Construction
Call for vigilance on construction sites
Article published on 7 August 2020
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Several projects resumed this week after the construction holidays and the Commission des normes, de l’équité, dela santé et de la sécurité du travail (CNESST) reiterated the importance of taking the necessary measures to prevent accidents at work.

Employers and workers alike must take into account the recurring dangers associated with construction sites, such as for example, falls from heights or work carried out on an electrical installation.

The communications manager for the CNESST - Prevention-inspection department - North and West, Isabelle Raymond, gave more details on this subject.

In the Outaouais, 135 falls from heights were observed in the construction industry in the past year, while there were more than 700 in Quebec during the same period.

Evaluate the risks of a heatwave episode
The CNESST also recalls to be particularly careful on hot days, such as those experienced in recent weeks. To avoid heat stroke, workers need to apply prevention regarding heat work.

The full French interview with Isabelle Raymond on prevention advice in the construction industry is available here.

How to prevent thermal stress caused by heat?
The employer must implement preventive measures, including the following:
• postpone physically demanding tasks that are not essential;
• inform all workers and supervisors - current, new, temporary and students - about the risks, prevention methods, signs, symptoms, and first aid;
• supervise workers adequately;
• ensure that at-risk workers take a fixed-length break every hour and increase the length of breaks as the heat increases;
• ensure that workers take their breaks in air-conditioned or shaded areas;
• provide workers with sufficient fresh water, ensure that they have access to it and that they drink it [plan at least one glass of water every 20 minutes or more, according to the recommendations of the “Corrected air temperature” utility (TAC)];
• adjust the work rate according to the temperature.

For more information, visit the CNESST website at cnesst.gouv.qc.ca/chaleur.

Prevention measures for construction workers during COVID-19
This year in particular, in addition to the recurring dangers, companies must be extra vigilant due to COVID-19. It is important that all employers and their workers cooperate and adhere to current health guidelines. A COVID-19 toolkit has been put in place to refer construction workers to this effect. This guide is accompanied by a daily checklist, an appendix presenting recommendations for transporting workers in groups and a poster presenting preventive measures for the health of workers in the construction sector. Click here to learn more

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