October 25, 2021

The Queens County Citizen

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Wearing the N95 mask “in a warm place” CNESST must resist the “pressure” of physicians, urging unions

Wearing the N95 mask "in a warm place"  CNESST must resist the "pressure" of physicians, urging unions

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Federation of Health and Social Services (FSSS-CSN), Interprofessional Federation of Health of Quebec (FIQ) and FIQP | The private sector agreed on Monday that the Commission for Standards, Equity, Health and Safety at Work (CNEST) must be implemented. Occupational Health and Safety Act ”. In March, CNESST ordered all health care workers to wear the N95 type mask in “moderate areas” in all health care settings.

The decision comes in the wake of a ruling by the Administrative Labor Tribunal (TAT) that health care workers must be able to wear respiratory protection equipment, including N‌95, COVID-19 whenever they are involved in certified or suspected cases – and not just in the hot zone following union demands.

The three unions argued in a press release issued on Monday that “the rules governing health and safety (LST) are far ahead of public health.” “The verdict is clear: LSST is a law of public order and no employer can prevent it. In the presence of a deadly virus, they must strive for the highest standards in the protection of women health workers.”

The unions’ departure was prompted by the approach of hundreds of microbiologists-infectiologists and experts in the PCI, in a letter to CNESST’s senior management and Health Minister Christian Dube, disguising the “perplexity and confusion” among N95 workers in the “moderate zone”. Created “.

Experts want CNESST to “urgently” modify this directive “not based on scientific bases”. In the warmer zone, the authors argue, the “conditions” necessary for the aerial transmission of the virus were “not met.”

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Read (back) CNESST should review its decision and request one hundred experts

Unions do not budge: Judge Philippe Bouvier ruled that the precautionary principle applies “in the context of scientific uncertainty”. “There is no reason to question this verdict, because it is based on scientific, but legal grounds. […] Despite the pressure, we are confident that CNESST will not overturn its decision, ”they said.

According to the doctors who signed the letter, “the principle of precaution should be based on science and not obscure”. The authors highlight the fact that under the new directive, an employee must wear an N95. [à un patient tiède] “, For example. A mild area where patients with symptoms wait for the result.

The Ministry of Health and Social Services said on Friday that it was “currently acquainted with the doctor’s letter” and stressed that “there is until April 23 to appeal the TAT decision.” In February, CNESST initially ordered that the N95 be worn only in hot zones.