Health and Safety Committee

Minutes of the National Health and Safety Policy Committee Meeting

December 2, 2010
DATE: December 2, 2010 TIME: 2:30 p.m. - 3:45 p.m.
LOCATION: 8th Floor Board Room, 200 Laurier Avenue West





Cheryl Fraser (Management Co-Chair)
Stephen O’Connor
Thérèse Awada
Claude Tremblay
Josée Tremblay

Betty Bannon (Union Co-Chair)
Doug Mason (PIPSC)
Harry Walker (PIPSC)
Pierre Mulvihill (UTE)
Doug Gaetz (UTE)

Absent   Chris Aylward (UTE)
Secretary Leon Page  
Observers Karine Auclair
Jaime Robinson
Susan Fagan
Jean-François Prégent (PIPSC)


The Management Co-Chair welcomed the Committee members and indicated that the Committee had a very productive year, and that she looked forward to continuing this progress into the New Year. Some of the issues that the Committee addressed over the year were:

  • H1N1;
  • Finalizing the CRA Hazard Prevention Program;
  • Establishing of a Health Services program under a very tight timeline; and
  • Developing the Violence Prevention in the Workplace Policy.

It was also noted that significant progress had been made on both the Job Hazard Analysis for Field Employees and the Multiple Environment Job Hazard Analysis projects, as well as the implementation of an Automated External Defibrillator Initiative.

1. job hazard analysis (JHA) for field employees

The Committee was informed that, on October 22, 2010, the first meeting of the Directors General Steering Committee (DGSC) was held to discuss the steps for implementing the JHA action items. Following that meeting, the Project Teams met on November 9, 2010, to discuss the division of responsibility among the implicated branches for implementing the action items. The Project Teams have agreed on the division of the action items, and are preparing a schedule for the implementation of the action items, in consultation with branch representatives. Detailed timelines would be shared with this Committee at the next meeting.

It was also agreed that a jointly signed communiqué, regarding the current status of this initiative, would be distributed to all employees, and posted on the National OHS Website.

2. multiple environment job hazard analysis (MEJHA)

The Committee was informed that the Request for Proposal (RFP) was posted on MERX on October 22, 2010, with a closing date for bids on the RFP of November 30, 2010. The Committee was also informed that one bid was received, and that the Bid Evaluation Team would meet within the next few days to review the compliant bid. It was expected that the contract would be awarded by mid-January 2011.

3. canada bORDER sERVICES aGENCY (cbsa) arming initiative – cbsa/Canada Revenue Agency (cra) co-location

The Committee was advised that the Finance and Administration Branch (FAB) consulted with the Union on November 18, 2010, to discuss ways to enhance the FAB Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) to include a broader range of situations, with corresponding procedures. The SOP will be enhanced, based on the results of this discussion. It was agreed that the revised SOP would be shared with this Committee at the next meeting. It was agreed that the co-location issue would be considered closed, and that if new co-locations were established, further updates would be provided to the NHSPC, if required.

4. pandemic planning

The Committee was advised that the FAB had drafted a communiqué to advise Branch and regional Business Continuity Plan (BCP) Coordinators to revise their current BCPs to ensure that health and safety information is contained in a separate appendix, which could then be shared with the local work place health and safety committees. The communiqué was shared with the unions on October 14, 2010, for review and comments, and then distributed to the BCP Coordinators on November 16, 2010.

The Committee was informed that the Working Group, which was established to develop the National Health and Safety Policy Committee (NHSPC) Pandemic Communications Plan, was expected to meet in December 2010.

5. Violence prevention in the workplace regulation

The Committee was advised that the Work Place Violence Prevention Policy was presented at the Human Resources Committee (HRC) meeting on November 30, 2010. HRC members requested clarification on a number of issues before they would recommend that the policy be forwarded to the Agency Management Committee and the Board of Management, for approval. The Committee was informed that a response was being prepared to the HRC members to address their concerns, which could result in some modifications being made to the draft Policy. The Working Group would be consulted on these modifications before the revised Policy was tabled with the HRC. There was a concern raised regarding the delay in getting the Policy finalized. However, the Committee was advised that it was expected that the Policy would still be going forward to the Board of Management in the spring of 2011.

