Health and Safety Committee

Minutes of the National Health and Safety Policy Committee Meeting

December 1, 2011
DATE: December 1, 2011 TIME: 1:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.
LOCATION: 8th Floor Board Room, 200 Laurier Avenue West

ATTENDEES:

Management

Union

Members

Claude Tremblay (Employer Co-Chair)
Thérèse Awada
Josée Tremblay
Heather DiPenta

Chris Aylward (Employee Co-Chair)
Doug Mason (PIPSC)
Harry Walker (PIPSC)
Doug Gaetz (UTE)
Debbie Fergusson (UTE)

Absent

Cheryl Fraser
Filipe Dinis

 
Secretary Jaime Robinson  
Observers

Jean-François Gagné

Jean-François Prégent (PIPSC)
Pierre Mulvihill (UTE)

Guests

Bill Jones, Deputy Commissioner
Susan Fagan

 

OPENING REMARKS

Claude Tremblay, alternate Employer Co-Chair, welcomed everyone to the last meeting of 2011, and was pleased to note that the National Health and Safety Policy Committee (NHSPC) was one of the most effective Committees at the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). Since this was the fourth meeting of the year, the CRA had fulfilled its obligation in regard to National Policy Committee Meetings under the Canada Labour Code, Part II for the year.

The Committee was informed that the Work Place Violence Prevention Policy had been published on September 28, 2011, and the related Work Place Violence Prevention Awareness Session had been made available on October 26, 2011. In addition, the new Health and Safety for Employees e-learning product had also been released on October 20, 2011. The Committee was pleased to learn that 934 and 296 employees, respectively, had taken these sessions as of November 29, 2011. Management thanked the Unions for their help and participation in these products.

The Committee was also informed that, as per a commitment made at the last meeting, the Driver Safety page* and the Bedbug information page* had been posted on InfoZone on September 28 and October 12, 2011, respectively.

Bill Jones, Deputy Commissioner, thanked the Committee for welcoming him to meet and speak with them. He stated that his experience in various public sector organizations has provided him with a greater appreciation of health and safety issues and their importance within an organization. He noted that he had met many employees over the last few weeks since joining the CRA, and was heartened to see the enthusiasm and pride that CRA employees took in their work. He recognized that one of the leading issues right now in health and safety is the issue of stress in the workplace, and the importance of work/life balance. The Deputy Commissioner also recognized the value of the NHSPC, and encouraged the Committee to continue to work together on the provision of a healthy and safe work environment for all CRA employees.

Chris Aylward, Employee Co-Chair, thanked the Deputy Commissioner for his attendance and support of the NHSPC. He also wished to welcome a new employee representative, Debbie Ferguson, to the Committee, and noted that she had extensive experience in Occupational Health and Safety (OHS). He then thanked everyone for their work during the past months, and noted that he was looking forward to the meeting’s productive discussions.

1. cra OHS PROGRAM

The Committee was reminded that the current Terms of Reference for the NHSPC had been signed in 2004. An updated version of the Terms of Reference had been drafted and shared with the Committee on November 10, 2011 for review and comment. Comments received have been incorporated into the document. Furthermore, the Committee was consulted on the draft Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) Program Commitment Statement on November 4, 2011. This document will solidify the NHSPC’s commitment to OHS within the Agency. The Committee approved the proposed documents, and agreed to schedule a time for their official signature.

The Committee was then presented with the proposed CRA OHS Program presentation. The Committee welcomed the information presented, and recognized that it was tangible grounds on which the Program could move forward.

2. job hazard analysis (JHA) for field employees

The Committee was advised that the Project Team met on October 5, 2011, to discuss the progress on the various action items, and decided that many of the action items requiring procedures or guidelines could be addressed within one document entitled “Field Employee Guidelines for Off-Site Visits”. The Project Team met again on November 30, 2011 to discuss the draft document, and expect a copy will be shared with the Union members on the Working Group and the Directors General Steering Committee (DGSC) by January 2012.

On November 29, 2011, a written update and a request for approval on the completion on a number of Finance and Administration (F&A) and Human Resources Branch (HRB) action items was sent to the DGSC. Once these action items have been approved by the DGSC, they will be posted on InfoZone on the “Job Hazard Analyses” section of the Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) website.

A concern was raised regarding the DGSC and how long it appears to be taking to get items completed and approved. The Committee was reminded that the majority of the action items are to be completed by the end of the fiscal year 2011-2012. It was agreed that a DGSC meeting would be scheduled for February 2012, which would be a checkpoint meeting to ensure that items are on track, as planned.

3. multiple environment job hazard analysis (MEJHA)

The Committee was informed that work continued to be done on the MEJHA local site-specific issues, and that an update on the corrective measures taken was provided to the Committee members on November 23, 2011. The Committee was also informed that the OHS Section was working with the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) and the Information Technology Branch (ITB) at the national level to address various issues.

Concerns were raised regarding the site-specific issues in the Pacific Region and one issue in Summerside. It was agreed that Harry Walker and the OHS Section would discuss possible next steps to support the implementation of control measures in the Pacific Region. In addition, more information would be sought from the local office related to the planned next steps in Summerside.

The Phase 3 presentation was provided to the Human Resources Committee (HRC) on October 31, 2011, and to the Agency Management Committee (AMC) on November 16, 2011. The Phase 3 presentation will be provided to the Human Resources Committee of the Board of Management on December 6, 2011.

Committee members were advised that a call letter would be sent out shortly to the Unions and the implicated Branches, to request their participation on the MEJHA Working Group. The mandate of this Working Group will be to determine which options will become action items to be implemented.

