DATE: June 12, 2018 TIME: 9:30 a.m.
LOCATION: 395 Terminal Avenue, Room 8070
Ann Marie Hume (for Dan Couture)
Doug Gaetz (UTE)
Mathieu Juneau (UTE)
The National Health and Safety Policy Committee (NHSPC) co-chairs welcomed everyone to the last meeting before the summer holidays and encouraged members to speak in the official language of their choice. Ann Marie Hume highlighted National Public Service Week and thanked employees for their hard work in support of the Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) program. Ms. Hume welcomed Hugo Pagé, Deputy Assistant Commissioner and Agency Comptroller, to his first meeting as an employer representative.
1. Workplace violence prevention
The NHSPC was informed that the National OHS Section is finalizing a suite of tools to support the Procedures in response to workplace violence. This includes communication templates, competent person tools as well as a management checklist and process map. A working group meeting is scheduled for July 10, 2018, to review competent person training options and discuss the supporting tools. Once these are finalized, a roster of competent persons will be created. Also, the mandatory workplace violence prevention training is being revised to align with the Procedures in response to workplace violence and is expected to be finalized by summer 2018. The National OHS Section will start reporting workplace violence statistics at the next NHSPC. Discussions on reporting will take place with the working group in July 2018. The employee co-chair expressed concerns in relation to the implementation of the Procedures in response to workplace violence and noted that more training on the workplace violence process is needed for all employees. It was agreed that the concerns would be brought to the workplace violence working group for discussion and to look at potential solutions. Overall, employer and employee representatives reinforced their support for the procedures and agreed that more work is required on this file.
2. OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH AND SAFETY PROGRAM MONITORING
The committee was advised that the first cycle of the OHS program monitoring was completed on March 31, 2018. In total, 49 sites were visited in the first year of cycle one in 2016-2017 and 47 in the second year of cycle one in 2017-2018. The OHS officers are following up with the most senior management representatives on-site and the OHS committee co-chairs to get updates for all sites with outstanding actions required. Cycle two of the OHS program monitoring started on April 1, 2018, and the goal is to inspect 51 sites in year one of cycle two. Two new elements were added to cycle two: field employees and loading docks. The NHSPC will be provided with an update on the roll-up of cycle one at the next NHSPC meeting in September 2018.
The NHSPC received an update on the OHS program monitoring working group action plan items. First, members were advised that the National OHS Section will meet with the Learning and Development Directorate (LDD) on June 27, 2018, to discuss the creation of a short video that will provide managers with an overview of their responsibilities with respect to the Directive on OHS. Second, two information bulletins have been developed to help first aid and AED responders and coordinators understand their roles and responsibilities. These will be shared with the working group in June 2018 for their review. Members were also informed that the mandatory OHS training for employees and managers has been updated to include information on WHMIS 2015 and are available on the Directory of Learning Products. Finally, members were advised that the WHMIS training video is available on KnowHow. A communication is being prepared on behalf of the co-chairs to officially launch the video.
Armed Intruder Video
Members were advised that the Canadian version of the armed intruder video has been finalized and was shown at a security summit at the end of May 2018. All federal departments will use the video for awareness and information on the new video has been communicated to CRA regional security contacts. The Finance and Administration Branch (FAB) encourages managers to request a Security in 30 awareness session to view the new video.
3. PSYCHOLOGICAL STANDARD
Management confirmed that the National OHS Section continues to work with the Well-being Section on the Joint Task Force third report on Mental Health that was released in January 2018. The report will be shared with working group members for their review and to help prepare for a discussion that will take place at the next working group meeting on July 10, 2018. A summary of previous discussions will also be shared to provide additional background. The co-chairs agreed that work should continue on this important topic.
4. OHS PROGRAM
The committee was informed that on May 22, 2018, the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) awarded a new Automated External Defibrillator (AED) contract to Action First Aid. The new AED units are scheduled to be delivered to CRA locations by June 19, 2018. The National OHS Section will be sending a national communique to announce the contract award and communications with instructions on how to replace the AEDs will be sent to first aid coordinators, health and safety committees and the most senior management representatives on site. In addition, the existing contract for first aid kits and supplies is scheduled to expire on November 26, 2018, and the National OHS Section is working on a Statement of Work (SOW) that will be submitted to contracting for review in the summer of 2018. Once completed, an evaluation team, including employee representatives, will be established.
The committee received an update on the Multiple Environment Job Hazard Analysis (MEJHA) and Job Hazard Analysis (JHA) for Field Employees Working Groups.
The consultation with the MEJHA working group to revise the standard operating procedures (SOPs) and safe work procedures (SWPs) is completed and the updated documents should be published by the end of June 2018. The content for the new SafetyCare videos for job-specific training is currently being translated and is expected to launch shortly. Second, as part of the JHA working group, a national message was sent in March 2018 to the Directors of Tax Services Offices and Tax Centres requesting that their management teams complete an environmental scan and to identify any new risks or hazards in their work environments. They were also asked to give feedback on the Procedures for field employees conducting off-site visits and the Field employee health and safety training course. The information is being compiled and will be shared with the JHA working group for discussion. Interviews to have a better understanding of the tasks and activities that field employees are conducting will also be completed within the next two months. The next JHA meeting will be held on July 10, 2018.
