Health and Safety Committee

Minutes of the National Health and Safety Policy Committee Meeting

March 1, 2011
DATE: March 1, 2011 TIME:1:30 p.m. - 2:45 p.m.
LOCATION: 8th Floor Board Room, 200 Laurier Avenue West

ATTENDEES:

Management

Union

Members

Cheryl Fraser (Management Co-Chair)
Dan Danagher
Thérèse Awada
Claude Tremblay
Josée Tremblay

Betty Bannon (Union Co-Chair)
Doug Mason (PIPSC)
Harry Walker (PIPSC)
Chris Aylward (UTE)
Doug Gaetz (UTE)

Absent Filipe Dinis  
Secretary Leon Page  
Observers Jaime Robinson
Ivana Pavić
Jean-François Gagné
Jean-François Prégent (PIPSC)
Pierre Mulvihill (UTE)
Guest John Murphy, President
Resource Environmental Associates Limited
 

OPENING REMARKS

Betty Bannon, Union Co-Chair of the National Health and Safety Policy Committee (NHSPC), chaired the meeting.

The Co-Chairs welcomed everyone to the first meeting of 2011. The Committee took the opportunity to recognize the good work accomplished by Leon Page in Occupational Health and Safety over the years, and wished him the best in his retirement.

The Management Co-Chair informed the Committee that a jointly signed memorandum regarding the National Day of Mourning had been distributed on February 15, 2011. The purpose of this memorandum was to inform Assistant Commissioners, Directors General, Directors, Tax Services Offices, and Directors, Tax Centres of the decision made by management to approve leave with pay for the Management and Union Co-chairs of each Work Place Health and Safety Committee, to attend National Day of Mourning events in their community. It was agreed that this item should now be considered closed.

The Committee was also informed that a reminder was sent to Management and local Work Place Committees regarding the Canada Revenue Agency’s (CRA) position on environmental sensitivities, on January 20, 2011. This was followed up with a jointly signed communiqué to all CRA employees on January 26, 2011. The Union Co-Chair informed the Committee that feedback from the field regarding this communiqué had been very positive.

1. job hazard analysis (JHA) for field employees

The Committee was advised that the timelines for the completion of the action items were still being finalized by the Project Team, and would be shared with the Committee in the near future. Progress on the action items, by the Working Group, would continue to be monitored. It was agreed that the JHA Action Report would be posted on InfoZone, by March 11, 2011, and that a joint communiqué would be issued regarding an update on the JHA.

2. multiple environment job hazard analysis (MEJHA)

The Committee was advised that the CRA had signed a contract with Resource Environmental Associates (REA) on January 10, 2011, to conduct the MEJHA. The Phase I Report, including the detailed findings of the documentation review and the proposed Phase II work plan and data collection methods, was received on February 15, 2011, and shared with the Committee on the same date.

The Committee was provided with a presentation on the Phase I report by John Murphy, President, REA.

The site visits, observations and interviews for Phase II were expected to be completed by the end of April 2011, and the Phase II Report should be presented at the next meeting. The expected completion date for the contract is January 2012.

3. INformation technology (it) employees who work at cbsa border locations (cbsa arming initiative)

The Committee was advised that, since every situation was potentially different, it would be more useful to develop guidelines for dealing with altercations, rather than to establish procedures. As a result, the Finance and Administration Branch (FAB) converted the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) into Guidelines, which were shared with the Committee on February 7, 2011, for review and comments. Once approved by the Assistant Commissioner, FAB, the Guidelines will be posted on InfoZone. It was agreed that this item would remain on the NHSPC Agenda until the Committee had been advised that the guidelines had been published.

4. nhspc pandemic Communications plan

The Committee was informed that the Working Group established to develop the NHSPC Pandemic Communications Plan had developed the draft Communications Plan. The plan had been shared with the Committee on December 6, 2010, for review and feedback, and subsequently sent for management’s approval on January 11, 2011. The Committee would be provided with a final electronic copy of the Communication Plan, in both official languages. Once this was completed, this item would be removed from the Agenda.

5. Violence prevention in the workplace regulation

The Committee was informed that the Working Group met on December 13, 2010 to begin work on the e-learning awareness session. At that meeting, a discussion was held regarding the proposed answers to the questions raised at the Human Resources Committee (HRC) meeting held on November 30, 2010. These answers were presented to the HRC on February 15, 2011. The HRC raised a few additional questions that needed further clarification, which were subsequently answered. The Committee was advised that the policy would be presented for approval to the AMC in April 2011, and to the Board of Management in June 2011. The Committee was also advised that the e-learning product would be released concurrently with the policy.

6. AUTOMATED EXTERNAL DEFIBRILLATORS (AEDs)

The Committee was advised that the CRA issued a Request for Proposal (RFP) to solicit bids from AED suppliers on December 13, 2010, which closed on January 21, 2011. Following the completion of the Bid Evaluation process, the national contract was awarded to Rescue 7 on February 14, 2011. The CRA has been working with the supplier to coordinate the delivery of the AED Starter Kits to every CRA work site before the end of the fiscal year.

