Health and Safety Committee

Minutes of the National Health and Safety Policy Committee (NHSPC)

September 12, 2019

DATE:                  September 12, 2019                          TIME: 1:30 p.m.
LOCATION:         395 Terminal Avenue, Room 8070

ATTENDEES:

Employer Representatives

Employee Representatives

Members

Dan Couture
(Employer Co-Chair)
Hugo Pagé
Dana-Lynne Hills
Maggie Trudel-Maggiore
Heather DiPenta

Doug Gaetz (UTE)
(Employee Co-Chair)
Tracy Marcotte (UTE)
Allaudin Alibhai (AFS)
Brian Oldford (UTE)
Alnashir Ravjiani (AFS)

Secretary David Walsh  
Observers

Andrea McKay
Chantal Monette

Mathieu Juneau
Eric Langlais

​Invitees Jean-François Gagné  
Absent    

This meeting was chaired by the employer co-chair, Mr. Dan Couture.

OPENING REMARKS

Dan Couture welcomed everyone to the meeting. First, he invited members to use the official language of their choice during the meeting. Heather DiPenta, Director, Integrity and Well-Being, was welcomed to her first meeting succeeding Ruth Rancy. Alnashir Ravjiani, Toronto Representative for the Audit, Financial and Scientific (AFS) Group, was also welcomed as a new member of the NHSPC replacing Phil Choo. Phil was thanked for his commitment as a member of the committee and members wished him all the best in his retirement. Jean-Francois Gagné, Human Resources Program Management Officer, was announced as a guest joining the committee to provide a presentation on the new Incident Reporting and Disability Management System (IRDMS).

REVIEW AND APPROVAL

NHSPC Meeting Minutes – June 27, 2019 

Employee representatives requested that the name of the chairperson for the meeting be added to the minutes as previously done in the past. Members agreed to this request.                                 

Employee representatives expressed their concerns regarding two buildings that were not compliant with their annual full-scale fire drill. Management from the Finance and Administration Branch (FAB) mentioned that to date, the exercises have been completed. Members approved the June 27, 2019 minutes.

Action Item Report 

The action item report was reviewed and approved by members.

Forward Agenda

The forward agenda was reviewed and approved by members. Further discussions on environmental sensitivities will take place at the next NHSPC meeting. The forward agenda for the 2020 NHSPC meetings is underway.

Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) Communication Plan

The OHS communication plan was reviewed and approved.

WORKPLACE VIOLENCE PREVENTION (WVP)

Members were informed that the NHSPC WVP Working Group met on July 18, 2019. At that meeting, members discussed and reviewed the manager’s checklist and process map with minor changes.

The members were advised that the message to inform managers and employees that tools are posted on InfoZone is currently in the consultation process. Also, an update on workplace violence cases for the period of January 2019 to August 2019 was provided to members. It was confirmed that contributing factors and trends identified in workplace violence cases will be shared at the next NHSPC meeting. The National OHS Section continues to work with the Demographics and Workforce Analysis Section to identify an approach to present workplace violence statistics.

Members were informed that consultations were conducted concerning the process followed when a Hazardous Occurrence Report (T4009) is completed for a workplace violence case. As a result of the consultation, the current workplace violence process, where the T4009 report is shared with the Health and safety committee (HSC) without identifying names, will remain the same. The National OHS Section is also currently working with the Contracting Division to identify ways to accelerate the procurement process to hire external competent person investigators from the National Master Standing Offer. Lastly, the National OHS Section is working with Management Hub to develop a page on workplace violence prevention in the workplace.

Bill C-65 update

Members received an update on Bill C-65. The National OHS Section has started internal consultations on a draft gap analysis of the current proposed Work Place Harassment and Violence Prevention Regulations and Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) current programs. Workplace Relations and Compensation Directorate (WRCD) management held a meeting on September 4, 2019, with the Union of Taxation Employees Group and September 5, 2019, with the AFS Group to discuss the impacts of Bill C-65. Further consultations will be held with Human Resources Branch stakeholders to discuss how the new regulations will impact their programs. Additional consultations will also take place with employee representatives. The publishing date for the final Regulations remain unknown.

