Health and Safety Committee

Minutes of the National Health and Safety Policy Committee

March 7, 2019

DATE:                  March 7, 2019                                    TIME: 1:30 p.m.
LOCATION:         395 Terminal Avenue, Room 8070

ATTENDEES:

Employer Representatives

Employee Representatives

Members

Dan Couture
(Employer Co-Chair)
Jeremy Hebert (for Hugo Pagé)
Maggie Trudel-Maggiore

Dana-Lynne Hills
Ruth Rancy

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

Secretary

David Walsh  

Observers

Andrea McKay Eric Langlais (PIPSC)

Absent

Hugo Pagé Allaudin Alibhai

OPENING REMARKS

The National Health and Safety Policy Committee (NHSPC) co-chairs welcomed everyone to the first meeting of 2019. Chris Docherty was thanked for his participation during the last two meetings and Dana-Lynne Hills was welcomed back to the committee. It was confirmed that Annick Lamoureux started an assignment with the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC). Her replacement will be announced after the election at the March 28, 2019, Union of Taxation Employees (UTE) President’s conference. Annick was thanked for her contributions to the committee.

Occupational health and safety program Multiple environment job HAZARDS analysis/job hazard analysis

MEJHA - Consumer Products

Members received an update on the Multiple Environment Job Hazard Analysis (MEJHA) consumer products review at the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). The Usage, handling, and storage of hazardous products (Consumer Products) in the workplace standard operating procedure (SOP) is ready for approval. In order to have better control of the chemicals used in the workplace, and to ensure compliance with the legislative requirements to provide employees with bilingual safety data sheets (SDS), it was recommended that employees be prohibited from bringing personal consumer products into the workplace. To support the new SOP, a Chemical products (consumer products) safe work procedure (SWP) has also been shared for consultation. In addition, the CRA is looking at contracting a company to manage SDS. Members agreed with the approach and provided suggestions for communicating the new requirements. Employee representatives requested clarification that cleaning products are available in Synergy and examples of the types of chemical products found in CRA workplaces. The National Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) Section will follow-up with the MEJHA working group on this item.

JHA Working Group - Communications

Members received an update on the Job Hazard Analysis (JHA) for field employees working group regarding communications. A JHA environmental scan conducted in March 2018 showed that not all CRA offices are making cell phones available for field employees to use while conducting regular work activities outside of federal government facilities. Common issues identified include a lack of adequate phones for the number of field employees and aging equipment. Members requested that the JHA working group complete a further review of the identified issues. This includes reviewing which positions are included as a field employee and the total number of field employees at the CRA. Also, employee representatives requested additional details as to why managers are not providing cell phones for employees. The National OHS Section will follow-up on this item.

Workplace violence prevention

Members were informed that the NHSPC workplace violence prevention (WVP) working group met on January 25, 2019. At the meeting, working group members agreed to proceed with the workplace violence tools including the manager’s checklist, the workplace violence process map and communication template letters. During the meeting, the working group recommended that the National Master Standing Offer continue to be used to appoint competent persons. An initial walkthrough was also completed on the revisions to the Canada Labour Code (CLC), Part II, and proposed Regulations resulting from Bill C-65. At the March 2019 NHSPC meeting, members requested updated statistics on workplace violence cases and additional clarification on sharing case statistics with health and safety committees. Members also received confirmation that the revised workplace violence prevention training went live on February 7, 2019.

PSYCHOLOGICAL OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH AND SAFETY

Members were provided with an update on psychological health and safety. On January 25, 2019, the NHSPC working group met to discuss this file. A detailed update was provided by employees who attended the York University Psychological Health and Safety Certificate Program in November 2018. The objective was to develop indicators and an assessment methodology to conduct a psychological hazard analysis for each of the thirteen psychosocial factors. The NHSPC working group agreed to jointly develop an action plan to identify and address psychological hazards at the CRA. The National OHS Section will also continue to participate on the Psychological Occupational Hazard Conditions working group led by the Treasury Board Secretariat (TBS). Since the last NHSPC meeting, TBS held meetings on December 11, 2018, and on January 31, 2019, to discuss the grouping of psychological demands at the job level. Members requested that an article on the progress on this file be included in the Health and Safety Committee (HSC)  Effectiveness  newsletter and National OHS agreed with the suggestion.

