TROIS-RIVIÈRES, QC, May 11, 2020 /CNW Telbec/ - On the occasion of a visit to the worksite of Construction Michel Gagnon Ltée in Trois-Rivières, the Minister of Labour, Employment and Social Solidarity and Minister responsible for the Mauricie region, Jean Boulet, and the Minister of Economy and Innovation and Minister responsible for the Lanaudière region, Pierre Fitzgibbon, highlighted the complete reopening of all construction sites and manufacturing companies in Québec.
Starting today, all construction sites are returning to activity, including residential, institutional, commercial, industrial along with civil engineering, public transit and roads and highways.
Beyond the construction industry, manufacturing companies across Québec can also resume operations, provided that no more than 50 workers are present, plus half of the remainder per shift. Such companies will be authorized to resume operations without restriction starting May 25.
Ministers Boulet and Fitzgibbon took advantage of their visit to encourage all workers and entrepreneurs to return to work. They also stressed the importance of respecting the health measures put in place to allow construction sites and manufacturing companies to resume activities in complete safety.
Note however that this decision, supported by Québec's public health authorities, is subject to change depending on how the situation evolves in Québec.
Minister Jean Boulet reiterated that companies must take every measure necessary to ensure a safe reopening. To that end, the Commission des normes, de l'équité, de la santé et de la sécurité du travail (CNESST) has prepared a kit to help employers and workers prevent the spread COVID-19 and ensure the health and safety of all. The kit is available on the website of the CNESST.
The 300 inspectors of the CNESST will be on the alert and will be present on worksites to ensure that people are following the health recommendations set out in the CNESST's Guide COVID-19 – Chantiers de Construction. They can intervene if there is a complaint, right of refusal or serious workplace accident, and can demand the correction of dangerous situations, enforce compliance with the Act respecting occupational health and safety and its regulations, and close a site where the rules are not respected.
"In every workplace the watchword will be: keep on protecting ourselves and each other. Our government has worked in close collaboration with public health, partners in the construction industry and the CNESST to ensure the health and safety of workers. I expect the return to work to take place in an orderly manner and with strict respect for the health measures prescribed by public health authorities."
Jean Boulet, Minister of Labour, Employment and Social Solidarity and Minister responsible for the Mauricie region
"Today, we are allowing the opening of all construction sites and all manufacturing companies, an important step in the reopening of our economy. Joining the opening of retail stores outside of Greater Montréal, this restart is essential to ensure that Québec returns to prosperity. We are convinced that this relaunch will be carried out with respect for the physical distancing guidelines issued by public health and CNESST protocols."
Pierre Fitzgibbon, Minister of Economy and Innovation and Minister responsible for the Lanaudière region
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