The Committee was also advised that a communiqué had been sent to AMC on December 24, 2010 to outline the requirements for AED training and to confirm that any training that was completed by March 31, 2011 would be covered by funds made available for this initiative. It was also confirmed that the Committee had been provided with the draft AED Procedures for review and comments, which would be distributed once they were finalized.

The Committee was informed that a question had been raised as to whether first aid with the potential use of an AED would only be provided to CRA employees. The Committee agreed that the use of an AED should be provided to any person in a CRA facility who experiences a sudden cardiac arrest, whether or not they were a CRA employee. It was also agreed that this matter would be clarified in the AED Procedures.

7. update of the ohs awareness session for employees

The Committee was advised that a pilot session of the Health and Safety Awareness Session for Employees e-learning product took place between February 2 and 7, 2011 to a sample of new employees across the country. The feedback received was positive and constructive, and minor modifications were made to further enhance the learning product, which is expected to be released on July 13, 2011. In addition, a new video clip would be added to the Health and Safety Awareness Session for Employees, to replace the outdated video clip that featured the former Management Co-chair.

It was agreed that the Working Group would be provided with a copy of the participants’ feedback related to the pilot.

8. June 23rd earthquake – post mortem report

The Committee was reminded that the CRA takes its emergency management responsibilities very seriously, and that it would continue to review its plans, procedures, and tools, to ensure the continued safety and security of its employees, assets, and critical infrastructure.

The Committee was also advised that the intent of the Emergency Management Web Portal was to provide information and guidance to employees throughout the Agency in addition to supporting key individuals, such as the Responsible Building Authorities (RBAs) and Chief Building Emergency Officers (CBEOs) who have specific Emergency Management responsibilities. The Portal would continue to be updated with information as new tools were developed to address suggestions and comments received by employees. In addition, the Emergency Procedures Reference Guide had been shared with the Committee for review and comments on December 23, 2010. It was agreed that the Emergency Procedures Reference Guide would be distributed to all employees, and that the Committee would be provided with copies at the next meeting.

Finally, it was agreed that the title of this issue would be changed to Emergency Awareness, in order to more accurately reflect the subject matter.

9. Security measures for Montreal TSO

The Committee was advised that the Agency was committed to protecting, supporting and assisting its employees, and their families, where there had been any act of abuse, threat, stalking and assault directed against them or their property in the performance of their duties, as outlined in the procedures of the Abuse, Threats, Stalking and Assaults against Employees Policy. Upon being informed of a threat, by an employee, the Policy requires that the threat immediately be reported to the police and the Headquarters National Incident Reporting Centre. A threat assessment is also completed with the assistance of local law enforcement and internal information sources. In the event that the results of the assessment indicated an ongoing threat, Management and Security work with the employee to determine what personnel protection measures could be taken to ensure their continued safety.

The Committee was advised that, on December 11, 2010, Management had been informed that an employee of the Montreal Tax Services Office (TSO), had been assaulted when leaving an office Christmas party at a Montreal restaurant. As a result, the CRA took the following steps:

  • 24/7 security guard services were contracted for the residences of concerned employees, including the victim (at the employees’ request, these services have since been dismissed);
  • increased guard complement for the Montreal and Laval TSOs; and
  • a procurement process was initiated to upgrade the perimeter cameras at the Montreal TSO.

The Committee was also informed that the Commissioner and Assistant Commissioner, Quebec Region, issued a communiqué to the employees of the Quebec Region on December 13, 2010, reassuring them that the Agency was dedicated to ensuring the safety and security of its employees. The communiqué also reminded employees of the 24-hour toll-free number (1-866-362-0192) available to ensure employees had assistance in circumstances where their safety might be in question, and that their manager was also available to assist them. Finally, the communiqué reminded employees that the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) was available to provide employees and their families with confidential assistance or advice.

As well, the Committee was advised that Management had involved Union representatives throughout the communications process.

WRITTEN UPDATES

The following Written Updates were provided to the Committee:

Health and Safety Training for Managers and OHS Awareness Session for Employees

As of February 28, 2011, 1,112 managers and 8,242 employees still required training on OHS. At the meeting, it was agreed that all future updates would include the training numbers from the previous NHSPC meeting, for comparison purposes. It was also agreed that future updates would include a rationale for any significant increases in the number of untrained managers or employees in a particular region.

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, Real Property and Service Integration Directorate, has posted information on its website regarding Radon testing and 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

The Committee would be provided with clarification on how Radon levels are retested following a failed test.

CLOSING REMARKS

The Committee members were thanked for their valuable participation, and were reminded that the 2011 North American Occupational Safety and Health Week will be held from May 1st – 7th. As in previous years, a jointly signed memo would be distributed to the Regions to advise them of the timing, and to provide them with information concerning reference material.

The Committee was reminded that the next meeting was scheduled for June 2, 2011.

Original signed by

Original signed by

Cheryl Fraser
Management Co-Chair
National Health and Safety
Policy Committee

Betty Bannon
Union Co-chair
National Health and Safety
Policy Committee

Date: April 29, 2011

Date: April 21, 2011