What is it that you need to know about CNESST or CSST?

What is CSST? How does it help enhance safety and health in the workplace? If these questions are lingering in your mind then you have come to the right place since we will be looking at the answers to these questions in the following sections.

What is CSST?

CSST or Commission de la santé et de la sécurité du travail monitors laws that make employers as well as employees responsible for safety and health in the workplace. CSST also looks after occupational health and safety plans that intend to prevent occupational diseases and industrial accidents. In addition, it offers assistance to victims of these diseases and accidents.

CSST and Prevention

As part of prevention, CSST provides:

  • Support to employers and workers in creating a risk free and healthier work environment.
  • Facilitates occupational safety and health.
  • Carries out inspection at work premises.

CSST and Compensation

As part of compensation, CSST does the following:

  • Compensates workers if they sustain injuries due to occupational diseases or industrial accidents.
  • Makes sure that all workers get the required medical assistance that they need as per their condition.
  • Ensure that workers who get permanent mental or physical impairment because of employment injury receive benefits available through rehabilitation services.

Counseling and Information Services

CSST offers different types of counseling and information services such as:

  • CSST gets in touch with employers and workers to inform them about prevention related obligations and rights they have. If required, it also supports prevention efforts by employers and workers.
  • It also keeps a documentation center that consists of an audio visual library, that is open to the general public to access.
  • CSST has a website with toxicological index containing details about commercial or industrial products that are commonly used.

Who gets insured under CSST?

A worker gets automatically insured. A worker is someone who receives payment under an apprenticeship or employment contract and it could be a full time or part time work contract. The worker does not have to pay anything for this coverage and it is not required to register with CSST to avail the benefits.

Who is not insured automatically?

If you are an independent operator such as a worker who is self employed, a voluntary worker, domestic help, someone who is appointed by a person to take care of another person such as an elderly person, handicapped, sick, or a child then you will not be automatically covered by CSST. However, these workers will be entitled to personal coverage.

Registration as an Employer

Any company with a minimum of one worker, irrespective of whether the worker is a full time worker or not, has to register with the CSST after appointing the first worker and registration should happen within fourteen days of the first hiring.

The employer should also supply the necessary details with respect to the type of activities that workers will be performing and wages that will be paid during the year. This information is to be rendered within sixty days.

This information is utilized by CSST to decide on the premium that the company will have to pay. This can be considered a mandatory insurance that helps in protecting the company from risk of substantial financial burden due to an employment injury of a worker.

Personal Coverage

According to CSST, the personal coverage cannot be less than a worker’s minimum wage or more than the insurable earnings maximum in a year. In case a worker gets injured during work, compensation the person receives is calculated as per the amount mentioned in the application.

Intervention by CSST Inspectors

Normally, workers and employers are to take care of the occupational safety and health within the work environment. However, CSST inspectors intervene to make sure all laws as well as regulations are followed at work sites. It also becomes necessary for the CSST inspector to intervene if someone makes a complaint or when a major industrial accident occurs. An inspector can also visit your workplace for other purposes like for supporting workers and employers in prevention efforts they are putting in, take a decision if someone in the workforce utilizes his rights and refuses to work, perform general inspections with respect to safety and health measures implemented by an organization, or to encourage an employer to remove certain hazards that CSST focuses on.

Another important task performed by an inspector is working as a mediator in case a dispute arises between prevention representative and employer or between safety and health committee members. In addition, workers are allowed to ask for inspector intervention by getting in touch with a regional office of CSST.

An inspector is allowed to issue a notice for correction of certain situations and the inspector may suspend operations or close down premises if required. Fines can be levied if regulations or laws are breached or if someone refuses to comply with the order or decision made as per the legislation.

Is it possible for a worker to refuse work if he or she feels it is dangerous?

As per the best lawyer in Montreal, workers can refuse work in case they feel they are in danger.  However, workers will not be allowed to exercise the right if it will put the safety or health of other workers in jeopardy or if work conditions are considered to be normal for the kind of work that is being performed. After exercising the right of refusal, a worker should inform his or her employer about the same and provide reasons.  If necessary, the worker should remain present in work premises for performing other tasks.

As we can see, CSST plays an important role in protecting workers from heath and safety risks while they perform their duties at a workplace. If you would like more information about CSST then give us a call or email us and our csst lawyer and cnesst lawyer will guide you properly on how the rules of the CSST function.