5. FIRE AND EMERGENCY EXERCISES
The committee received the annual update on fire and emergency exercises. The Security and Internal Affairs Directorate (SIAD) monitors the CRA’s emergency response and fire safety compliance against legislative and policy requirements. Requirements include one full-scale evacuation exercise across all buildings (i.e. the annual fire drill) and three additional exercises (1 full-scale non-fire related exercise and two partial exercises) for high-rise buildings. The CRA is the major tenant in 18 high-rise and 65 low rise buildings, for a total of 83 buildings for which the CRA is responsible for emergency response and fire safety activities. Of these buildings, compliance results show that 100% of CRA buildings have an approved emergency response and fire safety plan and 100% have completed their annual full-scale fire drill.
In addition, of the 18 high-rise buildings, 1 was missing a required exercise. The BEO at this building deemed that a meeting to discuss emergency management roles and responsibilities with the building management team would be more beneficial than a third additional exercise for BEO members. Local security will provide additional structure and support in order to meet the CRA’s Emergency Exercise and Meeting Requirements (EEMR) for 2018-2019. Employee representatives requested clarification on the definition of a high rise and low rise building.
Members received the written updates in advance of the meeting. Items requiring clarification were discussed as required.
Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) Interventions
Management provided the committee with an update on ESDC interventions. First, ESDC visited the St. John’s National Verification Collection Centre (NVCC) at 290 Empire Avenue on March 6, 2018 due to an incident that occurred in January 2018. The incident was related to snow clearing that was being done close to the building which caused the exhaust fumes to enter the building. Property management increased the air intake and the fire department arrived later in the morning and confirmed that there was no sign of CO2. As a result of this incident, two disabling injuries, one minor injury and 51 potential hazards were reported via the T4009. The ESDC visit went well and since this was an educational opportunity for the CRA, no AVC was received. Second, ESDC visited Winnipeg Tax Services Office (WTSO) at 325 Broadway on May 26, 2018. The health and safety committee (HSC) reported that this was a routine inspection to fulfill ESDCs mandate to perform more inspections and to inspect large employers. The ESDC officers did not identify any immediate concerns in areas within CRA control. The ESDC officers have requested a follow-up visit for an area outside the CRA’s control, in the Shared Services server room. To date, the CRA has not received an Assurance of Voluntary compliance (AVC).
Management from FAB provided an update on the Asbestos file. Overall, there are 46 sites known to contain asbestos containing material (ACM), with the following additions since the last NHSPC update:
- 49 Dorchester Street, Sydney, NS;
- 165 Duckworth Street, St-John’s, NL; and
- 40 Alderney Drive, Dartmouth, NS.
FAB will be updating the InfoZone listing and will also ensure that the latest information from Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC) is updated accordingly. FAB will also update the InfoZone listing to include the results of the annual airborne asbestos fiber testing exercise for 2017-18, which was completed in March 2018, and included testing at all sites on the listing. All test results were well below maximum thresholds, and there remains no risk to employee health and safety. With respect to the Asbestos Communication Guidelines, a recorded copy of the training session for front-line staff will continue to be available to FAB Real Property stakeholders through our internal shared drive. 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 April 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 increased to 13% since the last report in January 2018. The number of employees and managers untrained in workplace violence prevention has remained at 2% since September 2016.
To help address the high percentage of untrained managers, the Director General of Workplace Relations and Compensation Directorate sent a message to all executives asking for their support to complete the Health and Safety training for managers.
Health and Safety Committee Effectiveness
The NHSPC received an update on the health and safety committee (HSC) training and OHS newsletter. As of May 22, 2018, 64% of HSC members and health and safety representatives (HSR) have completed their training. Training sessions have been held at several national locations and upcoming sessions are scheduled in Montreal, Regina, Shawinigan and Ottawa. Also, the spring edition of the newsletter was published in May 2018 and featured articles on the HSC scorecard, the AED replacement initiative and North American Occupational Safety and Health Week (NAOHS) week. The next newsletter will include articles on ergonomics, working alone, housekeeping and a reminder to HSC members to take the online portion of the HSC training if they have not already done so.
IRDMS (T4009) reporting
Management provided an update on IRDMS (Incident Reporting and Disability Management System). The detailed business requirements have been shared with ITB and are currently being reviewed. ITB is expected to get back to the National OHS Section in July 2018 with their proposal for development and once approved, programming will begin for the new system. Due to the level of complexity involved, finalizing the detailed business requirements took longer than expected therefore IRDMS is now scheduled to launch by April 2019. The National OHS Section will meet with employee representatives in July 2018 to provide a more in-depth look at IRDMS.
The co-chairs thanked everyone for their participation and discussions during the meeting and wished everyone a safe and relaxing summer. The next meeting is scheduled for September 13, 2018.
Ann Marie Hume