Health and Safety Committee

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

September 28, 2021

DATE:

September 28, 2021 

TIME: 1:30 p.m. 

LOCATION:

Microsoft Teams Meeting

ATTENDEES:

Employer Representatives

Employee Representatives

Members

Dan Couture 
Claude Corbin
Debby Honcoop (for H. Gill) 
Maggie Trudel-Maggiore
Heather Dipenta

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

Guests

Nandini Srikantiah
Jeremy Hebert
Frank Davoudi
Paula Warnholtz

 
Secretary David Walsh   
Observers

Kyla McGuire
Tina Ranallo
Chantal Monette

Mathieu Juneau
Anastasia Demidenko

This meeting was chaired by the Employee Co-Chair, Mr. Doug Gaetz.

OPENING REMARKS

The Employee Co-Chair welcomed and thanked everyone for their work on the NHSPC and the national occupational health and safety (OHS) committees. He took the opportunity to congratulate Jennifer MacPherson on her re-election as president representative for the UTE Health and Safety Committee. He also highlighted that Tracy Marcotte received the Betty Bannon award of merit in the field of health and safety to recognise her contribution and work over the last few years. In addition, he informed the members that the UTE will follow the direction of the Public Service Alliance of Canada regarding the mandatory COVID-19 vaccination.   

To begin, the Employer Co-Chair welcomed the committee members, guests and observers to the third meeting of 2021 and also thanked everyone for their work and contribution to the NHSPC during the pandemic. He took the opportunity to congratulate Doug Gaetz and Brian Oldford on their re-election in July 2021 as first national VicePresident and Atlantic Regional Vice-President . 

The employer Co-Chair also provided members with an update on the reported COVID-19 cases since March 2020, on vaccination and the approach that will be taken by the CRA. Members were informed that union engagement and consultation will be ongoing as the CRA moves forward. The details on the requirement and timing will also be communicated to the committee and stakeholders as they become available. Members were reminded that CRA employees are still required to follow COVID-19 protocols at CRA worksites. He also indicated that the Human Resources and the Finances and Administration branches have worked jointly on the CRA transition plan on various key human resources aspects such as placing a continued priority on employee health and safety, focussing on employee well-being and mental health. 

REVIEW OF DOCUMENTS

NHSPC Meeting Minutes – June 22, 2021 

Members approved the June 22, 2021 minutes.     

Action Item Report 

All items from the action item report were closed in June 2021 and no new action items were identified at the last meeting.

Forward Agenda

The forward agenda for 2021 was reviewed and approved by members.

OHS Communication Plan

The 2021-2022 OHS communication plan was reviewed and approved by the members.  

UPDATE FROM THE HUMAN RESOURCES BRANCH (HRB) - OHS PROGRAM 

WORKPLACE HARASSMENT VIOLENCE PREVENTION (WHVP)

Members were informed that the new team of harassment and violence resolution officers (HVRO) received the training that meets requirements outlined in the legislation for designated recipients. The HVRO team became fully operational as of September 20, 2021. Members were also informed that the workplace harassment and violence prevention and resolution procedures and the add-on training module will be launched in fall 2021. Members were also provided with the number of cases ongoing under the old and new resolution processes for the period of January 1st to September 3rd , 2021. 

The NHSPC working group will continue to work on various key aspects such as domestic violence, the development of the investigator’s list, updating the health and safety committee and will develop the new CRA harassment and violence prevention training program. 

PSYCHOLOGICAL HEALTH AND SAFETY (PHS)  

Members were informed that the NHSPC working group met on July 9, 2021 to discuss the resources and communications that were shared over the course of the pandemic. The working group agreed to validate the action plan, and look at the public service employee survey (PSES) data to determine tangible action items at the next working group meeting which will be scheduled in fall 2021. It was also mentioned that the Learning and Well-being COVID-19 Working Group produced two short and engaging videos to support employees. The working group is currently working on Phase II of their project plan with a focus on the hybrid work model. Members were informed that a national message will be shared shortly to promote Mental Illness Awareness Week which will take place from October 3rd to October 9th, 2021 and Conflict Resolution Day on October 21, 2021.

UPDATE FROM THE FINANCE AND ADMINISTRATION BRANCH (FAB) 

CRA Transition Plan

Members received an update on the CRA transition plan which was communicated to CRA employees on September 1, 2021. It was confirmed that the CRA is currently in the pandemic phase of the transition plan and will continue to follow the guidelines of the Public Health Agency of Canada and will maintain a national approach when moving to the subsequent phases of the plan. Union engagement and consultations will be ongoing as the CRA moves throughout the transition process.

