Sat. Dec 9th, 2023

A CNESST report warns of the dangers faced by firefighters de Gatineau

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The CNESST prohibits the 103 firefighters whose fit test has expired on their respiratory protection apparatus autonomously from working in a situation requiring the wearing of said device to ensure their respiratory protection. (Archive photo)


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A work health and safety intervention report from the Commission for Standards, Equity, Health and Safety at Work (CNESST) notes that adjustment tests on self-contained respiratory protection devices for Gatineau firefighters “exceed the normative prescription by several months.”

Such tests must be carried out at least every two years, recalls the CNESST, which judges that the current situation leads to a possibility that could cause injury to a worker.

Self-contained respiratory protection devices are used to protect firefighters from contaminants in the form of gases, smoke, vapors, dusts and mists when they are present in excessive quantities in the air .

The intervention of the CNESST follows a written complaint from the Association of Firefighters of Gatineau (APPG), it is specified.

It was carried out at the Aldoria-Dumulong barracks on November 17 and concluded that there was a danger to the health, safety or physical integrity of the City of Gatineau firefighters.

In her report, the inspector and team leader of the Outaouais Prevention-Inspection Service, Nancy Lemoine, announces that she is banning the 103 firefighters whose fit test has expired from their respiratory protection devices autonomous from working in a situation requiring the wearing of said device to ensure their respiratory protection.

This decision applies to all firefighters identified as such and working in the eight fire stations of the City of Gatineau Fire Department, she adds.

The CNESST inspector asks the City of Gatineau to take measures to remedy the situation.

In order to eliminate the danger of exposure to contaminants having immediate effects on health, or even leading to respiratory failure which could lead to death, the employer must respect the elements contained in section 45.1(1) of the Regulation respecting occupational health and safety as well as the CSA Z94.4-11 standard to which this article refers. The employer may submit any other measure to the inspector who will assess its equivalence, it is written.

The resumption of activities requiring wearing of a self-contained respiratory protection device may be considered when they have successfully completed their fit test, warns Ms. Lemoine.

The CNESST indicates that a detailed report will follow in the coming days.


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