Health and Safety Committee

Minutes of the National Health and Safety Policy Committee

November 29, 2017

DATE:                  November 29, 2017                       TIME: 9:00 a.m.

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

ATTENDEES:
Employer Representatives
Employee Representatives
Members

Dan Couture
(Employer Co-Chair)
Janique Caron
Maggie Trudel-Maggiore
Dana-Lynne Hills
Brian Rae

Doug Gaetz (UTE)
(Employee Co-Chair)
Phil Choo (PIPSC)
Annick Lamoureux (UTE)
Allaudin Alibhai (PIPSC)
Brian Oldford (UTE)

Guests

André St-Pierre
Jean-François Gagné

 
Secretary Jaime Robinson  
Observers

Ann Marie Hume
Andrea McKay
Kendra Birdgenaw

Mathieu Juneau (UTE)
Éric Langlais (PIPSC)

Absent

Robert Allen

Doug Mason (PIPSC)

OPENING REMARKS

The co-chairs welcomed everyone to the meeting and invited members to speak in the language of their choice, as the meeting would be conducted in a bilingual format. Dan Couture took the opportunity to thank Doug Mason for his commitment to the committee and welcomed Doug Gaetz to his first meeting as employee co-chair. Brian Oldford (UTE) and Annick Lamoureux (UTE) were welcomed to the committee as new members as well as Phil Choo (PIPSC) who is replacing Doug Mason for this meeting. Eric Langlais and Mathieu Juneau joined as observers.

Brian Rae, Acting Director, Integrity and Well-being Division, was welcomed to the committee replacing Robert Allen. André St-Pierre, Director, Physical Security and Program Management Division and Jean-François Gagné, HR Advisor, National Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) Section were introduced as guests. Andrea McKay and Kendra Birdgenaw from the National OHS Section joined as observers.

1.  WORKPLACE VIOLENCE PREVENTION

On October 16, 2017, employee representatives and management representatives from the Workplace Relations and Compensation Directorate (WRCD) met and agreed to the final version of the Procedures in Response to Workplace Violence. This version of the procedures was presented to the committee and recommended for approval. The next steps are to have management approve the procedures, and to finalize the supporting tools and communication plan with the working group. The procedures should be posted by January/February 2018. It was also agreed during this meeting that the Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) presentation on workplace violence prevention was no longer required.

A short discussion occurred on the proposed amendments to the Canada Labour Code, Part II, which were recently tabled in Bill C-65 to ensure that federal workplaces are free from harassment and violence. It could take up to two years for the legislation and its associated regulation to become law. The committee will be kept informed as more details become available.

2.  Employee threat and violence mitigation framework

The Employee Threat and Violence Mitigation (ETVM) working group was established in November 2015 to determine the scope, identify gaps and explore methods by which the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) could further reduce the safety risks associated with taxpayer interactions.

As part of the action plan, a threat mitigation framework was developed and presented to the Agency Human Resources Committee on November 21, 2017. It received positive feedback and will be used as a basis to revise policy instruments and feed into the Job Hazard Analysis for Field Employees. An awareness campaign will be launched to ensure employees know where to look for the threat indicator while changes are made to the system. In addition, it was confirmed that recommendations to help reduce incidents have been put forward to the responsible program areas.

3.  ARMED INTRUDER

The committee reviewed and discussed the armed intruder video. The video, created by the US Department of Homeland Security, demonstrates what to do in an armed intruder situation. This video was also shared with the Agency Management Committee (AMC). Currently, several government departments are using the video for awareness. The committee discussed the need for a Canadian version, and learned that the government is working on one. The committee shared their feedback and the union co-chair requested that the unions be consulted with respect to the Canadian version of the video. Once the Canadian version is developed, it will be shared with the NHSPC.

4.  OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH AND SAFETY PROGRAM monitoring

On November 2, 2017, the National OHS Section met with employee representatives to discuss and determine which areas needed attention of focus based on the results of the OHS Program Monitoring. The first area of focus will be on awareness of the Directive on OHS. The plan is to develop communications, as well as a short video, that will provide an overview of OHS responsibilities. The second focus will be placed on raising awareness on the roles and responsibilities related to first aid kits. The plan is to send joint communications that clearly outline the roles and responsibilities related to first aid kits. Finally, focus will be placed on hazardous substances used and stored in the workplace. The plan is to increase compliance levels by developing a short video to outline the Workplace Hazardous Management Information System (WHMIS) 2015.

5.  HEALTH AND SAFETY committee EFFECTIVENESS

The OHS Report application has been updated to remind health and safety committees (HSC) and their representatives to complete their monthly reports on the 10th of each month. In addition, the minutes and inspection reports have been moved from the “Monthly Reports” page to the “Committee and Representatives Details” page on the OHS report application.

As for Health and Safety Committee training, a French language Train-the-Trainer session was delivered in Montreal on November 15 to 17, 2017. Training needs will be re-evaluated to determine if additional French language Train-the-Trainer sessions are required in the spring. Fall and winter training dates have been booked for in-class training. It was identified that currently there are no UTE trainers in Pacific and there are no employer trainers in Québec.

