Health and Safety Committee

Minutes of the National Health and Safety Policy Committee

June 27, 2019

DATE:                  June 27, 2019                                    TIME: 1:30 p.m.

LOCATION:         395 Terminal Avenue, Room 8070

ATTENDEES:

Employer Representatives

Employee Representatives

Members

Dan Couture
(Employer Co-Chair)
Janique Caron (for Hugo Pagé)
Maggie Trudel-Maggiore
Dana-Lynne Hills
Ruth Rancy

Doug Gaetz (UTE)
(Employee Co-Chair)
Tracy Marcotte (UTE)
Mark Muench (for Allaudin Alibhai (AFS)
Brian Oldford (UTE)

Secretary

David Walsh  

Observers

Chantal Monette Mathieu Juneau 

Invitees

Nicole Crutcher (HRB)  

Absent

Hugo Pagé
Andrea McKay

Allaudin Alibhai
Phil Choo
Brian Hassall

This meeting was chaired by the employee co-chair, Mr. Doug Gaetz.

OPENING REMARKS

The National Health and Safety Policy Committee (NHSPC) co-chairs welcomed everyone to the meeting. Tracy Marcotte, Presidents Representative of Union Of Taxation Employees (UTE), was announced as a new member of the NHSPC replacing Annick Lamoureux. Dan Couture also announced the departure of Ruth Rancy, Director, Integrity and Well-Being. Annick and Ruth were thanked for their contribution to the committee. Nicole Crutcher, Director, Strategic Planning Division was welcomed as a guest joining the Committee to provide information on Data Management.

REVIEW AND APPROVAL

NHSPC Meeting Minutes – March 7, 2019 

Employee representatives requested additional time to review and approve the March 7, 2019, minutes. Members agreed to the extension.

Action Item Report – June 27, 2019

The action item report was reviewed and approved by members.

Forward Agenda

The forward agenda was reviewed and approved by members.
The employee representatives requested that environmental sensitivities and scent policies be added to the forward agenda as a topic of discussion.

Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) Communication Plan

The OHS communication plan was reviewed and approved. Following a message on environmental sensitivities that was sent to all employees on June 1, 2019, comments were raised to the employer representatives concerning cigarette smoke. It was shared that this issue will be added to future communications on environmental sensitivities. As indicated above, environmental sensitivities will be discussed at a future NHSPC meeting. The National OHS Section will keep members apprised.

DATA MANAGEMENT

Nicole Crutcher, Director, Strategic Planning Division, Human Resources Branch (HRB), shared information with members on CRA’s approach to releasing employee data. Other information included the evolution in data availability, Privacy Act considerations, Income Tax Act protections and the Statistics Canada Standard for the release of data standards at the CRA. Different standards must be applied depending on whether the data requests are from internal or external sources. Members were also informed that the Strategic Planning Division is currently working on a data release policy for HRB data. Further discussions on data reporting will be held at the next working group meeting. The employee representatives reiterated their request to have access to statistics related to workplace violence. 

WORKPLACE VIOLENCE PREVENTION

Members received an update on the CRA’s workplace violence prevention program. Since the last NHSPC meeting, the workplace violence prevention tools were posted on InfoZone which include the manager’s checklist, the workplace violence process map and the report of workplace violence form. The National OHS Section will send a message to inform managers and employees that these tools are posted on InfoZone. Also, an update on workplace violence cases for the period of January 1, 2019 to May 28, 2019 was provided to members. Further discussions on reporting will occur at the NHSPC working group meeting. Lastly, the National OHS Section is working jointly with the Finance and Administration Branch to hire external competent persons from the National Master Standing Offer and to ensure that roadblocks within the CRA’s control are eliminated.

Bill C-65

Members received an update on Bill C-65. Regulations stemming from Bill C-65 were published in the Canada Gazette on April 27, 2019. Coming into force tentatively in 2020, these Regulations will replace Part XX of the Canada Occupational health and Safety Regulations. Until then, the CRA’s workplace violence prevention program will maintain the status quo. The National OHS Section is in continued discussions with internal stakeholders that are impacted by the changes due to Bill-C65. A communication will be sent out to inform employees of the upcoming changes and to remind employees that the current program will remain in place.    Management provided members with an overview of the high level Bill C-65 action plan. The NHSPC working group will meet in July 2019 to discuss workplace violence prevention.

PSYCHOLOGICAL OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH AND SAFETY

Members received an update on the psychological health and safety file. The next NHSPC working group is scheduled for July 2019. At this meeting, members will review a draft action plan to address psychological hazards at the CRA. In the interim, an article on the psychological health and safety topic will be included in the health and safety committee newsletter. The National OHS Section will also continue to participate in the Psychological Occupational Hazard Conditions working group with other government departments led by Treasury Board Secretariat. Members will receive an update on the progress of this file at the next NHSPC meeting.