At the NHSPC Working Group meeting on July 18, 2019, the employee representatives raised concerns with how the new Regulations remove the role of the HSC in the investigation. After discussions, members agreed overall that the role of the HSC is to ensure that the recommendations are implemented. Members also agreed that a joint development of a revised WVP program to include harassment will need to occur as well as the development of a comprehensive harassment and violence prevention training.

PSYCHOLOGICAL OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH AND SAFETY (OHS)

Members were informed that the NHSPC Psychological Health and Safety Working Group met on July 18, 2019.  At that meeting, members discussed an action plan to address potential psychological hazards at the CRA. Members reviewed key definitions related to psychological hazards as well as the13 organizational factors listed in the Canadian Standards Association  Psychological Health and Safety Standard. Members discussed possibilities for prioritising the review of the 13 factors. It was agreed that the next step should be to develop a practical guide with information on preventing psychological hazards at the CRA with useful links. Members also agreed to develop a joint communication to inform management and employees of the progress on the psychological health and safety portfolio.

Finally, members were informed that the CRA will continue to participate on the Psychological Occupational Hazard Conditions Working Group. A sub-group will be formed to ensure continuity of the work being done and to develop the tools required to assess psychological hazards. The next meeting will be scheduled in the fall 2019.

INCIDENT REPORTING AND DISABILITY MANAGEMENT SYSTEM (IRDMS)

Jean-Francois Gagné provided an overview of the new IRDMS and a summary of the progress made since the last presentation in November 2017. The system will centralize the process for managing and reporting workplace hazards, injuries and disability management cases.

The National OHS Section is currently testing the system. Four HSCs from across the country have been involved with testing the system and reviewing draft job aids during the summer 2019. The next step will be to approach the MG network to assist with testing. The employee representatives suggested that a presentation to all managers be considered. The NHSPC will be kept apprised of the progress.

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 update on the Ergonomics Working Group.  As reported at the NHSPC meeting in June 2019, an internal working group was formed to discuss delays in obtaining an ergonomic assessment. The first meeting was held on May 12, 2019, and members discussed the roles of stakeholders in the ergonomics process and analyzed specific cases that were identified as having a delay. The next working group meeting will be held in September 2019. An update will be provided to members at the next NHSPC meeting.

OHS Program Monitoring

Members were informed that the OHS program monitoring for cycle two, year two, launched on April 1, 2019. To date, 43% of the sites have been visited (19/44). The remaining 25 sites will be completed by March 31, 2020.

Multiple Environment Job Hazard Analysis (MEJHA) Working Group         

Members were informed that the Loading dock Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) including three supporting safe work procedures (SWP), are currently underway.

The environmental scan of carts will be reviewed at the next MEJHA Working Group scheduled on September 23, 2019. Once the feedback has been analysed, the National OHS Section will determine whether any new SWPs are required for carts at the CRA.

The Control of hazardous energy SOP and lockout program is under development. The Information Technology Branch Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) Traffic Lane SOP and 6 associated SWPs have been drafted, but have been temporarily put on hold until the Control of hazardous energy SOP and associated lockout SWPs are completed.

In addition, new inserter equipment requiring the use of compressors was recently installed in the National Print to Mail facilities in Winnipeg and Summerside. According to the noise level testing results, the National OHS Section will work to determine if engineering controls can be developed to minimize the risk of noise level exposure below the threshold. As a result, a hearing protection program may need to be developed and implemented.

Lastly, the National OHS Section is currently working on finalizing a contract with CANManage of the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS). Work is underway with 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 chemicals in the workplace SOP and associated SWP will be launched once the database is complete.

Job Hazard Analysis (JHA) for Field Employees Working Group

The 10 new SWPs for field employees have been finalized and will be sent to the JHA Working Group for approval in the fall. The existing health and safety awareness for field employees training (TD1599-005) has been revised by the working group and will be sent for publishing once the new SOP and SWPs are approved. Also, the new definition of field employee has been revised and published in the workplace management glossary of definitions.

Members were also informed that a task hazard analysis is being conducted by each applicable directorate to determine whether respiratory protection may be required for their field employees. The results of the task hazard analysis will be discussed at the next working group meeting on September 20, 2019. An update will be provided at the next NHSPC meeting.

Lastly, members were informed that Alnashir Ravjiani will join the MEJHA Working Group as the AFS representative.