4. Work place health and safety committee effectiveness

The Committee was informed that the Minutes Template for Work Place Health and Safety Committees, as well as the new Appendix A, Work Place Health and Safety Report, had been implemented on October 7, 2011. An update will be distributed shortly in order to make it more usable by employees who use adaptive technologies.

The Committee was also pleased to learn that the first Work Place Health and Safety Committee Newsletter had been disseminated on October 13, 2011. This was a proactive approach, as well as an avenue for the NHSPC to communicate with the Work Place Health and Safety Committees. The second edition is scheduled for January 2012.

Finally, a new draft Terms of Reference for Work Place Health and Safety Committees would be provided to the Committee for review and comments. When disseminated, each Committee that does not currently have a Terms of Reference will be expected to work towards adopting one using the template. Work Place Committees that currently have a Terms of Reference can refer to it to note any amendments that may be required.

5. automated external defibrillators update

The Committee was advised that, in order to comply with Treasury Board’s Secretariat’s recommendations for medical oversight of federal Automated External Defibrillator (AED) Initiatives, the CRA obtained the services of Dr. Jay MacDonald, who works with Rescue 7, the Agency’s AED supplier. He has reviewed and approved all of the Agency’s AED documentation, such as the Procedures and the Post-Event Protocol and Form.

The Workplace Relations and Compensation Directorate drafted the First Aid and AED Policy, which will replace the existing First Aid Health and Safety Policy. It has also been reviewed by Dr. MacDonald, and is now being reviewed by internal stakeholders. The next step will be to consult the Committee. The Committee was then provided with a presentation on the Post-Event Protocol and Form.

The Committee expressed concerns that the AEDs in bilingual offices were not clearly identified as either English or French units. Management will look into the issue and respond to the Committee. The Committee also requested it be provided with a copy of the list of Worksite First-Aid and AED Coordinators.

WRITTEN UPDATES

The following Written Updates were provided to the Committee:

Radon Testing

Health Canada is undertaking a Radon Testing Program in federal buildings in collaboration with custodian departments of real property. PWGSC is the custodian of buildings occupied by the CRA and is working with Health Canada to coordinate testing in Crown-owned facilities. Test results are provided to the CRA.

The Finance and Administration Branch (FAB), Real Property and Service Integration Directorate, has posted information on its website regarding Radon testing and the results received to date. The most current spreadsheet, containing all results received to date, is available at the following link:

http://infozone/english/r2870201/RPSID-DBIIS/nrpsol-snmbi/radon/NationalRadonSep-eng.asp *

Furthermore, the Committee was provided with a written response to its question related to the conduct of the radon tests on September 6, 2011.

The Committee would look into whether or not radon testing would be done for its buildings not owned by Public Works and Government Services Canada (PWGSC). It was noted that the current tests were completed in the context of a Health Canada and PWGSC initiative.

The Union requested clarification regarding which offices are to be tested, as well as what is the protocol when a first radon test is negative, and a second one is positive. It has been clarified that only crown-owned buildings will be tested for Radon.

OHS Communication Plan

The Committee was provided with an updated Communication Plan.

Training Report

This report was provided to the Committee after the meeting, on December 2, 2011.

Health and Safety Training: The filming of the video clip of the Employee Co-Chair took place on October 4, 2011. This completed the Health and Safety for Employees e-learning training session and subsequently, it was released to all employees on October 20, 2011. Managers will still be required to show the accompanying video, “It’s a Jungle in There” and hold a Q&A session with their employees following the completion of the e-learning training session.

Work has begun on the conversion of the Health and Safety for Managers from an in-class presentation to an e-learning training session. The new e-learning training session is expected to be completed by spring/summer 2012.
As of November 18, 2011, 925managers and 7,227 employees still required Health and Safety training. A breakdown of the numbers is provided on the next page.

Work Place Violence Prevention Training: The Work Place Violence Prevention e-learning training session was released to all employees on October 26, 2011. This e-learning training session is mandatory for all employees, including managers.

As of November 29, 2011, 934 employees (including managers) have completed the Work Place Violence Prevention e-learning training session.

At subsequent NHSPC meetings, the number of employees trained will be broken down by region.

Responsible Building Authority (RBA) Course: The training product will be available on December 9, 2011.

On November 1, 2011, the Unions were informed of the implementation date of the Responsible Building Authority (RBA) Training, and that the Emergency Management Division would be pleased to provide them with an overview of the product and answer all of their questions at that time.

The pilot session was completed by 13 RBAs across the Agency. A conference call was held following the pilot session in order to receive feedback from the participants. The feedback received was positive and it was requested that additional modules be created where event specific scenarios could be incorporated as the current learning product focuses on the roles and responsibilities of the RBAs.

The Emergency Management Division is working on developing a training action plan which will incorporate various modules to add to the RBA learning product. The action plan will also include the creation of learning products for the various members of the Building Emergency Organization.

First Aid and Automatic External Defibrillators (AED): The new Appendix A, Work Place Health and Safety Report was implemented on October 7, 2011. However, since this is a new tool, it will take some time for the take up rate to rise and provide the Committee with good data on this. A message will be sent to the Work Place Health and Safety Committees to reinforce the use of the appropriate template. The message will also be restated in the Work Place Committee Newsletter.

CLOSING REMARKS

Both Co-Chairs thanked everyone for their valuable participation in addressing today’s agenda items, and wished everyone a happy, healthy and safe Holiday Season.

The next meeting would be scheduled for March 1, 2012.

 

Original signed by
                                                 
Cheryl Fraser
Management Co-chair
National Health and Safety
   Policy Committee

February 14, 2012             
Date

Original signed by
                                                 
Chris Aylward
Union Co-chair
National Health and Safety
Policy Committee

February 10, 2012             
Date

* indicates a link to InfoZone, an internal CRA website