FIRE AND EMERGENCY EXERCICES

Members received an annual update on fire and emergency exercises at the CRA. It was presented that 100% of CRA occupied buildings have an approved emergency response plan and fire safety plan. Also, 98% of buildings have completed their annual full-scale fire drill. Of the three buildings that were non-compliant, one building within the National Capital Region did not complete the annual full-scale fire drill as it was postponed multiples times by the property manager. The full-scale fire drill occurred on June 19, 2019. The other building, in the Ontario Region, did not complete the annual full-scale fire drill due to a misunderstanding by local security officials. The full-scale fire drill occurred on May 29, 2019. In addition, one building of the 18 high-rise buildings did not complete a full-scale non-fire exercise in Q4 as originally scheduled due to a severe storm. The second attempt to conduct the exercise was cancelled due to key members of the Building Emergency Organization not being available the day of the exercise. Measures will be taken by the local security officials to coordinate all required exercises in 2019-2020.

WRITTEN UPDATES

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

OHS Program

Ergonomics Program

Members received an overview of the ergonomics program. The OHS program is prevention based and modeled on a tiered approach. For each tier, a summary of the frequency of use was provided. For tier one, the self adjustment tool, it was shared that nationally there were 21,960 visits to the self-adjustment page. For tier 2, utilizing an ergonomics coach,  2,258 self-adjustments were completed. Finally for the third tier, external service provider,  457 ergonomic assessments were completed. The information represents a summary of the frequency of use of the services offered within the Ergonomics Program in fiscal 2018-2019.

In addition, members expressed their concerns regarding delays in obtaining an ergonomic assessment. The National OHS Section informed members that an internal working group including the National OHS Section, Labour Relations (LR) and Early Intervention and Return to Work (EIRTW), had been struck to discuss the issues brought forward. Members requested that an employee representative participate in the working group. The National OHS Section will follow-up on next steps.

Members were also reminded that the current ergonomics contract expires in May 2020. The National OHS Section will consult internal stakeholders and employee representatives to develop a new statement of work (SOW) and will work with Contracting throughout the process for this contract.   

OHS Program Monitoring

Members were informed that the OHS program monitoring cycle two, year one, launched on April 1, 2018, and is now completed. This represents a 50% completion of the sites monitored (47/93 sites). As of June 2019, 100 Metcalfe Street and 427 Laurier Avenue West still had outstanding items to action. The National OHS Section followed up to ensure that all identified non-conformities were addressed and actioned by local management in those two buildings. Overall, the CRA’s OHS program has been well implemented in the regions. Cycle two, year two, started on April 1, 2019, and 46 sites will be monitored by March 31, 2020.

OHS Program Monitoring Working Group

Members were informed that the National OHS Section has finalized the last two items from the cycle one, year one, monitoring action plan. An awareness message on the Directive on OHS was shared via MG Hub in March 2019 to remind managers of their obligation to read and understand the Directive on OHS. The information sheets for first aid and AED responders, first aid coordinators and the most senior management representatives on-site were shared and posted in May 2019 on the First Aid and AED InfoZone page.

Members were also informed that the National OHS Section will work with employee representatives on the analysis of monitoring results for cycle 2.

Multiple Environment Job Hazard Analysis (MEJHA) Working Group

Members were informed that the annual review of standard operating procedures (SOP) and safe work procedures (SWP) is completed and the revised SOPs and SWPs are now updated and published. The Loading dock SOP, supporting SWPs and carousel equipment, paper drill, key cutter and OPEX 306 mail slitter SWPs are currently underway. The Information Technology Branch (ITB) Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) Traffic Lane SOP and 6 associated SWPs are currently being drafted.

After consultation with the MEJHA working group, the National OHS Section will develop a lockout program to ensure compliance with legislative requirements for electrical work currently being carried out by ITB employees working in CBSA traffic lanes. Additional discussions will still 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.

In addition, an environmental scan of carts was completed with the MEJHA working group. The National OHS Section will determine whether any new SWPs are required for carts at the CRA once the analysis on feedback is completed. Members were also advised that the National OHS Section is finalizing a contract to use the CANManage service offered by the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS) to develop a database for all applicable safety data sheets (SDS) for chemicals (consumer products) that are used at the CRA. The Usage, Handling and Storage of Hazardous Products in the Workplace SOP and associated SWP are currently on hold until the launch of the database.

Lastly, members were informed that Tracy Marcotte will join the MEJHA working group as the UTE representative.   

Job Hazard Analysis (JHA) for Field Employees Working Group

Members were informed that the working group has finalized incorporating feedback into the 10 new SWPs drafted for field employees. The review of the Procedures for Field Employees Conducting Off-site Visits and the Health and Safety Awareness for Field Employees training (TD1599-005) is now completed. As a result, the National OHS Section recommends that the existing procedures be changed from a corporate policy instrument (CPI) to an SOP with shared responsibility with branches that have field employees. A task hazard analysis will be conducted by the working group members to determine if respiratory protection is required for field employees. An update will be provided to members at the next NHSPC meeting.

