Health and Safety Committee

Minutes of the National Health and Safety Policy Committee

September 7, 2017

DATE:                  September 7, 2017                         TIME: 1:30 p.m.

LOCATION:         8th Floor Boardroom, 395 Terminal Avenue, Room 8070

ATTENDEES:
Employer Representatives
Employee Representatives
Members

Ann Marie Hume
(Alternate Employer Co-chair)
Maggie Trudel-Maggiore
Dana-Lynne Hills

Doug Mason
(Employee Co-Chair)
Marc Brière (UTE)
Allaudin Alibhai (PIPSC)
Debbie Ferguson (UTE)
Doug Gaetz UTE

Guests Jeremy Hebert  
Secretary Jaime Robinson  
Observers

Andrea McKay
Kendra Birdgenaw

Mathieu Juneau (UTE)
Eric Langlais (PIPSC)
Shane O’Brien (UTE)

Absent

Dan Couture
(Employer Co-Chair)
Janique Caron
Robert Allen

 

OPENING REMARKS

Ms. Ann Marie Hume opened the meeting by welcoming everyone back after the summer. Congratulations were given to Mr. Marc Brière on his appointment to National President of Union of Taxation Employee (UTE) and Mr. Doug Gaetz on his appointment to the First National Vice-President of UTE. It was recognized that          Mr. Doug Mason is stepping down as Employee Representative Co-Chair of the NHSPC, but will remain on the committee. He was acknowledged for his hard work to advance health and safety for all employees. With this change, Mr. Gaetz was welcomed as the next official Employee Representative Co-Chair.

Mr. Mason thanked Ms. Debbie Ferguson for her work on the NHSPC, as this was her last meeting. It was also confirmed that Mr. Brière would be stepping down from the NHSPC. Mr. Gaetz will inform National Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) Section once new UTE representatives were confirmed.

1.  Action Item Report

The action item report was reviewed and several items were noted for discussion. For the meeting on meaningful consultation, the employer representatives had secured a facilitator based on discussions at the previous NHSPC meeting. However, it was recognized that the process may have moved too quickly. Members discussed whether a facilitated discussion was still needed. It was recommended that three names from the standing offer of facilitators be identified, and that members would review the names and biographies to select a facilitator. It was decided that a facilitated group session would be useful, but that the committee would wait until new UTE membership is confirmed before proceeding with the facilitated discussion.

The implementation date for the T4009 project was discussed. As this is an extensive update, the Human Resources Branch is working diligently with the Information Technology Branch to complete the project. The National OHS Section will provide a more detailed update at the next meeting.

The Employee Threat and Violence Mitigation framework was completed by the working group. It was shared with the Assistant Commissioner, Finance and Administration Branch (FAB) and would be presented at Agency Management Committee (AMC) in September. The next step is the implementation of the framework. This item will be added to the agenda for the next NHSPC.

Members reviewed the voice damage information sheet and had no further comments. The National OHS Section will move forward with implementation in consultation with employee representatives.  

Members discussed amending the terms of reference (ToR) template to identify what incidents local health and safety committees (HSC) should be involved in, and to increase networking between local offices and security. 

The action item report itself will be reviewed to make it easier to read and understand.

2.  Assurances of Voluntary Compliance (AVC) AND Directions

There have been no new AVCs since the last meeting. Members stated that Employment Service and Development Canada (ESDC) ruling complaints should be shared with the NHSPC. It was noted that an appeal of an ESDC ruling that stated there was no contravention of the Canada Labour Code, Part II, has been filed for the   Billings Bridge washroom issue. As this appeal is currently in the courts, no further discussion ensued.

3.  ASBESTOS

The CRA continues to keep its InfoZone listing up to date with the latest information from Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC). There are now 45 sites known to contain asbestos-containing material (ACM) with one new building added since the last meeting: 290 Empire, St John’s, Nfld. As a result, local management and the HSC were provided with information on the latest reassessment of the ACM condition and the results from the testing for airborne asbestos fibres, which were well below the applicable limits.

The national testing initiative was completed last year and results were communicated at the local level. InfoZone will be updated to include information on those results. The next round of testing for 2017-2018 is being launched and annual testing is planned. As previously mentioned, training was completed for front line staff and the recording of training will be posted on InfoZone. The Asbestos Communication Procedures have also been reviewed due to PSPC internal procedure changes and updates to the asbestos provisions in the Canada Labour Code, effective June 2017. Since the Asbestos Communication Procedures were developed closely with PSPC, no significant changes are required.

4.  OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH AND SAFETY PROGRAM monitoring

At the end of the 2016-2017 fiscal year, the OHS officers conducted monitoring in 51 buildings for the first year of the two year monitoring cycle. It was noted that there are compliance issues that need to be addressed by all offices. The next steps include sending a message to the Agency Management Committee (AMC) to address issues at local levels. The Headquarters and Prairie Regions were identified as low for compliance. Employee representatives will communicate the monitoring results to members at their upcoming Regional Vice-Presidents meeting. The National OHS Section, along with employee representatives, will choose three areas of focus to present to the NHSPC, and will determine how these areas will be addressed.

5.  Worklace Violence prevention

The committee agreed to wait to implement the Procedures in Response to Workplace Violence until Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) – Labour Program delivers a presentation on workplace violence prevention by the end of September/early October. When requesting the presentation, it will be clear that it is for information only and not mediation.

The Workplace Violence Prevention working group met to discuss the consent form, the competent person call letter, and competent person requirements. Good progress was being made on finalizing these documents.