WRITTEN UPDATES

Members received the following written updates in advance of the meeting. 

OHS Program

Multiple Environment Job Hazard Analysis (MEJHA) Working Group          

Members were provided with an update on the existing Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) and Safe Work Procedures (SWP) for machinery, equipment and tools. The documents were approved and will be posted shortly.  

The CRA Information Technology employees working at Canada Border Services Agency Traffic Lane SOP and associated SWP were posted on the National OHS SOP and SWP InfoZone page.

Job Hazard Analysis (JHA) for Field Employees Working Group 

Members were informed that the new SOP for Field Employees and associated SWPs were published. The existing field employee training was converted to the new Web Experience Toolkit 4 look and is in the final review stages with the Learning Solutions Section. 

The Respiratory Protection Program (RPP), the Respiratory Protection SOP and the applicable SWP were approved on July 9, 2021 by the Criminal Investigations Directorate and will be published on InfoZone shortly. The procurement process for respiratory protective services including training, individual fit testing, consultation services, and equipment is currently under review. Program implementation is still scheduled to begin in November 2021.

Ergonomics Program 

The National OHS Section is currently reviewing the updated training material received from Santé Circle Health for onboarding new ergonomic coaches, the refresher course for existing ergonomic coaches, conducting a virtual assessment, and practical safe lifting training. From June 2021 to August 2021, 78 ergo adjustments were completed by the ergonomic coaches and 131 ergonomics assessment were completed by Santé Circle Health.

Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) - Assurances of Voluntary  Compliance (AVC) and Directions

Members were informed that since the last meeting in June 2021, there were no ESDC visits at CRA locations. 

OHS Training Report

As of August 2021,the percentage of untrained employees has remained at 2% and the percentage of untrained managers has increased to 16% since the last report in May 2021. 

As of August 2021, the COVID-19 Health and Safety at the Workplace training course was completed by 88% of CRA employees. 

The percentage of untrained employees and managers for the Harassment and Violence for Employees course is 42%.

Members were also informed that 67% of employees hired between January and August 2021 completed the Harassment and Violence for Employees course. 

Health and Safety Committee (HSC) Effectiveness

HSC Training

Members were informed that webinars were held over the summer with the existing trainers to discuss the in-class course and review the current material to allow for virtual delivery of the training. The National OHS Section is currently working with a learning consultant to update the course accordingly. 

HSC and Health and Safety Representative (HSR) Scorecards 

Members were provided with the statistics on investigations and monthly meeting requirements for Quarter (Q) 1 and Q2 for 2021.  

Incident Reporting and Disability Management System (IRDMS)

Members were informed that the IRDMS was launched on June 30, 2021 and is fully operational. The InfoZone pages were updated to direct clients to IRDMS for reporting.   

Hazard Prevention Program (HPP)

Members were informed that the HPP Evaluation Report, along with the updated draft of the HPP will be shared with the employee representatives for their review and comments. Members were also reminded that these documents will help the National OHS Section and the NHSPC set its direction and focus for the next three years.   

FAB

Quarterly Incident Report  

Members were provided with the report on threats and assaults against CRA employees for  April 2021 to June 2021 (Q1). The employee representatives requested if data is available on the number of threat indicators placed on taxpayers’ file in previous years versus the number of threat indicators that were dropped from Taxpayer’s files for the same period. It was agreed that the FAB representatives would provide an update to the members prior to the next NHSPC meeting.  

COVID-19 CRA National Worksite Protocol

Members were informed that all CRA employees required to report on-site are reporting to sites where Building Worksite Plans are implemented, in accordance with the CRA

National Worksite Protocol. FAB is currently reviewing and updating the existing National Worksite Protocol to align with the CRA Transition plan. In addition, a readiness checklist is in development to align with each phase of the CRA transition plan. These draft documents will be shared shortly with the employee representatives for their feedback.

Asbestos

Members were reminded that the results from the national testing initiative are anticipated in October 2021. The CRA will continue to work with Public Services and Procurement Canada to ensure the information is received and shared at the local level. The information includes the most recent assessment and reassessment of asbestos containing materials (ACM) conditions, as well as upcoming project activity that has the potential to disturb ACM. 

CLOSING REMARKS

The Co-Chairs closed the meeting by thanking everyone for their valuable participation and reminding them of the next meeting scheduled for December 14, 2021. 

The meeting adjourned at 2:45 p.m.

Dan Couture's signature   Doug Gaetz's signature

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

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

Date: November 30, 2021

Date: December 3, 2021