Following the discussion on communication issues for field employees at the last NHSPC meeting, the National OHS Section proposed that a communication be sent to Assistant Commissioners representing field employees. Finally, members were informed that Phil Choo will be retiring soon from the CRA and from this working group. The new Audit, Financial and Scientific representative will be identified shortly.   

Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) Assurance of Voluntary Compliance (AVCs) and Directions

Members were informed that following the last NHSPC meeting, the CRA received an AVC on May 8, 2019, for a workplace violence complaint that was received on October 15, 2018. The AVC was related to an initial complaint made by the same employee and put on hold until the investigation was completed. The CRA took the required actions and was found compliant before the May 23, 2019, conformity date.

The CRA also received an AVC on May 2, 2019, at 201 St-George Street in Bathurst, N.B., related to the storage of various items and materials on top of shelves in the IT room. The CRA took the required actions and was found compliant on May 21, 2019.

The CRA was advised in May 2019 of a complaint regarding the closure of the first aid room in Jonquière Tax Centre. The National OHS Section provided the required information to ESDC who confirmed that the information shared was sufficient.

In addition, Management from Fraser Valley TSO Call Centre - 13450 102 Ave, Surrey, B.C., received a work refusal from an employee on March 4, 2019. The decision made by the employer is that there was no danger and no further corrective action was required.

OHS Training Report

The committee received an update on the OHS training statistics. The April 2019 statistics show that nationally, the percentage of untrained employees in OHS has increased by 1% since the last report in January 2019. The percentage of untrained managers in OHS is 9%. All regions saw decreases compared to the last report in January 2019. Nationally, the total number of untrained managers has decreased since January 2019.

Also, the number of employees and managers trained in workplace violence prevention has remained relatively constant since September 2016. In April 2019, the percentage of untrained employees and managers increased to 6% nationally. The criteria used to calculate workplace violence prevention course completion and retraining rates has been adjusted to improve accuracy. A targeted message was sent on June 12, 2019, to all employees who had not completed the workplace violence prevention training.

Health and Safety Committee (HSC) Effectiveness

HSC Effectiveness Results

Members were informed that the National OHS Section is currently finalising the 1st quarter HSC effectiveness results, the detailed HSC and HSR scorecard. The documents will be shared with the HSCs and HSRs once they are approved.  The National OHS Section is currently working on messages for AMC, the most senior management representatives on-site and the HSCs and HSRs regarding the change from a yearly process to a monthly process for non-conformity letters.

HSC/HSR Training

Members were informed that HSC/HSR training sessions were provided in spring 2019 in Sudbury, Ottawa, Vancouver, Calgary, Winnipeg and Saskatchewan. Sessions are planned for summer 2019 in Toronto and Kitchener. A train-the-trainer session was provided on June 11, 12 and 13, 2019.

Newsletter

Members were informed that the spring edition was published in June 2019. It contained articles on National OHS week, workplace violence prevention and new OHS time codes. The fall edition will be published in October 2019.

Incident Reporting and Disability Management System (IRDMS)

Members received an update on Incident Reporting and Disability Management System (IRDMS). The National OHS Section was informed that the system had only been partially tested for accessibility and that full testing could only begin in October 2019. In discussion with Labour Relations and Early Intervention and Return to Work, it was agreed that the system should be fully tested before launching. In the meantime, the National OHS Section will continue to work on job aids and communication aspects.

First Aid and Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs)

Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs)

Members were informed that the national disposal process for AEDs from the previous AED contract was completed in May 2019. Also, a communication on the AED checklist and troubleshooting considerations for the Philips HeartSmart AED was shared with First Aid and AED Coordinators in June 2019. 

First Aid Kits and related products contract

Members were informed that the National OHS Section continues to work with contracting to finalize the list of first aid supplies that will be contained in the office supply contract. A message will be sent by Synergy to acquisition card holders to clarify the purchasing process for first aid kits and individual first aid supplies.

KnowHow Statistics

Members were informed that five health and safety pages were identified as part of the top 50 viewed pages on KnowHow from January to April 2019.

Finance and Administration Branch

Asbestos

Members received an update on the asbestos file. There are currently 44 sites known to contain Asbestos Containing Material (ACM) with the addition of 55 Athol Street since the last NHSPC meeting.  It was confirmed that no ACM is located within tenant space where CRA employees are located of 55 Athol Street except for the common area and the parking garage.  

Quarterly Incident report

Members received an update on the Reports on threats, assaults on CRA employees for Q4.

Closing remarks

Members were thanked for their contributions and the co-chairs reiterated their best wishes to Ruth Rancy as her last day will be on July 26, 2019. The next NHSPC meeting is scheduled for September 12, 2019.

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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