Health and Safety Committee

Minutes of the National Health and Safety Policy Committee

September 13, 2018

DATE:                         September 13, 2018                              TIME: 1:30 p.m.
LOCATION:                395 Terminal Avenue, Room 8070

ATTENDEES:

Employer Representatives

Employee Representatives

Members

Dan Couture
(Employer Co-Chair)
Hugo Pagé
Maggie Trudel-Maggiore
Chris Docherty (for Dana-Lynne Hills)
Stephen Black (for Robert Allen)

Doug Gaetz (UTE)
(Employee Co-Chair)
Annick Lamoureux (UTE)
Allaudin Alibhai (AFS)
Phil Choo (AFS)
Mathieu Juneau (for Brian Oldford (UTE)

Secretary David Walsh  
Observers Andrea McKay Eric Langlais (AFS)
Absent

Dana-Lynne Hills
Robert Allen

Brian Oldford (UTE)

OPENING REMARKS

The National Health and Safety Committee (NHSPC) co-chairs welcome members back to the meeting after the summer holidays. Members were then invited to speak in the official language of their choice at the meeting. It was officially announced that Doug Mason was stepping aside from the committee and both co-chairs thanked Doug for his 12 years of work and dedication to the NHSPC. Doug will continue to participate on the workplace violence and psychological standard working groups.

1. ARMED Intruder

The Finance and Administration Branch (FAB) confirmed that the Canadian version of the Armed Intruder video is available on the Canada School of the Public Service site. As communicated at the last NHSPC meeting, the video has been approved to be used by all federal departments. Members viewed the video at this NHSPC meeting and FAB emphasized that the video should be viewed as part of the Agency’s Security in 30 awareness sessions. It was confirmed that 44 awareness sessions have been requested since the Armed Intruder video went live. A further breakdown of requests for the Security in 30 Awareness sessions will be provided at the next meeting. Members also requested that health and safety committees participate in a Security in 30 awareness session.

2. WORKPLACE violence prevention

Members were informed that the workplace violence working group met on July 10 and July 17, 2018, to discuss the suite of tools created to support the Procedures in response to workplace violence and options for competent person training. In addition, the working group discussed the reporting of workplace violence statistics. Further discussion is required on reporting due to privacy concerns. Following the working group meetings, the suite of tools, as well as proposed changes to the workplace violence training, were shared with the working group and internal stakeholders for consultation.

Bill C-65, the legislation that will ensure employers respond appropriately to incidents of harassment and violence, passed third reading on May 7, 2018. In July 2018, a consultation paper and survey was published asking Canadians and the public service to provide their feedback on the changes to the legislation. The consultation will close on October 5, 2018 and has been shared with employee representatives and internally for feedback.

3. OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH AND SAFETY (OHS) PROGRAM MONITORING

The committee was reminded that the first cycle of the OHS program monitoring was completed on March 31, 2018 and a total of 94 sites were visited. Overall, the results were positive however, some non-conformities were identified. Local management is taking action to correct unsafe conditions and the National OHS Section is monitoring the completion of these action items. Over the next year, the Canada Revenue Agency’s (CRA) OHS Program will focus on reducing non-conformities by improving mandatory training completion rates for managers, educating employees on using and storing Personal Protective Equipment properly and building awareness around the Agency’s ergonomics prevention program. The National OHS Section will work with the NHSPC to determine areas requiring additional focus based on the results. A roll-up of the results from cycle 1 was shared with the Board of Management in September 2018. In addition, a quarterly report of all identified non-conformities for the first year of cycle two will be shared with the Assistant Commissioners for their respective Branch.

The NHSPC received an update on the OHS program monitoring working group action plan items. The National OHS Section is working with the Learning and Development Directorate to develop ways to promote awareness on the Directive on OHS. Also, three first aid and automated external defibrillators (AED) information sheets have been developed to clarify roles and responsibilities for first aid responders, coordinators, and the most senior management representative. These documents were shared with the working group in August 2018, for review. Once the feedback is received, the documents will be posted on InfoZone.

4. PSYCHOLOGICAL STANDARD

The committee was informed that the psychological health and safety working group met on July 17, 2018, to discuss the third joint task force report on mental health and to review a summary of previous discussions on this topic. The working group agreed that employee and manager training should be reviewed and health and safety committees should be trained and equipped with the tools to deal with psychological hazards. The National OHS section will reach out to other departments to find out how they are moving forward on this initiative. Collaboration will continue with the Well-Being Section on this file and information will be shared with the working group as soon as it becomes available.

WRITTEN UPDATES

Members received the written updates in advance of the meeting. Items requiring clarification were discussed as required.

OHS Program

Multiple Environment Job Hazard Analysis (MEJHA) Working Group
The committee was informed that the consultation with the MEJHA working group to revise the Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) and Safe Work Procedures (SWP) is complete and the documents should be published by the end of September 2018. The working group determined that more information was needed, therefore an environmental scan was sent to the working group on July 10, 2018. The next annual review of the SOPs and SWPs is scheduled for November 2018. As well, six SafetyCare videos for job-specific training have launched and are posted on InfoZone. Finally, SOP and safe work procedures are being developed with ITB to support employees who are working remotely in other government buildings, including Canada Border Services Agency locations.

