As a result of the amendments made under Québec’s Act to modernize the occupational health and safety regime, effective April 6, 2022, employers will have to adopt an interim plan on prevention and participation mechanisms.
Put in place to prepare workplaces for the eventual implementation of more fulsome prevention programs or action plans, as applicable, this requirement applies to all establishments that do not already have prevention and participation mechanisms in place, regardless of their field of activity. Broadening the scope of the health and safety obligation applicable to Québec workplaces considerably, the interim plan requirements will remain in force until the adoption of the Regulation respecting prevention mechanisms, which is expected to be no later than October 6, 2025.
The interim plan obligations differ depending on whether an establishment has more than 20 workers. The following workers must be counted for the purpose of determining the number of employees within the establishment for the purposes of the Act:
- full time employees
- part-time employees
- occasional employees
- employees from a placement agency or whose services are loaned or leased
- employees temporarily assigned to the establishment
- employees performing work on the road or in another workplace
- students and trainees
Representatives of the employer such as managers are excluded from the calculation.
Subject to the foregoing, an employer must take the following steps by April 6, 2022:
Establishments with 20 or more workers must:
- Record the identification and analysis of risks that may affect workers’ health and safety;
- Once identified, analyze the risks in order to prioritize them;
- Establish a health and safety committee, and
- 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 and their safety, and
- Designate a liaison officer.
Interim plan documentation must be available for consultation at all times by the members of the health and safety committee, the health and safety representative, and the designated liaison officer and must also be made available to workers upon request.