DATE: March 8, 2018 TIME: 1:30 p.m.
LOCATION: 395 Terminal Avenue, Room 8070
Doug Gaetz (UTE)
Ann Marie Hume
Mathieu Juneau (UTE)
The co-chairs welcomed everyone to the first meeting of 2018 and invited members to speak in the official language of their choice. The co-chairs drew attention to International Women's Day and encouraged everyone to celebrate this day in support of all women. The National Health and Safety Policy Committee (NHSPC) thanked Jaime Robinson for her excellent work and wished her well in her new job. The committee welcomed David Walsh who will become the Assistant Director of the National Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) Section and the secretary of this committee, starting March 12, 2018. David was welcomed as an observer, along with Francine Morse of the National OHS Section, Eric Langlais from the Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada and Mathieu Juneau from the Union of Taxation Employees.
1. OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH AND SAFETY PROGRAM MONITORING
The NHSPC received an update on the OHS program monitoring results action items. First, members were advised that the National OHS Section has begun work on a video to increase awareness on the Directive on OHS. Second, a communication is being drafted to clarify stakeholder roles and responsibilities related to first aid kits. It was confirmed that the message will be shared with the working group prior to being sent to the most senior management representatives as well as the first aid and automated external defibrillators (AED) coordinators in all locations. Finally, a video will be launched in the spring of 2018 which will be used to train employees and managers about upcoming changes to the Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS) 2015. All employees and managers will be required to view the video by December 2018. A code will be assigned to ensure that all employees and managers can track the completion of the training. Corresponding changes will also be made to the WHMIS module of the mandatory OHS training for employees.
Armed Intruder Video
The employee representatives raised concerns about showing an armed intruder video in Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) locations that was created by the United States Department of Homeland Security. The committee agreed to put the video on hold until the Government of Canada releases the Canadian version of the video in 2018.
Workplace violence prevention
Management confirmed that the Procedures in response to workplace violence were presented at the Agency Management Committee (AMC) on January 24, 2018 and signed off by Dan Couture, Assistant Commissioner, Human Resources Branch and Chief Human Resources Officer on February 26, 2018. The procedures came into effect on February 27, 2018, and were published on InfoZone on March 6, 2018. To announce the launch of the procedures, Agency employees received a message from the NHSPC and an article was published on InfoZone. A message was also sent to AMC members to be shared with their management teams and an article will be included in the spring edition of the health and safety newsletter. A meeting will be scheduled with the working group to finalize the tools that will support the procedures.
2. HEALTH AND SAFETY COMMITTEE EFFECTIVENESS
The NHSPC received an update on the 2017 Health and Safety Committee (HSC) scorecard results, HSC training and the winter and spring newsletters.
The 2017 Health and Safety Committee (HSC) Scorecard results indicated that 97% of HSCs met their legislative requirement to meet 9 times per year and that 82% of committees and health and safety representatives conducted monthly inspections. It was noted that compliance with the inspection requirement increased to 93% during the second half of the year. The increase was due to the efforts of the Information Technology Branch, the health and safety representatives who work in CBSA offices, and the OHS officers. Non-compliance messages will be sent to the committees and representatives who have not met all of their obligations and to the most senior management representative for their site.
Health and safety committee training
As of February 7, 2018, 60% of committee members and health and safety representatives had completed their training and 22% had only completed the online portion. Training sessions were held in each region this winter. One session had to be cancelled because of the weather and will be rescheduled in the spring. The National OHS Section is currently organizing new training sessions to be held in the spring and fall.
The winter issue of the newsletter will be published in March 2018. In this newsletter, the National OHS Section asks the co-chairs representing the employer to tell their management team that they must contact the committees as soon as they are informed of an emergency situation. The spring issue will feature articles about workplace violence response procedures, ergonomics, and what a committee needs to do when a new member joins or when a member leaves the committee. It will also be announced that the AEDs will be replaced this year.