WRITTEN UPDATES

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

Action Item Report

Employee representatives requested a copy of the final Sudbury business case documents and National OHS agreed to share the documents.

OHS Program

MEJHA Working Group

Members were informed that the MEJHA SOPs and SWPs were revised and published on January 30, 2019. The annual review of the SOPs and SWPs for the current year began on November 20, 2018, and the consultation stage with stakeholders is complete. Revisions to existing SOPs and SWPs, as well as the development of six new SWPs, are currently underway. After consultations with the Information Technology Branch (ITB), it has been determined that a lockout program is required for ITB employees working at Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) traffic lanes as they conduct repairs on electrical equipment. Additional discussions will be required with the MEJHA working group to determine if the lockout program will be implemented in other Branches where machinery and equipment are being used. The CBSA traffic lane SOP and six job specific SWPs are currently being revised based on stakeholder feedback.

JHA for Field Employees Working Group

Members were informed that the Procedures for field employees conducting off-site visits, the Health and Safety Awareness for Field Employees - TD1599-005, and nine new job specific SWPs are currently being revised based on feedback.

First Aid and Automated External Defibrillators

First Aid Kits and Related Products Contract

Members received confirmation that the National OHS Section is working with Contracting to amend the CRA’s current office supply contract to include individual first aid supplies. A more detailed update will be provided at the June 2019 NHSPC meeting.

Automated External Defibrillators

Members were reminded that the national disposal process for the automated external defibrillators (AED) from the previous contract with Rescue 7 was launched on January 25, 2019. These AEDs are out of warranty and are no longer being used. The first phase of the disposal started with Atlantic, Quebec and Prairie Regions and the second phase will begin in March 2019, and will include Pacific, Ontario and HQ. The disposal initiative will be completed with all stakeholders in the spring of 2019.  

First Aid and AED SOP

Members were informed that the National OHS Section is currently reviewing the First Aid and AED SOP to reflect the changes in the new AED contract with Action First Aid. First, the requirement for a case seal on the wall cabinet will be removed as it is no longer required. Also, the user manual link must be replaced to reflect the new Philips AED manual as per the new contract. The revised version will be published once the SOP is approved. 

Incident Reporting and Disability Management System

Members received an update on Incident Reporting and Disability Management System (IRDMS). The National OHS Section met with employee representatives on January 23, 2019, and completed a walkthrough of the new system in the testing environment. The new system will replace the current T4009 for reporting potential and actual hazardous occurrences. Testing is underway with the National OHS Section and various HSC’s.

OHS Program Monitoring

Members were informed that the OHS program monitoring year one, cycle two, will be completed on March 31, 2019, with 47 sites monitored. Year two, cycle two, will begin on April 1, 2019, with 46 sites to be monitored by March 31, 2020. The report to address the non-conformities at 112 Kent, Place de Ville, Tower B, from cycle one was received on February 8, 2019. In addition, the National OHS Section followed up to ensure that all identified non-conformities from year two, cycle one, were addressed and actioned by local management in the 43 buildings monitored by March 31, 2019.

OHS Program Monitoring Working Group

Members were informed that the National OHS Section is working to finalize the last two items from the year one, cycle one, monitoring action plan. After discussion with the Learning and Development Directorate to promote awareness of the Directive on OHS, it is suggested that a newsflash be sent through Management Hub to remind managers of their obligation to read and understand the Directive on OHS. Working group members agreed with this approach.

