Occupational health

27 October 2020

COVID-19: Temporary foreign workers in Preventive Isolation (Quarantine)

This information sheet replaces publication 2962:
Reception of Temporary Foreign Workers to Support Agri-Food Activities

These measures apply when community transmission is confirmed by public health authorities. Based on current knowledge, it is known that COVID-19 can be transmitted by presymptomatic, symptomatic, and asymptomatic carriers of the disease. Preventive measures are therefore recommended at all times.

The prevention measures recommended by the government for the general population and the basic recommendations for all workplaces (in French only) apply, unless more restrictive measures are specified. These recommendations are based on the hierarchy of COVID-19 control measures (updated in French only).

Special attention must be giv…

Groupe de travail SAT-COVID-19
27 October 2020

Temporary Foreign Workers Exempt From Federal Quarantine

The Canadian Quarantine Act provides exemptions from quarantine upon arrival in Canada for temporary foreign workers who are deemed by the Chief Public Health Officer of Canada to provide an essential service. It is the responsibility of the host company to verify that the temporary foreign workers it employs meet the exemption criteria. Workers may only be exempt from quarantine if they have no symptoms upon arrival. Despite this exemption, companies and the ETFWs they bring in as employees, subcontractors, or clients must still comply with provincial health measures. Although ETFWs are exempt from federal quarantine, they must still minimize their contact with others for their safety and the safety of their coworkers.

  • ​Since they are not placed in preventive isolation, unknowingly infected ETFWs could transmit SARS-CoV-2 to anyone they come into contact with. To prevent this, ETFWs must avoid all social contact during the first 14 days of each stay in…
Groupe de travail SAT-COVID-19
25 June 2020

Recommendations Concerning the reduction of Psychosocial Risk Factors at work in the context of a Pandemic - COVID-19

Preventative Measures for Employers

Psychosocial risk in the workplace are defined as factors related to work organization, management practices, working conditions and social relationships which increase the likelihood of adverse effects on the physical and psychological health of workers exposed (INSPQ, 2016)1.

The main PSRs recognized in the scientific literature are​:

A. Workload;

B. Social support from the superior and colleagues;

C. Decision-making autonomy;

D. Recognition.

In the context of a pandemic that significantly affects the usual working conditions, many of these risks may be exacerbated. It is therefore recommended to: 1) Be attentive to the presence of these risk factors and then 2) implement as soon as possible preventive actions that can mitigate their impa…

Groupe de travail SAT-COVID-19
13 April 2020

COVID-19: Conditions Necessary for the Maintenance of Essential Services and the Gradual Opening of Other Workplaces

COVID-19 Preventive Measures in the Workplace

These measures apply in the context of sustained community transmission.

Any resumption of non-essential services must be carried out in such a way as to control the transmission of COVID-19. In fact, it is of paramount importance to avoid an important increase in the number of people infected, hospitalized or in intensive care, and of deaths.

A number of conditions must be respected to ensure the control of COVID-19 in Québec. Failure to respect these conditions could lead to a significant increase in the number of cases and thus potentially to reconsideration of the strategy for reopening workplaces (number and type of workplaces, required distancing and protection measures) in order to restore balance and limit the impact of COVID-19 on the healthcare system. This strategy may vary from region to region depending on regional epidemiology.

These conditions are:

Groupe de travail SAT-COVID-19
27 March 2020

COVID-19: Interim Recommendations on Preventive Workplace Measures for Pregnant and Nursing Workers in Community transmission context

The recommendations presented in this document are to be implemented when the Québec national public health director declares that there has been sustained community transmission of COVID-19 in the Québec population. Community transmission may be declared locally, regionally or province-wide.

In the current context, the underlying premises for these recommendations are those issued by the public health authorities for the entire Québec population, who are required to postpone non-urgent appointments, remain at home except for essential trips (groceries, pharmacy, urgent healthcare), observe social distancing, and follow the established procedures when they present symptoms.

