Health and Safety Committee

Minutes of the National Health and Safety Policy Committee Meeting

June 2, 2010
DATE: June 2, 2010  TIME: 1:30 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.
LOCATION: 8th Floor Board Room, 200 Laurier Avenue West

ATTENDEES:

Management

Union

Members

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

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

Absent Stephen O’Connor Doug Gaetz (UTE)
Secretary Leon Page  
Observers Jaime Robinson
Susan Fagan
Nancy Darling
Jean-François Prégent (PIPSC)

OPENING REMARKS

The Co-chairs welcomed the Committee members to the second meeting of 2010.

The Committee was advised that two Health and Safety events took place since the last meeting.

The first one was the National Day of Mourning, which occurred on April 28, 2010. In preparation for this, a jointly signed memorandum regarding the Day of Mourning was distributed to all employees on April 26, 2010. At the last meeting, the Union requested time off for Workplace Committee members to attend Day of Mourning events in their local area. Management agreed to look at the issue, and following the meeting, responded that if leave without pay was requested, then management at the local level should use its discretion to determine whether or not leave should be granted. However, where the leave requested was with pay, such leave would not be appropriate. The Union stated that, as a minimum, the Workplace Committee Co-Chairs should be able to attend planned events. It was noted that there was still some disagreement about this issue, and that this item would be placed on the Agenda for the December meeting. 

The second event was the North American Occupational Safety and Health week, which took place from May 2 - 8, 2010. Jointly signed communications were sent to management on April 22, 2010, and to all employees on April 30, 2010.

1. job hazard analysis (JHA) for field employees

The Committee was reminded that, on March 11, 2010, it had approved the Recommended Options Report. Following this approval, presentations were made to the Human Resources Committee on April 29, 2010, and to the Agency Management Committee on May 19, 2010. The Committee was also advised that the Recommended Options Report would be presented to the Board of Management on June 9, 2010.

The Committee was advised that the Branches were working together to develop the implementation plan and to establish timelines for the completion of the recommended options. The Committee was also informed that a Directors General Steering Committee would be established to oversee the Working Group. 

This Committee was advised that a Work Plan would be presented at the next meeting, and that the Committee would be kept advised of the progress on this initiative.

2. multiple environment job hazard analysis (MEJHA)

The Committee was informed that, on March 30, 2010, the first MEJHA Working Group meeting was held.  At that meeting, it was decided that each Branch would select what they felt would be the best representative jobs for the various work environments.  On May 21, 2010, the Working Group was provided with the list of representative jobs for each of the seven work environments, for final approval.

The Committee was also advised that work was being done with the Contracting Division to establish the Request for Proposal for engaging a consultant to conduct the MEJHA. In the meantime, the Working Group Branch Representatives were gathering all relevant documentation to be provided to the contractor, for review, once a contract was awarded.

It was agreed that every effort would be made to have the contract awarded as soon as possible.

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

The Committee was advised that the Information Technology Branch had conducted two mandatory employee information sessions so far, and that four additional sessions had been scheduled. The Committee was also advised that it would be kept apprised of the progress on these sessions.

The Committee was also informed that the Security, Risk Management, and Internal Affairs Directorate would continue to monitor the situation and ensure early distribution of the information package to CRA staff at co-located sites with newly armed CBSA Officers.  The Committee was advised that four armed CBSA Officers were now co-located with CRA employees at the Saint John, New Brunswick TSO. Following consultation between management and the Workplace Health and Safety Committee at that site, an e-mail was sent to all staff and the presentation was sent to all Team Leaders.

Harry Walker informed the Committee that he would be attending the presentations in the Pacific Region to monitor them.

4. H1N1

The Committee was advised that Table Top exercises are done to ensure that critical Agency operations are able to continue during a pandemic, and that it would not be useful for the Committee to conduct one. The Committee was reminded that in some offices the local representatives participated in the Table Top exercises and found it very beneficial. The Committee was advised that, where the Unions were part of the Management Team, they had been invited to participate and that explained why their participation was inconsistent across the country.

The Committee was reminded that some members felt that it would be very beneficial for the NHSPC to go through the Table Top exercise, as it would be expected that the NHSPC would meet more often (perhaps even daily) in the case of a pandemic. Following this discussion by Committee members, it was agreed that the issue could be addressed more appropriately by more of a Communication Plan, rather than a Pandemic Plan. Management agreed to look at this further.

