Health and Safety Committee

Minutes of the National Health and Safety Policy Committee Meeting

September 23, 2010
DATE: September 23, 2010  TIME: 1:00 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.
LOCATION: 8th Floor Board Room, 200 Laurier Avenue West

ATTENDEES:

Management

Union

Members

Dan Danagher (Management
Co-Chair)
Stephen O’Connor
Thérèse Awada
Josée Tremblay

Doug Mason (PIPSC) (Union
Co-Chair)
Harry Walker (PIPSC)
Pierre Mulvihill (UTE)
Jean-François Prégent (PIPSC)

Absent Cheryl Fraser
Claude Tremblay
Betty Bannon
Doug Gaetz (UTE)
Chris Aylward (UTE)
Secretary Leon Page  
Observers Karine Auclair
Jaime Robinson
Nancy Darling
 

OPENING REMARKS

The Co-chairs welcomed the Committee members to the meeting.

1. job hazard analysis (JHA) for field employees

The Committee was informed that on June 9, 2010, the JHA Action Report was presented to the Board of Management. Following that, an e-mail was sent to the Assistant Commissioners of each implicated Branch, requesting them to identify members for a Directors General Steering Committee to oversee the Project Teams, as well as participants for the Project Teams that would be implementing the various action items. 

The Committee was provided with an overview timeline document for the implementation of the action items and was informed that the specific timelines for the completion of action items would only be prepared after the Project Teams meet. The Committee was advised that, once all of the action items have been completed, the ongoing monitoring of the changes would fall under the Hazard Prevention Program. 

2. multiple environment job hazard analysis (MEJHA)

The Committee was informed that work was being done to establish the contract for proceeding with the MEJHA, and that it was hoped that the contract would be posted on MERX by the end of October 2010. 

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 completed the delivery of information sessions on the arming initiative to approximately 270 regional Information Technology (IT) employees. The Committee was informed that there had been no newly identified co-located offices, and that the Security and Internal Affairs Directorate would continue to monitor the situation.

The Committee agreed that the distribution of information to employees in the co-located offices was sufficient, and that this portion of the issue would be considered closed. However, further discussion would be required on additional training for IT employees who work at CBSA border locations. 

4. H1N1

The Committee was advised that the Finance and Administration Branch (FAB) had canvassed all the Business Continuity Coordinators in July 2010, in an effort to gain a better understanding of the type and amount of health and safety information included in local pandemic plans. The FAB continues to review the responses received from the Business Continuity Coordinators. The Committee was advised that a draft communiqué had been developed to provide clear direction as to the development and update of local pandemic plans and the sharing of health and safety related information with local work place committees.  This communiqué would be shared with the Committee for review and comments, prior to distribution.

The Committee agreed to establish a working group to discuss a National Health and Safety Policy Committee communication plan that would be implemented in the event of another pandemic. Doug Mason will be representing the Unions on this working group.

5. Violence prevention in the workplace regulation

The Committee was advised that the Working Group met on August 31, 2010, to review and discuss the feedback received from the various stakeholders on the draft Work Place Violence Prevention Policy. A presentation was made to the Committee that highlighted the main points of the draft Policy. The Unions commented that incidents should be dealt with appropriately and in a timely manner. The Committee agreed to proceed with the approval of the Work Place Violence Prevention Policy.

6. health services

The Committee was advised that effective July 26, 2010, the AIM Health Group began delivering health services across the Agency. The Committee was informed that as of September 16, 2010, AIM had received 146 requests for health services including Fitness to Work, Health Evaluations, Ergonomic Assessments and immunizations. The Committee was also advised that the Workplace Relations and Compensation Directorate and AIM are working together to address minor issues that have arisen.  However, the feedback that had been received so far, regarding the service provided by AIM, has been very positive. It was agreed that a reminder should be sent to management regarding the services provided by AIM.

7. AUTOMATED EXTERNAL DEFIBRILLATORS (AEDs)

The Committee was advised that the CRA would be proceeding with the implementation of a national AED program, and was provided with a draft implementation plan that outlined program milestones, timelines and resources required. The Committee was also advised that the procurement process would allow for the AEDs to be delivered by the end of March 2011, and that guidelines would be developed to enable the implementation in 2011-2012.