Since there is no effective vaccine or specific treatment for COVID-19 at the time of drafting of these recommendations, public health measures remain the best available tools to mitigate the incidence of the disease. The implementation of the “Pour une maternité sans danger” program is one such w…

12 February 2020

Negative Psychosocial Effects of Heat Waves, Flooding, Forest Fires, and Storms on Québec Workers

In the implementation of Québec’s 2013-2020 Climate Change Action Plan, the ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux mandated the Institut national de santé publique du Québec with conducting an exploratory study on the psychosocial effects experienced by workers as the result of four extreme weather events, the frequency of which will be exacerbated by climate change: heat waves, flooding, storms, and forest fires.

It aims to briefly examine the literature and knowledge of various key actors in order to propose more significant next steps for research projects that respond to Québec’s workplace and public health needs and issues.

This study has shown:

  • The extreme weather events studied can have psychosocial effects on workers, but the knowledge of these effects varies greatly by event.
  • The psychosocial effects on workers have been the most thoroughly documented in the scientific literature for storms, less well documented for floods and f…
14 January 2016

Impact of the Overall Workload on Pregnancy: Summary

  • The overall workload is evaluated by means of the cumulative set of occupational conditions, the level of physical activity and the level of energy expenditure.
  • Exposure to an increased number of occupational conditions is linked to increased preterm deliveries and, to a lesser extent, to increased small-for-gestational-age births.
  • Increases in the incidence of low-birthweight and high blood pressure during pregnancy are suspected in the presence of two or three occupational conditions. 
  • Excessive preterm deliveries and low-birthweights are suspected during exposure to high and moderate levels of physical activity, respectively.
  • Different effects of energy expenditure are suspected, i.e., lower birthweight, an increase in spontaneous abortions and a higher incidence of high blood pressure during pregnancy in the presence of a high level of activity, and increased small-for-gestational-age births in the case of moderate and high levels of…
14 May 2014

Working Conditions that Contribute to Work-Related Musculoskeletal disorders: Highlights of the Québec Survey on Working and Employment Conditions and Occupational Health and Safety

What are the causes of work-related musculoskeletal disorders (WMSDs)? Numerous scientific studies have highlighted the important contribution of working conditions to the development of WMSDs, in particular physical work demands such as forceful exertion, repetitive movements and awkward body postures. The Québec Survey on Working and Employment Conditions and Occupational Health and Safety (QSWECOHS) sheds new light on the working conditions that contribute to WMSDs.

Organisational work demands, such as work intensity, work pace, lack of decision latitude and lack of support from co-workers or supervisors, also contribute to these common health problems.

The Québec Survey on Working and Employment Conditions and Occupational Health and Safety (QSWECOHS) sheds new light on the working conditions that contribute to WMSDs.

14 May 2014

How Widespread are Work-related Musculoskeletal Disorders?: Highlights of the Québec Survey on Working and Employment Conditions and Occupational Health and Safety

A painful back, shoulder or wrist can make life difficult. Work-related musculoskeletal disorders (WMSDs) occur frequently in the workplace and affect many Québec workers.

The Québec Survey on Working and Employment Conditions and Occupational Health and Safety (QSWECOHS) sheds new light on WMSDs. (See the sidebar entitled Data Source on the reverse side of this document.) In 2007, for example, nearly 732,000 Québec workers, or one in five, experienced at least one WMSD in the 12 months prior to the survey.

The survey also found that female workers were more likely to be affected by WMSDs than their male counterparts. One of every four women experienced a WMSD compared with one of every six men.

This gender difference was seen for each body region studied in this survey.

21 November 2013

Occupational Health Competency Framework for Public Health in Québec

The underlying impetus of the occupational health framework is a desire to enact change. This tool aims to address the modernization challenges outlined in the Programme national de santé publique (MSSS, 2008) [Québec's updated public health program] and the Plan stratégique du Réseau de santé publique en santé au travail (MSSS, 2010) [the strategic plan of Québec's public health network in occupational health, and it offers a wide range of opportunities for organizational and professional development, including staffing, development of a joint training plan, personnel recruitment and assessment, career management, orientations for university programs, harmonization of practices, etc. Moreover, the use of the interdisciplinary professional situations of the RSPSAT as a blueprint for describing the competencies highlights the framework's collective nature and allows for implementation of a comprehensive competency development plan.

The competency framework development…