Also, the information sheets for first aid/AED responders, first aid/AED coordinators and the most senior management representatives on-site are complete. The inspection list and the record keeping documents will be put on hold since further consultations are required. The documents will be shared with first aid and AED responders, coordinators and most senior management and will be posted on the First Aid and AED InfoZone page

Employment and Social Development Canada Interventions

Members were informed that following the last NHSPC meeting, an Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC)  officer visited 81 Mulcaster Street in Barrie, Ontario, on November 27, 2018. During the visit, the CRA received an Assurance of Voluntary Compliance for failing to post at a place accessible to all employees, a work place violence prevention policy and failing to identify the first aid station by a conspicuous sign. The CRA corrected the issues identified on December 17, 2018, and was found compliant for the items identified.

Asbestos

Members were advised that there are currently 43 sites known to contain Asbestos-Containing Material (ACM), with one update since the last NHSPC meeting: 800 de la Gauchetière, Montréal, QC. The CRA is currently in the process of undertaking airborne asbestos fibre testing for 2018-19 at the 43 sites known to contain ACM. Testing is expected to be completed and final reports submitted by the end of fiscal year. The Finance and Administration Branch (FAB) will update the InfoZone listing to reflect the updates from the annual Airborne Asbestos Fiber Testing exercise for 2018-19. Once again this year, all test results are well below maximum thresholds. 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 (RBA), and local committees to ensure that employees are engaged and aware of issues related to asbestos in the workplace.

Employee representatives raised concerns related to CRA employees moving into buildings that contain ACM.

Health and Safety Committee Effectiveness

HSC Effectiveness Results

Members were provided with an update on the year-end Health and Safety Committee (HSC) effectiveness results. The year-end report for 2018 showed that 86 out of 87 (99%) HSCs met the required nine meetings by the end of the year. As for the inspections, 95 out of 128 (74%) HSCs and Health and Safety Representatives (HSR) completed the monthly inspections required for 2018. Overall, 61% have completed the current course or the previous three day course before 2016.

HSC/HSR Training

Members were informed that HSC/HSR training sessions were provided in December 2018 in Ottawa, St. Catharines and Montréal. Sessions are planned for winter/spring/summer 2019 in Sudbury, Ottawa, Vancouver, Calgary, Winnipeg, Saskatchewan, Toronto and Kitchener.

A train-the-trainer session is also planned for April 29, 30 and May 1, 2019.

Newsletter

Members received confirmation that the winter edition was published on January 16, 2019. The spring edition will be published in April 2019. 

Security in 30 message to HSCs

Members received confirmation that the National OHS Section sent a message to all HSCs/HSRs asking that they complete the Security in 30, armed intruder awareness session. 

OHS Communication Plan

Members were advised that the 2019 OHS communication plan will be shared with employee representatives for review.

Training Report

The committee received an update on the OHS training statistics. The January 2019 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 November 2018. Also, the number of employees and managers untrained in workplace violence prevention has remained at 2% since September 2016. A targeted message was sent on   March 1, 2019, to all managers who had not completed the required health and safety course.

Quarterly Incident Reports

Members received clarification on AOC #18413, #18470 and #18840.

Building emergency line

Members raised concerns regarding busy signals with the building emergency line on February 13, 2019. FAB confirmed that this was as a result of major snow storms in HQ, Ontario and Atlantic regions. It was confirmed that capacity has been expanded to address future needs.

Security coporate policy instrument

Members received confirmation that consultations took place on the revised Security Program Policy Framework and the new overarching Security Policy. The Agency Management Committee (AMC) approved the corporate policy instruments on March 6, 2019. Once approved at the Board, the documents will be shared with members.

Closing remarks

Members were thanked for their contributions and noted progress on the OHS Program. The next NHSPC meeting is scheduled for June 27, 2019. Employee representatives requested that the November 28 meeting be changed due to the UTE and PSAC OHS conference. The National OHS Section will propose a new date.

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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