Starting on Monday, all construction sites are returning to activity throughout Quebec.
Residential, institutional, commercial, industrial, and civil engineering will resume, along with public transit and roads and highway work.
Manufacturing companies across the province can also resume operations, providing that “no more than 50 workers are present,” states Quebec’s Cabinet du ministre du Travail, de l’Emploi et de la Solidarité sociale. Companies with more than 50 employees on site will be authorized to resume operations without restriction starting May 25.
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Pierre Fitzgibbon, Quebec’s Minister of Economy and Innovation, and Jean Boulet, the Minister of Labour, visited a worksite in Trois-Rivières to encourage workers and entrepreneurs to return to work.
They stressed the importance of respecting the health measures put in place to ensure activities can resume in “complete safety.”
Boulet reiterated that companies must take “every measure necessary” to ensure a safe reopened environment. 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 of COVID-19 and ensure the health and safety of all employees.
Ce matin, les chantiers de construction & le manufacturier reprenaient le travail. La @CNESST a mis en place des outils pour assurer une reprise réussie. Merci aux partenaires d’assurer des environnements respectueux des consignes de la santé publique. pic.twitter.com/w4F5oMthrU
— Jean Boulet (@JeanBoulet10) May 11, 2020
The news release says 300 CNESST inspectors 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.
Inspectors can intervene if there is a complaint, workplace accident, and can demand the correction of what they deem “dangerous situations” at site where proper rules are not being followed.
“Today, we are allowing the opening of all construction sites and all manufacturing companies, an important step in the reopening of our economy,” says Fitzgibbon. “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.”
Administrative employees in the construction industry will continue to work from home until otherwise directed.
Provincial public health authorities also said they are subject to change course of the construction and manufacturing industries depending on “how the situation evolves in Quebec.”