The fall edition of the newsletter is expected to be released in late November. Some of the topics covered include flu prevention, distracted walking, safety footwear, and updates to the ergonomics program. The next edition of the newsletter is scheduled for January 2018.

6.  T4009 update

The National OHS Section has been working in coordination with the Information Technology Branch to upgrade the existing T4009 hazard and incident reporting tool. The detailed business requirements are expected to be completed by fiscal year end, and the system will be developed in 2018. The new system will make it easier for managers to report hazards and incidents in the workplace. The NHSPC will be kept apprised of the progress.

7.  PSYCHOLOGICAL STANDARD

The Working Group met on November 27, 2017, to discuss the idea of a draft information sheet on how to report work-related psychological injuries. The National OHS Section is reviewing its current training and content on InfoZone to include references to psychological health. It was recognized that more work needs to be done on this file to help explain psychological safety in the context of health and safety. 

WRITTEN UPDATES

The following written updates were addressed.

Action item report

Item #4 – Meaningful consultation: The committee agreed that the meaningful consultation was no longer required and the item will be closed. The committee agreed that a review of the Terms of reference is due and a new action item will be opened.

Item #5 – HSC notification in an emergency: The Finance and Administration Branch (FAB) confirmed that reminders were sent to the regional directors and the agency operating centre. The communications will be shared with the committee.

Item #6 – Voice damage/acoustic shock: It was confirmed that the information bulletin is ready for publishing.

Item #11 – FAB policy review: FAB will share the policies that are part of the Treasury Board policy re-set that have a health and safety component once they are ready for review. A new working group will be created to review policies at that time.

Training report

The number of untrained managers has been reduced; however, the percentage remains higher than that for employees. It was confirmed that reminders for OHS training are sent to AMC. Student training numbers also require improvement. This is captured through on-boarding, and was also included in the student report communication to managers.

ESDC Interventions

The CRA received an Assurance of Voluntary Compliance (AVC) on

September 26, 2017, for minor infractions found at the Jonquiere Tax Centre. During the week of October 6, 2017, the AVC was signed and returned to ESDC indicating that all issues of non-compliance had been addressed.

Asbestos

FAB continues to keep InfoZone listings up to date with the latest information from Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC). Summaries of the results from last year’s testing initiative will soon be available on InfoZone. There are currently 43 sites known to have asbestos containing materials. The next round of testing for 2017-18 has launched and is expected to be completed within the fiscal year. With respect to the Asbestos Communication Guidelines, the recording of training for front-line staff will soon be posted on InfoZone.

OHS Program
Multiple Environment Job Hazard Analysis (MEJHA) Working Group

The National OHS Section is working with KnowHow to create an awareness video that will highlight the changes to the Workplace Hazardous Management Information System (WHMIS) 2015. Employers are required to have all employees trained on WHMIS 2015 by December 2018.

On November 21, 2017, the MEJHA working group met for the annual standard operating procedures (SOP) and safe work procedures (SWP) review. As a result of the meeting, six new SWPs are being developed. Work also continues on the review of hazardous products being used by CRA employees. Once the review is completed, a national database will be established to ensure that each product has a safety data sheet (SDS) in both official languages. The revised MEJHA SOPs have been approved and are now posted on InfoZone.

Job Hazard Analysis (JHA) for Field Employees Working Group

The working group held its first meeting on September 15, 2017. At this meeting, the Terms of Reference, Procedures for Field Employees Conducting Off-site Visits, and the Health and Safety Awareness for Field Employees training were shared for review. On October 19, 2017, an environmental scan spreadsheet was sent to the group for their completion. Once it is completed and returned to the National OHS Section for analysis, a subsequent working group meeting will be scheduled in early 2018.

Ergonomic Strategy

The updated office ergonomics program was launched at the end of September 2017. As previously reported, the Ergonomics InfoZone pages were updated to reflect the changes. Managers, employees, and ergonomic coaches are also being advised about their updated roles and responsibilities through ongoing webinars being offered over the fall.

First Aid and Automated External Defibrillators (AED)

Management informed members that an AED was used at the Summerside, Prince Edward Island office on October 20, 2017. It was noted that the correct procedures were followed.

OHS Communication Plan

Confirmation was provided that the slips, trips and fall communication will be sent December 2017.

Quarterly Security Incident Report

The committee received clarification that for some security incidents involving a taxpayer, the taxpayer cannot be immediately identified. However, if the police are later able to identify them, the CRA would not necessarily be notified, unless a threat indicator needs to be added.

Closing remarks

The co-chairs thanked everyone for their participation at the meeting and for the work and commitment to the NHSPC this past year. The new bilingual format for the meeting went well and will continue in this way. The dates have been confirmed for the 2018 NHSPC meetings. Best wishes were shared to members for this holiday season. The next meeting is scheduled for March 8, 2018.

Dan Couture
Employer Co-Chair
National Health and Safety
Policy Committee

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

Date

Date