3. PSYCHOLOGICAL STANDARD
Management confirmed that a reference to psychological injuries and illnesses has been added to the Report an injury or illness requiring medical treatment page on InfoZone, in addition to physical injuries. The National OHS Section, Well-Being and Labour Relations sections met to discuss the joint task force reports on mental health. This major initiative will require the adoption of a broader approach, including engaging various stakeholders, employee representatives and representatives of the National OHS Section to decide on the next steps and a long-term strategy. The approach other departments will be taking in this regard will be looked at. The NHSPC will be updated and collaboration with the working group will continue as this initiative progresses.
Members received the written updates in advance of the meeting. Items requiring clarification were discussed as required.
Action item report
Following a review of the action item report, the decisions below were noted:
Employee Threat and Violence Mitigation Framework (ETVM): The action item will be closed and a new action item will be opened to monitor the implementation of the framework.
Sudbury Business Case: The recommendations that were provided by the ETVM working group concerning only using first names on bulk mail outs will be shared with the Sudbury Tax Centre and the functional program for their consideration.
Finance and Administration Branch (FAB) policy review: The committee agreed that FAB will provide an annual update to the NHSPC on the FAB policy review. Certain FAB policies are due for review in 2020 and others in 2021. The committee will review and provide their comments on the policies once they are up for review.
Terms of reference: Members will review and sign off on the terms of reference by the June 14, 2018 NHSPC meeting.
Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) Interventions
The NHSPC was advised that on December 21, 2017, ESDC visited the Western Quebec Tax Services Office located in Laval. As a result of the visit, an Assurance of Voluntary Compliance (AVC) was received for two minor infractions including missing identification on a bottle located on a refrigerator and EXIT signs which were not illuminated. The AVC was signed and returned to ESDC on January 4, 2018, indicating that all issues of non-compliance had been addressed.
FAB representatives provided the NHSPC with an update on the Asbestos file. FAB continues to keep the InfoZone listing updated with the latest information from Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC). Overall, the number of sites known to contain Asbestos Containing Material (ACM) remains unchanged at 43 since the last update. Summaries of the results from last year’s testing initiative are now available on InfoZone. The current 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, a recorded copy of the training session for front-line staff is now available to FAB Real Property stakeholders through the internal shared drive, and work continues with the Public Affairs Branch to make the session available on InfoZone. FAB continues to work with PSPC, building owners, contractors, responsible building authorities, and local committees to ensure that employees are engaged and aware with respect to issues related to asbestos in the workplace.
Management provided an update on the OHS training statistics. The January 2018 statistics show that nationally, the percentage of untrained employees in OHS has remained at 2% and the percentage of untrained managers in OHS has decreased to 12% since the last report in October 2017. The number of employees and managers untrained in workplace violence prevention has remained at 2% since September 2016.
First Aid and Automated External Defibrillators
Management provided the following update on the AED contract. On December 22, 2017, a Request for Proposal (RFP) was posted to begin the AED replacement process throughout the Agency. The bidding closed on February 7, 2018. Messages were sent to the responsible building authorities, first aid/AED coordinators, as well as health and safety committees, advising them of their roles in the replacement of the AEDs. The National OHS Section is looking at a disposal plan for the existing inventory of AEDs, in coordination with the Finance and Administration Branch. The AED contract will be awarded in the new fiscal year.
Quarterly Security Incident Report
The employee representatives questioned whether a communication was sent to the Hamilton Niagara Tax Services Office staff after an incident was reported on October 17, 2017. FAB agreed to follow-up to confirm how the incident was addressed.
The employee representatives requested clarification on the definition of a bulletin as it is identified in two cases. FAB agreed to provide further clarification on this question following the meeting.
Lastly, members discussed an incident involving a suspicious package found at the Minto building in Ottawa on a non-CRA floor. Members were advised that the Chief Building Emergency Officer contacted the Floor Emergency Officer who confirmed that the package was a clear garbage bag with papers/binders and there was no evidence of biological or explosive hazards. Minto Security confirmed that the package was not suspicious and could be moved safely to the garbage room. Employee representatives requested clarification on who determined that there was no evidence of biological or explosive hazard and that it could be moved safely.
The co-chairs thanked everyone for their participation during the meeting. The next meeting is scheduled for June 14, 2018.