The Committee was informed that the Violence Prevention Working Group was scheduled to meet on December 13, 2010, to begin work on the accompanying awareness session.

6. health services

The Committee was advised that a communiqué was sent to the Agency Management Committee on November 24, 2010, to increase awareness regarding the health services that are provided by the AIM Health Group. As well, the Committee was advised that, as of November 25, 2010, AIM had received 422 requests for health services. It was agreed that further updates would be provided to the NHSPC, if required.


The Committee was advised that on September 29, 2010, a national e-mail was sent to all CRA employees by the NHSPC Co-chairs, informing them of the national AED Initiative. On October 18, 2010, another e-mail was sent to all Responsible Building Authorities, requesting that they complete a work site assessment, to determine the number of AEDs that would be required to equip every work site. It was agreed that the Committee would be provided with a consolidated list of the AED requirements, by work site. The CRA expected to issue a Request for Proposal to solicit bids from AED suppliers in December 2010, with an expected closing date in January 2011.

8. update of the ohs awareness session for employees

The Committee was reminded that the Working Group has been working to convert the existing learning product to an e-learning product. In addition to the current material, a new Unit has been added that addresses Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS) training.

The Committee was provided with a demonstration of the new e-learning product, and was advised that a pilot of the course would be conducted early in the new fiscal year.

9. cra emergency planning governance framework

Committee members were reminded that the Emergency Management policies and directives were shared with them for review and comments on August 19, 2010. The Committee was also advised that the revised framework, along with the accompanying Emergency Management policy suite, would be presented to the Board of Management in March 2011, for approval, and that once approved, they would be posted on the Finance and Administration Branch website. This issue would now be considered as closed.

10. June 23rd earthquake – post mortem report

The Committee was reminded that, following the last meeting, the Responsible Building Authorities (RBAs) were surveyed and the results were compiled into a post mortem report, which was shared with the Committee on October 27, 2010. The report included the results of the RBA survey, as well as the action items identified by the Emergency Management Committee.

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 informed that “cheat sheets” and training were being developed for Building Emergency Officers (BEOs). It was agreed that training should also be provided for employees who are “acting” in the role of BEO. It was agreed that new products would be shared with Committee members for review and comments prior to being distributed. The Committee was advised that it would be kept apprised of the progress on the implementation of the identified action items.

11. national day of mourning

The Committee was advised that, following careful consideration of this issue, a decision was made to allow time off with pay for the Management Co-chair and Union Co-chair of each Work Place Committee to attend National Day of Mourning events in their community. The Committee agreed that if either Co-Chair was unable to attend, an alternate/designate would be allowed time off with pay to attend the event. If other members of the work place committee would like to attend, leave without pay or other types of personal leave (Vacation, Personal Day, etc.) may be approved, at the discretion of management.

A memorandum would be prepared and jointly signed by the Co-chairs of this Committee, to advise management and local work place committees of this decision.

12. environmental sensitivities

The Committee was advised that, as a follow-up to discussions at the previous NHSPC meeting, the awareness package on environmental sensitivities had been updated and shared with the Co-Chairs, for review and comments.

13. Immunization clinics

The Committee was advised that, as a result of recent research on the question of providing immunization clinics at local work sites, it had been determined that the CRA’s position on immunization clinics would be maintained. As a result, a communiqué was sent out on October 21, 2010, advising that, as in previous years, a decision regarding hosting flu clinics would be left to the local level. The communiqué also outlined the procedures to be followed if flu clinics were to be offered.

The Committee was reminded that it had previously being advised that Article 44 of the Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada (PIPSC) Collective Agreement, as it relates to the recovery of costs, would not normally apply to influenza immunization. It was also confirmed that employees may be granted time off to get vaccinated, as per the Staff Relations Bulletin 2010-02, entitled ”Time off with pay for personal medical and dental appointments”.


The following Written Updates were provided to the Committee:

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

As of November 19, 2010, 1037 managers and 7603 employees still required training on OHS.

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 results received to date. The most current spreadsheet, containing all results received to date, is available at the following link:



The Committee members were thanked for their participation and reminded that the next meeting was scheduled for March 3, 2011.

Wishes were extended for a happy holiday season.

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

February 2, 2011                

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

January 25, 2011