The Committee agreed that the local Workplace Committees had the right to receive a copy of the Health and Safety portion of the Pandemic Annex that is attached to the Business Continuity Plan. It was agreed that a communiqué would be sent to management, reminding them of this.

The Committee agreed that, for the next meeting, it would meet at 9:30 a.m. to listen to the two hour audio program that UTE had purchased.

5. Violence prevention in the workplace regulation

The Committee was advised that, following the approval of the draft Violence Prevention Policy, work was started on the development of the accompanying draft procedures. However, upon further review, it was found that there was not enough information that could be incorporated into the procedures, without duplicating the various policies and procedures that currently exist. As a result, it was agreed that the Working Group would meet this month to further discuss the possibility of incorporating additional information into the draft Policy, with the objective of having it ready for the Committee’s review in the fall.

6. health services

The Committee was advised that the Request for Proposal (RFP) to solicit bids from National Providers closed on April 9, 2010, and that the Health Services contract would be awarded by early-June. At that time, a communiqué would be distributed to advise the Regions of the progess on this initiative. It was confirmed that, once the contract was signed, the CRA would be working with the new Health Services Provider to finalize the implementation plans. The Committee would be provided with progress reports on this initiative.

7. AUTOMATED EXTERNAL DEFIBRILLATORS (AEDs)

The Committee was advised that the Heart & Stroke Foundation of Canada (HSFC) had indicated that it would be unable to meet the NHSPC’s requirement for an unbiased AED presentation, as its primary role is to advocate for AEDs.  The Working Group met on May 26, 2010 to discuss this development, and agreed to recommend to the Committee that it prepare the unbiased AED presentation for the next NHSPC meeting. The Committee was advised that a Position Paper was being drafted on this issue, for consideration by the Working Group. However, to expedite matters, it was agreed that the Position Paper would be shared with all members of the NHSPC, and that a conference call would be scheduled with Committee members before the end of June 2010, so that a decision could be reached regarding an AED Program.

8. health and safety training for managers and awareness session for employees

The Committee was informed that there was a discrepancy between the training statistics provided at the last meeting and what was created for this meeting. As a result, work was undertaken to determine why the numbers were askew. Unfortunately, to date, there has been no cause identified for this discrepancy.  Therefore, no statistics were provided for this meeting.  

Moving forward, it was agreed that we would look at other methods of gathering this information to ensure that accurate training statistics are provided to this Committee.

9. update of the ohs awareness session for employees

The Committee was advised that work has started with the Training and Learning Directorate to develop the e-learning module of the OHS Awareness Session for Employees. The Working Group would be required to provide feedback on the product throughout the development process.  It is expected that the English version of the product would be ready to be piloted towards the end of 2010, and that a presentation of the product would be shared with this Committee at its December meeting.

10. Radon testing

The Committee was provided with an updated list of Crown and lease-purchase buildings with a CRA presence. It was noted that one site had two readings out of 58 that were above the established standard. Retesting will be done over the next three months. Health Canada has advised there is no immediate health risk and no action is required at this time.

The Committee was reminded that the report should include the actual average results of the tests, as opposed to just a statement that the readings were within the acceptable limits. The Committee was also reminded that Workplace Committees have a right to receive the actual results. It was agreed that the actual readings would be included in the report and provided to the relevant Workplace Committee. 

11. Threat assessment

The Committee was advised that the Security, Risk Management and Internal Affairs Directorate monitors the internet and reviews activities on forums, mailing lists, blogs and Websites in search of potential threats. The result of this monitoring is shared with the NHSPC members on a quarterly basis.

In the event that a threat was received/anticipated, an established emergency response process is in place and would be activated (e.g. contact security, contact police, contact senior management, etc.). Employees in all regions have been advised of the existence of a toll-free telephone number to call in the event of an emergency. As well, in a number of Regions, a National Emergency Threat Reporting telephone number is printed on the back of the employee Identification Card. Employees who receive any type of threat would call this number. 

CLOSING REMARKS

The Committee members were thanked for their participation and reminded that the next meeting was scheduled for September 23, 2010.

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

July 12, 2010           
Date

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

July 07,  2010          
Date