Job Hazard Analysis (JHA) for Field Employees Working Group
The committee was informed that the results of an environmental scan were shared with the working group for discussion on July 10, 2018. Since the results of the original request did not provide sufficient information, a subsequent request for information was sent on May 17, 2018. Also, interviews with employees and managers have been conducted over the past two months, in order to have a better understanding of the tasks/activities that field employees are conducting. The results from the environmental scan and interviews were shared and discussed with the working group on September 11, 2018.

Ergonomics Program
The committee was reminded that it has been one year since the revised ergonomics program was launched with a renewed focus on the prevention of ergonomics related injuries. The basis of the ergonomics prevention process is that ergonomic principles are incorporated into daily work and available tools/resources are used, immediately, to address potential ergonomics issues. Over the last year, there has been an increase in the use of ergonomics coaches and a decrease in the number of requests for ergonomics assessments from the external supplier. Based on those trends, managers are trying to understand their employee’s ergonomics issue and are using the appropriate internal resources/tools. Work will continue to improve the ergonomics coaches program and a mapping exercise is underway with FAB on the office furniture procurement process.

First Aid and AEDs

Automated External Defibrillators
The committed was reminded that the CRA awarded an AED contract to Action First Aid. As of July 31, 2018, the supplier has delivered AED units to all CRA locations. The National OHS Section has revised the first aid and AED website to reflect the new contract and AED units.

First Aid Kits and related products contract
The committee was informed that the Request for Proposal (RFP) was posted on the Government Electronic Tendering Service (GETS) on September 4, 2018 and closes on October 15, 2018. The NHSPC will be kept apprised of the progress of this contract.

Cannabis

The NHSPC was informed that in preparation for the legalization of cannabis, a review of the CRA’s current policies and procedures was completed. With minor modifications to the Code of Integrity and Professional Conduct as well as the Directive on discipline, CRA’s remaining policy instruments were deemed sufficiently comprehensive to address the new legislation. The OHS SOP for Industrial Machinery and Equipment, Powered Lift Truck, Hand and Power Tools currently instructs employees to inform their manager of any changes to their medical condition that could affect the safe operation of machinery or equipment. An awareness message was sent to all employees on September 5, 2018 and a second message will be sent to all employees in October 2018.

Health and Safety Committee (HSC) Effectiveness

The committee was informed that the National OHS Section will be changing the reporting process for the health and safety committee scorecard. Inspection and training results will be provided quarterly to the NHSPC, however, since the minimum requirements for meetings are 9 times per year, these will be reported at the beginning of the second quarter. This information will also be posted on InfoZone. In addition, beginning in January, the OHS Officers will provide non-compliance letters monthly to the most senior management representative on-site, the HSC co-chair or the Health and Safety Representative (HSR), and the director of the tax services office (TSO), if applicable.

HSC Training status
The committee was informed that as of August 1, 2018, 64% of HSC members and HSRs have completed their training. Training sessions were held in Montreal and Regina in June. The next sessions are planned for Shawinigan on October 23-24, 2018, and various Ontario locations in the fall and winter.

Newsletter

The committee was advised that the summer edition of the newsletter was published on August 28, 2018 and features articles on housekeeping, the new AED contract and ergonomics. It also includes a survey asking readers how they use its content and asks for feedback on proposed changes. The results will be shared at the next NHSPC meeting.

Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) Interventions

The CRA has not received any Assurance of Voluntary Compliances, Directions or visits by ESDC since the last NHSPC meeting on June 12, 2018.

Asbestos

The committee received an update on Asbestos. There are 43 sites known to contain Asbestos Containing Material (ACM). The following correction since the last NHSPC includes the removal of 49 Dorchester Street, Sydney, NS, 165 Duckworth Street, St-John’s, NL and 40 Alderney Drive, Dartmouth, NS. These sites were tested as a precautionary measure and PSPC confirmed that they do not contain ACM. FAB has updated the InfoZone listing to reflect the updates from the annual Airborne Asbestos Fiber Testing exercise for 2017-18. All test results were well below maximum thresholds, and there remains no risk to employee health and safety. FAB will also ensure the latest information from Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC) is updated accordingly. FAB continues to work with PSPC, building owners, contractors, Responsible Building Authorities, and local committees to ensure that employees are engaged and aware of issues related to asbestos in the workplace.

Training report

The committee received an update on the OHS training statistics. The July 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 11% since the last report in April 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 National OHS Section will be sending targeted messages to the branches. 

Quarterly incident report

Further clarification was requested on Agency Operations Centre (AOC) 17171, AOC 16071 and AOC 16111. FAB agreed to provide clarification on these cases.

Closing remarks

The co-chairs thanked all members for their contributions and valuable time. The next NHSPC meeting is on December 6, 2018. Dates for the 2019 quarterly NHSPC meetings will be proposed to members in the fall of 2018.

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

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

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