6.  health and safety committee effectiveness

The Occupational Health and Safety effectiveness scorecard measures whether an HSC has held the required number of meetings for the calendar year and conducted an inspection each month. The following results are for the first six months of this year. Of note, the HSC training statistics are new this year.

Results show that there are three committees that must meet every month for the rest of the year to meet the nine required meetings per year. The Prairie and Headquarters are highlighted as needing improvements. Regions that have not met the required inspections will show as a fail on the year-end scorecard.

There was slight improvement at the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) locations going from 22% completion on the 2016 scorecard to 42% with their monthly inspections. To assist HSRs, a conference call was held in June 2017 and a draft inspection checklist was shared for their use. It is believed that some of these results were due to users not inputting their information into the OHS Reports application consistently and on time.

Following recommendation from the NHSPC, the National OHS Section is making changes to the OHS Reports application where a reminder will be sent to HSCs who have not completed their reports by the 10th of each month. Also, monthly reports will not be re-opened if the information is not inputted into the system by the required date. These changes will be communicated to all stakeholders when National OHS Section is ready to launch the update.

Results are also being monitored with the continued roll-out of the HSC training. As of August 2017, 48% of all committee members and representatives have completed training. The OHS officers will continue to monitor the activities of each committee and representative, provide support, and address specific areas of concern. They will also ensure that the committees and representatives have established plans to provide coverage during peak holiday periods so that inspections and meetings can be held as required.

The train-the-trainer session scheduled for June 27 to 29, 2017, was rescheduled for August 22 to 24, 2017. Two other sessions will be held September 6 to 8, and November 7 to 9.

The summer edition of the newsletter was published on August 24 and covered articles on the roles of the HSC, mobile shelving units, small appliances, T4009s and preparing for a medical emergency. The next edition will be published in October 2017. Past newsletters will now be available to all employees on the CRA Wiki. This information can be found on the OHS InfoZone page.

7.  OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH AND SAFETY PROGRAM

Multiple Environment Job Hazard Analysis (MEJHA) Working Group

National OHS Section is finalizing the approvals for the revised MEJHA standard operating procedures (SOPs). Once approved, the SOPs will be posted on InfoZone and communicated to the MEJHA working group.

Job Hazard Analysis (JHA) for Field Employees Working Group

A call letter was sent to request representatives for the JHA for Field Employees Working Group. Representative names were received and a first working group meeting was planned for September 15, 2017.

Ergonomic Strategy

The National OHS Section is working to align the ergonomics products in advance of the launch of the new Ergonomics website and revised Office Ergonomics SOP. A communiqué will be sent to AMC announcing the changes to the SOP and promoting the new website. In addition, messaging will go out to the HSCs and ergonomic coaches to promote awareness in their local offices. Over the next few months, webinars will be held for the ergonomics coach community, as well as lunch and learn sessions for managers and employees. The Ergonomics InfoZone website now contains information to help managers choose and implement the right ergonomics solutions for their employees. An Ergonomics Prevention Process map has been developed to help managers identify internal resources to address their employee’s ergonomics issues. Changes to the intent of an external ergonomics assessment allows for better alignment with the Labour Relations Center of Expertise and the new Early Intervention and Return to Work (EIRTW) Centre.

It was suggested that FAB policy instruments be brought to the NHSPC for review. FAB is waiting for direction from Treasury Board Secretariat to update their instruments, however, they will look at which ones would be applicable for review at the NHSPC.

8.  psychological standard

The Technical Committee of the Joint Task Force on Mental Health is seeking departmental and agency feedback by September 8, 2017, on the contents of their third report – a step-by-step implementation guide for the National Standard of Canada for Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace. The Agency working group on psychological safety met on September 6, 2017. During the meeting, the working group exchanged ideas on the role of HSCs with respect to mental health, and how to equip them with information on the resources available at the Agency to address mental health issues. Members discussed that training should be updated to include psychological health, an information sheet on T4009 and Employer’s Report of Injury.

Call centres are currently looking at employee wellbeing, but there are concerns as the HSCs and/or NHSPC were not involved. The results of the pulse surveys will be brought to next NHSPC meeting.

9. WRITTEN UPDATES

Training report

Statistics for Health and Safety Training

The rate of untrained employees in July 2017 has decreased to 2% while the rate of untrained managers has increased to 18%. This could be due to employees acting for managers during summer vacation. There was also concern about the low completion training rates for students.

The National OHS Section will look at adding a statement on mandatory OHS training to the CRA messages regarding the onboarding of students.

Workplace Violence Prevention Training

The number of untrained employees and managers remain at 2% nationally.

OHS Communication Calendar (2017-2018)

The committee had no comments on this agenda item.

Quarterly Security Incident Report

The NHSPC discussed follow-up protocols for incidents involving the police. These could be incidents where CRA did not receive a follow-up response from the police and therefore would not have additional information on the case. It was suggested to add “CRA has no additional information” to the report. It was also clarified that internal incidents are HRB’s responsibility and external threats are FAB’s responsibility. The latest Quarterly Security Incident Report will be shared with the HSCs.

Closing remarks

Ms. Hume thanked everyone for their participation and is confident that we will continue to work effectively together to address national issues that will enhance the Agency’s OHS Program. Mr. Mason remarked that he enjoyed his time as Employee Co-chair on the NHSPC and hopes to continue the positive work of finding a resolution to all health and safety issues. The next NHSPC will be held on November 29, 2017.

Ann Marie Hume
Acting Employer Co-Chair
National Health and Safety
Policy Committee

Doug Mason
Employee Co-Chair
National Health and Safety
Policy Committee

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