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

Based on the information received from the regions, the Committee was advised that, as of September 3, 2010, 963 managers and 7,081 employees still required training. It was confirmed that regional training plans were in place to ensure that the training would be offered to those employees who still required it. The Committee agreed that future updates on the status of this training would be provided in writing. 

9. update of the ohs awareness session for employees

The Committee was advised that the Working Group was continuing to work on the development of the online Employee OHS Awareness product, and that a demonstration of the product would be provided to the Committee at the December 2, 2010, meeting. 

10. Radon testing

The Committee was advised that Radon Testing was still ongoing. Health Canada had advised that it would take three to six months to obtain test results from their laboratories. The Committee was provided with an updated list of Crown and lease-purchase buildings with a CRA presence, which included the test results received to date. There were no new locations showing elevated radon levels. The Committee was informed that, to ensure that work place committees had access to the most up to date information regarding Radon testing, all of the Radon information had been posted on the Website of the Real Property and Services Integration Directorate. 

The Committee was provided with an update on the remedial action taken at the Ralston Building in Halifax, Nova Scotia, where there were two readings above the established standard. Following the remedial action, a Continuous Radon Monitor was placed in the two locations for 12 days. The results indicated that the Radon levels were well within acceptable limits. The Committee was advised that Health Canada is expected to conduct further long term testing to ensure the Radon levels continue to be within the established standard. 

11. CRA Emergency management (EM) governance framework

The Committee was advised that the Emergency Management (EM) Policy, which included the proposed EM Governance Framework, had been shared with the NHSPC for review and comments, and was approved in principle by the Agency Management Committee (AMC) on July 23, 2010. The EM Governance Framework and Policy include a commitment to consult with the NHSPC and local work place committees, as appropriate. The Committee was also advised that a new suite of policies and directives, also reviewed by the NHSPC, would be presented to the AMC and the Board of Management in the fall of 2010. The Committee was informed that a component of the framework was the creation of a senior management Emergency Management Committee (EMC), which would focus on emergency management activities, provide guidance and exercise oversight on the CRA EM Program, and provide support and advice to the Commissioner during an emergency.

The Committee was advised that together, the EM Governance Framework and the EMC would support the effective management of emergencies.

12. June 23, 2010 earthquake – post mortem report

The Committee was reminded that on June 23, 2010, a 5.0 magnitude earthquake occurred less than 55 kilometers northeast of Ottawa.  The Committee was advised that, although CRA had policies and procedures in place to provide guidance during all types of emergencies, the reaction to this event demonstrated that most employees and Building Emergency Organizations (BEOs) were not familiar with the earthquake procedures. As a precautionary measure, to ensure the safety of CRA employees and to provide adequate time to assess potential damage to area buildings, at approximately 3:50 p.m., employees were advised to vacate their buildings for the remainder of the day.  The Committee was also advised that there were no reports of injury or of structural damage during the assessments of the buildings. 

The Committee was advised that to gather information regarding the response to the earthquake, the Emergency Management (EM) Division of the Finance and Administration Branch (FAB) conducted a survey of the Responsible Building Authorities (RBAs) of the affected buildings in the weeks following the earthquake. The results of the survey were compiled into a post mortem report, which was shared with the newly formed Emergency Management Committee (EMC). The EMC reviewed and commented on the post mortem report, and prepared action items. The NHSPC was provided with a copy of the post mortem report, which included the action items identified by the EMC.

The key action items are:

  • Develop a training strategy for RBAs and BEOs;
  • Establish a communication protocol for emergency events; and
  • Improve employee awareness of emergency response procedures.

The Committee was also advised that the FAB had launched an employee emergency procedures awareness Website, that can be found at the following link:(http://infozone/english/r2814000/emd/emInstructions-e.asp), and had also reviewed the current communications systems, protocols, procedures, and tools. The Committee was advised that it would be provided with further updates on this issue.

CLOSING REMARKS

The Committee members were thanked for their participation and reminded that the next meeting was scheduled for December 2, 2010.

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

December 2, 2010             
Date

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

November 24, 2010           
Date