to requests for support from workplaces
  • report the presence of a health, safety or sanitary danger that may require a preventive measure and informs, in compliance with confidentiality obligations, the CNESST, the employer, the workers concerned, the certified association, the health and safety committee and the director of public health

Employers in all sectors can benefit from the resources of the Réseau de santé publique en santé au travail.

Former provision

The physician in charge of health services in the establishment :

  • develops the Specific Health Program for an Establishment (SHPE)
  • presents the SHPE to the employer and the health and safety committee
  • oversees the implementation of the SHPE
  • sends a copy of the SHPE to the CNESST and the director of public health

CISSS occupational health staff, under the direction of the director of public health :

  • responds to requests for support from workplaces
  • carries out the activities set out in the specifications
  • collaborate in the implementation of the SHPEs

The Réseau de santé publique en santé au travail resources are available to priority groups I, II and III only.

Clientele affected by this measure:
  • Employers
  • Workers
  • Partners
  • Other stakeholders

Psychosocial risks

Make sure to include work-related psychosocial risks in the prevention process

Employers must now ensure that work-related psychosocial risks that may have an impact on workers' health are included in their prevention program or action plan.

This approach is part of the prevention mechanisms that are the prevention program and the prevention action plan. The health and safety representative must also make recommendations related to this type of risk.

Former provision

It was not specified that work-related psychosocial risks should be included in the prevention program or in the duties of the prevention representative.

Clientele affected by this measure:
  • Employers
  • Workers
  • Partners
  • Other stakeholders

Health services

Replace the concept of medical assistance with that of health services

The notion of medical assistance is replaced by that of health services.

The worker is entitled to the health services required by his or her condition, regardless of whether or not his or her employment injury is consolidated. These services include:

The worker may choose the health professional of his or her choice to follow up on the employment injury. The services reimbursed by the CNESST are those covered by the Régie de l’assurance maladie du Québec and those provided in a public institution. If the worker uses the services of a non-participating health professional within the meaning of the Loi sur l’assurance maladie, he or she must pay him or her directly for the cost of the professional services received in connection with the employment injury.

Former provision

Medical assistance consists of the following:

  • the services of health professionals
  • the care or treatment provided by an institution governed by the Loi sur les services de santé et les services sociaux or the Loi sur les services de santé et les services sociaux pour les autochtones cris
  • medicines and other pharmaceutical products
  • prostheses and ortheses within the meaning of the Loi sur les laboratoires médicaux et sur la conservation des organes et des tissus, prescribed by a health professional and provided by a supplier approved by the Régie de l'assurance maladie du Québec or, if the supplier is not established in Québec, recognized by the CNESST
  • any care, treatment, technical aid and cost not referred to in paragraphs 1 to 4 that the CNESST determines by regulation, which may provide for the cases, conditions and financial limits of the payments that may be made and the prior authorizations to which such payments may be subject.
Clientele affected by this measure:
  • Employers
  • Workers
  • Partners
  • Other stakeholders

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