Health and Safety Committee

Minutes of the National Health and Safety Policy Committee Meeting

February 19, 2009
DATE: February 19, 2009 TIME: 1:30 pm - 2:30 pm
LOCATION: 8th Floor Board Room, 200 Laurier Ave. W.

ATTENDEES:

Management

Union

Members

Lysanne Gauvin (Management Co-Chair)
James Ralston
Jocelyn Malo
Jean Laronde

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

Absent Claude Tremblay Chris Aylward (UTE)
Secretary Leon Page  
Observers Paul Bruce
Jaime Robinson
Susan Fagan
 

OPENING REMARKS

The Management Co-Chair welcomed the Committee members to the first meeting of 2009, and stated that she was looking forward to continuing the Committee’s progress on the current issues, as well as tackling new issues over the coming year to address the health and safety issues and concerns of employees.

The Committee was advised that an English Workplace Committee Members Train-the-Trainer session was held in January, and that very positive feedback had been received on both the facilitators and the new instructors.

1. job hazard analysis (JHA) for field employees

On December 10, 2008, Resource Environmental Associates (REA) presented their draft Phase III Report to the Agency Management Committee (AMC). Following this, the JHA Phase III Report was finalized and shared with the NHSPC members on January 6, 2009.

The Committee was advised that a Working Group had been established to review the proposed options for addressing risks and hazards that Field Employees may be exposed to. The Working Group’s recommendations on the options that it believes would best address the identified risks and hazards would be presented to the NHSPC and subsequently to AMC, for their consideration and approval.

The Committee was also informed that the contract with REA was extended until the end of March 2009, to accommodate two additional presentations on their final Phase III Report: One presentation to senior management of the Branches whose employees were included in the JHA, and members of the Working Group, and the other presentation to the Board of Management.

2. Pandemic Planning

The Committee was reminded that, as indicated at the May 22, 2008 meeting, Pandemic Plans were in place across the Agency, and that the Finance and Administration Branch would continue to monitor the situation to ensure that these plans were kept up to date.

The Committee was also reminded that PWGSC had advised that, as a department and employer, it was not installing hand sanitizers in its facilities until such time as the health experts from either Health Canada or the Public Health Agency of Canada had recommended that they be utilized. At the present time, these organizations continue to recommend hand washing with soap and water. As a result, the Committee was advised that the CRA would not be putting a Hand Sanitizer Program in place at the CRA until Health Canada or the Public Health Agency of Canada recommended that it do so.

The Committee agreed that this issue would be removed from the Agenda until such time as circumstances require that it be revisited.

3. cANADA bORDER sERVICES aGENGY (cbsa) arming initiative – cbsa/cra co-location

The Committee was advised that the Security, Risk Management and Internal Affairs Directorate had conducted a survey to determine the extent to which CRA employees were co-located with armed CBSA employees, excluding CBSA Ports of Entry. The results of this survey indicated that at the present time, there were armed CBSA officers co-located with CRA staff at eight (8) sites. Since each co-located site was configured differently, they each represented different circumstances with respect to the extent of contact. Furthermore, it was noted that there were only two (2) locations identified in the survey where armed CBSA officers were sharing work space with CRA employees. It was agreed that a communiqué, similar to the one issued by the Quebec Region, would be developed for distribution to CRA employees that are co-located with armed CBSA officers.

The Committee was also informed that the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) was contacted and had confirmed that several training and awareness products were developed for the Arming Initiative. These products included a self-guided Computer Based Training (CBT) course called “Introduction to the Arming Initiative”, which was intended to help both armed and unarmed CBSA employees understand all aspects of the Arming Initiative. Furthermore, standard operating instructions had been put in place by CBSA for the storage of firearms at those sites. As well, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) had been consulted and the CRA had obtained a copy of their Standard Operating Procedures that were developed in the event of an altercation between a client and an armed CBSA officer in a CIC workspace.

It was agreed that a link to the CBSA CBT course would be forwarded to the Union Members of the Committee for their review and comments, following which an information package for CRA employees would be developed, based on the current CBSA training. The Committee agreed that it was important that employees be given the time necessary for any identified training.

It was noted that these actions would be considered interim measures for IT staff working at CBSA Ports of Entry, until the Job Hazard Analysis for Information Technology jobs had been completed.

4. violence prevention in the workplace regulation

The Committee was advised that the representatives of the Working Group were Pierre Mulvihill (Union), Sylvain Trottier (Finance and Administration Branch), and Paul Bruce (Human Resources Branch), and that the initial meeting of the Working Group had been scheduled for March 12, 2009. It was agreed that we needed something in place for the CRA to deal with this issue while waiting for HRSDC to come out with their product, since the timeframe for that is unknown.

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

The Committee was provided with a chart which indicated that, as of January 30, 2009, 5,247 managers had completed the OHS Training for Managers, and 34,288 employees had attended the OHS Awareness session for employees. It was also agreed that a column would be added to future charts that would show, for comparison purposes, the total number of CRA managers and employees, as of January 30, 2009.

CLOSING REMARKS

The Committee agreed that, for future meetings, a brief status report would be included with the minutes for items that have been shown on the Agenda as being deferred to a future meeting.

The Unions would provide the name of a representative to participate on the Automated External Defibrillator Working Group.

The Committee was reminded that the next meeting was scheduled for June 4, 2009.

Original signed by 
Lysanne Gauvin
Management Co-chair
National Health and Safety
   Policy Committee

 April 21, 2009                     
Date

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

 April 8, 2009                       
Date