Health and Safety Committee

Minutes of the National Health and Safety Policy Committee Meeting

March 11, 2010
DATE: March 11, 2010 TIME: 1:30 pm - 2:45 pm
LOCATION: 8th Floor Board Room, 200 Laurier Ave. W.





Cheryl Fraser (Management Co-Chair)
Stephen O’Connor
Fred Neergaard (Alternate)
Claude Tremblay
Josée Tremblay

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

Absent Thérèse Awada
Leon Page
Secretary Jaime Robinson (Alternate)  
Observers Karine Auclair
Susan Fagan
Ivana Pavić
Pierre Mulvihill (UTE)


The Co-Chairs welcomed the Committee members to the first meeting of 2010.

As per the commitment made at the last meeting on December 3, 2009, two issues required memoranda to be sent to the regions in order to close them out. Memoranda have been sent to address the Performance Audit on the Management of Health and Safety Issues and the Hazard Prevention Program. These issues are now considered closed.

The Committee was also advised that on January 29, 2010, a memorandum was sent to the regions requesting training plans for work place committee members for 2010-2011. All regions have identified that they expect to hold training sessions either this spring or fall.

1. job hazard analysis (JHA) for field employees

The Committee was informed that the Working Group met on January 13, 2010, to finalize the “Recommended Options Report.” Minor changes were discussed that have now been incorporated into the report. The “Recommended Options Report” has been finalized by the Working Group, and a copy of the report was shared with Committee members on March 4, 2010.

The Committee was provided with a presentation of the report and proposed next steps. The Committee agreed to review the report, and if needed, an ad hoc meeting would be scheduled to further discuss the report.

The Committee was also advised that the report would be shared with the Agency Management Committee in May 2010, and the Board of Management in June 2010.

2. multiple environment job hazard analysis (MEJHA)

The Committee was informed that Classification completed the preliminary work of dividing all jobs into the seven work environments. This work would serve as the basis for the MEJHA Working Group to choose representative jobs for each work environment. The Working Group would meet for a full-day on March 30, 2010.

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

The Committee was advised that information packages had been distributed by three Tax Services Offices (TSO): Nova Scotia, Thunder Bay and Newfoundland and Labrador TSOs, in consultation with the local unions, where CRA employees were co-located with armed CBSA officers. After reviewing various factors, the Hamilton TSO decided not to distribute the information to employees.

For CRA employees working at CBSA border locations, it was confirmed that the Information Technology Branch plans to distribute the package during mandatory employee information sessions. The Committee was also advised that the information package was distributed to CBSA management.

4. H1N1

The Committee was advised that a question on the privacy of infected employees had been added to the H1N1 Website, and that the structure of the CRA Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) had been changed to give precedence to the CRA FAQs.

The Committee was informed that, due to low H1N1 activity, the Treasury Board Secretariat and the CRA ceased their activity related to H1N1, but would continue to monitor the situation.

The Committee was also informed that a test of the absenteeism reporting tool was successfully conducted across the country, and that management’s intention would be to activate the tool if, or when, the CRA faces a situation such as H1N1.

It was confirmed that the Table-top exercise used by the Atlantic Region was developed in accordance with the standard model provided to all branches and regions in the fall of 2007. This model was developed to be slightly adapted for every branch and region to incorporate data and input specific to their area. The Committee agreed that local union representatives should be involved in the pandemic Table-top exercises. It was also suggested that the Committee look into the possibility of conducting its own Table-top exercise.

The Committee was advised that the Union had purchased a two-hour video on H1N1, and that representatives from the Committee would be invited to attend a presentation of the video.

5. Violence prevention in the workplace regulation

The Committee was informed that a meeting of the Working Group was held on January 19, 2010, to review the draft Violence Prevention Policy. The Working Group had no comments on the draft policy. Draft procedures are being prepared for the Working Group’s considerations. The Working Group would meet again in the near future to keep this file moving forward.

6. health services

The Committee was advised that a Request for Proposal (RFP) had been issued on March 1, 2010, to solicit bids from national health service providers. The RFP is expected to close on March 26, 2010, but could be extended as a result of requests from potential bidders. It was confirmed that Chris Aylward would participate as a member of the Bid Evaluation Team.

The Committee was also advised that the CRA would not proceed with the interim procurement solution of obtaining rosters of health service practitioners to meet the CRA’s short-term needs. The regions have indicated that they are able to manage their short-term health service needs by contracting with the private sector until the national service provider is in place.


The Committee was advised that the AED Working Group had deferred its January 14, 2010 meeting, as the members were having difficulty identifying a subject matter expert to address the NHSPC. The Heart & Stroke Foundation of Canada (HSFC) has agreed to deliver an AED presentation at the next Committee meeting, but it requires additional time to schedule presenters and develop the content. To this end, the AED Working Group has scheduled a meeting with HSFC on March 26, 2010, to review the requirements for the presentation.

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

At the December 3, 2009 meeting, the Committee was advised that the current method of reporting did not provide an accurate picture of the number of managers and employees who had not received their training. As a result, the reporting process was changed to track the number of managers and employees who still require training. On February 23, 2010, an email was sent to the Assistant Commissioners to explain this change, and to provide them with a list of their untrained managers and employees for validation.

On March 5, 2010, a CAS report was generated which indicated that 930 managers still require the OHS Training for Managers, and 7808 employees have not yet attended the OHS Awareness Session for Employees. The regions advised that they are working to correct any discrepancies in the numbers, and would provide training to those who still need to be trained. An update would be provided at the next meeting.

9. update of the ohs awareness session for employees

The Committee was advised that a meeting of the Working Group was held on January 14, 2010. Various options were discussed, and it was agreed that the Working Group would move forward with an e-learning option for the OHS Awareness Session for Employees. The e-learning session would need to be able to track those employees who took the training. As well, the session should have a “quiz” built in as a method to test the employee’s knowledge of the material before moving on to another section.

It was also agreed that a separate session would need to be held by the employee’s manager, or by a Workplace Health and Safety Committee representative, to show the required video and to answer any questions.

Following the update of the employee awareness package, these changes would need to be reflected in the Health and Safety Training for Managers.

10. Radon testing

The Committee was advised that Health Canada has now clarified that testing would continue through 2010-11. If Health Canada determines that a sufficient sample of Crown buildings in a particular geographic location proves that these buildings do not exceed the acceptable level of radon, not all buildings would be tested.

The Committee was provided with a list of CRA-occupied Crown and leased buildings, which showed the buildings that have been tested, and the results to date. The Committee was informed that the test results have all been acceptable, and that CRA officials at the local levels were notified prior to testing in the majority of the cases. The Committee was provided with a copy of an email that was sent to the Directors of Real Property and PWGSC officials, by the National Real Property Division, regarding the Radon testing program.

The Committee was assured that results would be shared at both local and national levels, and that updates would be provided at future meetings.


Several items were noted as events that would occur before the next meeting. As in previous years, a jointly-signed memo concerning the 2010 North American Occupational Safety and Health Week, slated for May 2 to May 8, 2010, would be distributed to the regions. In addition, the Committee was reminded that the National Day of Mourning would occur on April 28, 2010.

The Unions raised the issue of authorized time off for local Workplace committee members to attend Day of Mourning ceremonies.  Management will review this request and get back to the Unions.

The Committee members were thanked for their valuable participation in addressing the agenda items.

The next meeting would be held on June 3, 2010.

Original signed by

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

May 20, 2010 

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

May 10, 2010