Are Changes Coming to Quebec Occupational Health System

The Quebec Employers Council (QEC) and the Fédération des chambres de commerce du Québec (FCCQ) recently presented the committee examining Quebecs occupational health and safety system with several recommendations to make the provinces system more efficient and less expensive.
The working group, chaired by Viateur Camiré, was established on behalf of the province's oh&s board, the Commission de la santé et de la sécurité du travail (CSST), in 2008. Its mandate is to hear submissions from stakeholders, with the goal of improving Quebecs oh&s system. (WCxKit)
The groups' proposal includes some 25 recommendations surrounding prevention, overpayment, return-to-work, medical assistance, preventive withdrawal and system management, according to a joint release.
Among their recommendations, they suggest that any employer with a work force greater than 50 should be obligated to create a joint health and safety committee, and that any employer with a work force greater than 20 be required to implement an oh&s action plan.
They also recommend that the CSST tighten its policies with regards to what they perceive as overpayment of injured workers.
The two groups suggest that for a disability greater than two weeks and as long as 180 days, a worker's income replacement indemnity should be based on an annual income loss history. Also, measures should be put in place to limit how much indemnity is paid when a worker goes into retirement, and for how long this should remain in place.
Surrounding return-to-work, both organizations argue that legislation should be amended to enable physicians to offer opinions on temporary or permanent limitations at each visit to better help the employer find suitable work for the worker.
In addition, a release from the CSN contends that the decreased claim rates are actually the result of underreporting by workers, which lowers the statistics considerably. (WCxKit)

Unsatisfied with the employers' recommendations, the CSN has made a number of its own demands, including 300 more CSST inspectors, more prudent financial management, better service for injured workers and "an insurance system more responsive to prevention and less on non-reporting of accidents and disputes."

Author Robert Elliott
, executive vice president, Amaxx Risks Solutions, Inc. has worked successfully for 20 years with many industries to reduce Workers Compensation costs, including airlines, healthcare, printing/publishing, pharmaceuticals, retail, hospitality and manufacturing. Contact: or 860-553-6604.

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