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

Members were informed that following the last NHSPC meeting, ESDC visited 4 sites in British Colombia (Surrey and Vancouver) and CRA received an Assurance of Voluntary Compliance (AVCs) for each of the sites. Items identified include: issues with exit doors, improperly secured cabinets/lockers, fire extinguishers not being inspected and  Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS’s) that had not been updated in the last 3 years. For one of the AVCs, work is ongoing to ensure compliance. The CRA took the required actions to address the 3 other AVC’s.

OHS Training Report

The committee received an update on the mandatory OHS training statistics. The August 2019 training statistics show that nationally, the percentage of untrained employees is at 2%. The percentage of untrained managers in OHS is at 15%.  A communication will be sent to all employees and managers in September 2019 to remind them to complete all mandatory OHS courses. A targeted communication will be sent to all employees and managers who have not completed the mandatory OHS employee and manager training.

The number of employees and managers trained in workplace violence prevention has remained relatively constant nationally since September 2016. Overall, the percentage of untrained employees and managers is at 5%. However, the number of employees and managers requiring re-training has increased nationally to 36%.  A targeted communication will be sent in September 2019 to employees and managers who require re-training or have not completed the course.

Finally, as of July 24, 2019, 18% of managers and employees were reported untrained for the Workplace Hazardous materials Information System (WHMIS) 2015 OHS course.

Health and Safety Committee (HSC) Effectiveness

HSC Effectiveness Results

Employee representatives raised their concerns about the number of investigations not completed. The National OHS Section will continue to monitor this closely.

HSC/Health and Safety Representative (HSR) Training

Members were informed that HSC/HSR training sessions were provided this summer in Toronto North, Toronto Centre, Toronto East, Montreal, and Kitchener. Sessions are also planned for fall 2019 in Vancouver, Calgary, Saskatchewan, Winnipeg, Barrie, Hamilton, Ottawa and Summerside.

Newsletter

Members were informed that the next edition of the newsletter will be published in the fall of 2019.

Automated External Defibrillators (AED)

Members were informed that the communication on the troubleshooting considerations for the Philips HeartSmart AED was shared on August 16, 2019, with First aid/AED Coordinators.

First Aid Kits and related products contract

Members were informed that first aid kits, kit refills and individual supplies are available in Synergy. A message was sent in August 2019 informing acquisition cardholders of the availability of the kits and supplies in Synergy. Another message was sent to First Aid and AED coordinators in September 2019 to inform them of this change. The First aid and AED pages and the contract fact sheet were also updated on InfoZone.

KnowHow Statistics

Members were informed that the WHMIS 2015 video/page, the ergonomics home page, and the Find the right fit video were identified as part of the top 50 viewed pages on KnowHow from May to July 2019. Employee representatives requested statistics for the number of views on the workplace violence prevention page. The National OHS Section will provide members with an update at the next NHSPC meeting.   

Finances and Administration Branch

Asbestos

Members received an update on the Asbestos file. Since the last NHSPC meeting, there has been no change to the list of sites known to contain Asbestos Containing Material. The total remains at 44 sites for CRA. The employee representatives raised concerns related to the future occupancy of St Clair Centre including asbestos removal and joint inspection prior to occupancy. It was agreed that the issue should be first raised locally. The employee representatives also requested some additional clarification on the status of the 55 Athol Street issue.

Quarterly incident Report

Members reviewed the report on threats, assaults on CRA employees for Q1. The employee representatives raised concerns related to repeat offenders that threaten CRA employees and indicated that security measures should be enhanced. Management from FAB indicated that some changes have been made to the incident reporting process which allows for more accurate information and data.

Employee representatives asked if statistics related to threat indicators are available. Management from FAB indicated that, in accordance with the Privacy Policy, detailed information is restricted to security officers only. The employee representatives also requested clarification on the role of the security officer when a potential physical security threat occurs in a building. Management from FAB stated that security officers, like other employees, are expected to follow the lockdown procedures and react quickly for their own safety. As much as possible, security officers as well as managers have the responsibility to call the police and 911 when a situation occurs.

CLOSING REMARKS

The next NHSPC meeting is scheduled for December 16, 2019. Dan Couture thanked the National OHS team for their work in planning the NHSPC meeting. Doug Gaetz thanked the NHSPC Working Group for their contribution to the various files underway. Dates for the 2020  NHSPC meetings will be confirmed in the fall of 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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