Quebecers challenged by occupational health and safety

Quebecers challenged by health and safety in the work


The health crisis and the labor shortage have made Quebecers switch to telework by opening their eyes to mental health and workplace safety issues, says a lawyer, who publishes a new edition of his best-selling book on these issues.

“People are much more concerned about health and safety at work”, summarizes Bernard Cliche, lawyer and co-author of Law on industrial accidents and occupational diseases: practical and legal aspectss, which has just been the subject of a ninth edition, at the end of August.

In the midst of a pandemic, the explosive question of the vaccine at work sparked lively debates opposing fundamental rights and collective rights, which ended up winning, underlines the lawyer, whose practical guide published by Éditions Yvon Blais serves as bible on the subject since its first edition in 1985.

“It's something because previously, in Canada especially, we had governments that relied heavily on individual rights,” he whispers. -il.

Practical guide

In the Journal, the expert insists: the typical buyer of his book is less a lawyer than a union representative or a person in human resources, who thirsts for enlightenment to see clearly in concrete cases.

With the reform of the Minister of Labor, Jean Boulet, Bernard Cliche felt the need to produce a new version of the work to clearly identify the major changes to the law, which have a real impact on workers.

In recent months, the omnipresence of telework has made it possible to bring to light the extent to which the new provisions of the law now go.

“In the context of teleworking, the employer must take measures to ensure that the employee does not suffer from domestic violence at home. It goes a long way”, illustrates Bernard Cliche.

In other words, a boss today must ensure that his employee is not at the center of a toxic carousel of violence. family.

“COVID-19 has tipped the balance a little more on the side of collective rights” -Bernard Cliche, lawyer and author< /em>

Unsurprisingly, the focus on psychological injuries is also central in an era where harassment is making headlines.

“We are broadening the notion of psychological injury to make proof easier,” explains Bernard Cliche.

Changes for the better

Gone are the days when the shocked workers had to pedal and bend over backwards to demonstrate that they had indeed suffered a trauma on the job.

“For example, a firefighter or a paramedic who finds a dead child in a car accident, it is tragic. With the reform, the law will make it easier to demonstrate that you have had a shock,” he continues.

According to the lawyer, mental health will be the challenge for the next few years, as much in compensation than in prevention.

As of next month, the law will give more teeth to the Commission for Standards, Equity, Health and Safety at Work (CNESST).< /p>

“What is new is the possibility for the CNESST to force employers to take additional steps to keep their workers with functional limitations”, he concludes.

Act respecting industrial accidents and occupational diseases: practical and legal aspects, Bernard Cliche, Claire Fournier, Karine Dubois and Carolane Pétrin, 9th edition, Montreal: Éditions Yvon Blais , 2022.

Got a scoop for us?

Do you have something to share with us about this story?

Do you have a scoop that our readers might be interested in?

Email us at or call us directly at 1 800-63SCOOP.