Health and Safety Committee

Minutes of the National Health and Safety Policy Committee Meeting

February 21, 2008
DATE: February 21, 2008 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
Claude Tremblay

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

Secretary

Leon Page   

Observers

Paul Bruce
Jaime Robinson
Lisa Kelly
Pierre Mulvihill (UTE)
Jean-François Prégent (PIPSC)

Absent

Jean Laronde  

OPENING REMARKS

The Management Co-Chair welcomed the Committee members to the first meeting of 2008, and stated that she was looking forward to continuing the Committee’s progress on the current issues before it, as well as tackling new issues over the coming year to address the health and safety issues and concerns of employees.

1. pandemic planning

The Committee was informed that over 90% of Regions and Branches have completed their pandemic annexes.  The Risk and Emergency Management Division is conducting pandemic tests with the Branches and Regions, with 80% having completed the required testing, to date. 

The Committee agreed that the Pandemic Planning Working Group would develop guidelines on the possible installation of hand sanitizer dispensers in high volume public traffic areas.  Once the guidelines had been approved, consultations would be conducted with PWGSC.

The Committee was also informed that, while the Working Group had reviewed a number of posters related to proper hand washing techniques and coughing etiquette, none of the posters contained all of the desired components.  As a result, the Working Group was consulting with the Public Affairs Branch on the design of CRA specific posters.  Once the Working Group had agreed on draft posters, they would be shared with the Committee for review.

2. JOB HAZARD ANALYSIS (JHA) FOR FIELD EMPLOYEES

The Committee was advised that the Agency signed a contract with Resource Environmental Associates (REA) on January 30, 2008, to conduct the JHA for Field Employees, with an expected completion date of January 31, 2009.

The contract would be broken into three phases:

  • Phase I (Documentation Review) would involve the REA consultants reviewing all documents provided by the CRA (such as job descriptions, work and safety procedures, incident reports, etc.). 

  • Phase II (Site Visits, Findings and Analysis) would consist of on-site interviews with field employees, managers, local Workplace Committee members, security officials, and union representatives at the following 11 offices: Newfoundland and Labrador; Québec City; Montréal; Ottawa; Toronto Centre; Sudbury; Saskatoon; Red Deer; Calgary; Southern Interior; and, Vancouver.

  • Phase III (Options and Reporting) would involve REA performing an analysis, and documenting the results in a report, outlining the hazards identified as well as options for addressing these hazards.

REA would prepare a report, and make a presentation to the Committee, upon completion of each phase of the JHA.  It was expected that the Phase I report would be ready for review by this Committee at the beginning of April 2008. 

A joint communiqué would be sent out from this Committee to advise CRA employees that a contract has been signed with REA to conduct the JHA.  This communiqué would also be posted on the National OHS website.

3. HAZARD PREVENTION PROGRAM REGULATION

The Committee was reminded that, at the December 10, 2007, NHSPC meeting, it agreed on the approach that would be taken to implement the CRA Hazard Prevention Program, as well as the proposed action plan. 

The initial step in the action plan was to conduct a preliminary review of the Hazardous Occurrence Investigation Reports (T4009) on a national basis.  This analysis would result in a report being prepared, which would break down the accidents by specific work environments, and would take approximately 4 to 5 months to complete.

The Committee was informed that the Working Group was also continuing with the preparation of overview documents that outline the components required for the implementation of the CRA Hazard Prevention Program.

4. policy review

The Committee was advised that a meeting of the Working Group was held on
January 14, 2008, to review the Unions’ input on the preliminary list of existing CRA OHS policies, including proposed actions that should be taken regarding the updating of certain policies and the removal of others that were no longer relevant to the CRA. 

The Working Group was in agreement on most of the proposals.  However, there were still a few issues being discussed, and the Committee would be updated when these issues were finalized.

5. Asbestos / hazardous materials

The Committee was informed that, over the years, PWGSC had undertaken major initiatives related to the removal of hazardous materials within Crown-owned buildings (asbestos & PCBs).  Given the remaining small quantities and the low associated risk, PWGSC no longer maintains a national inventory of hazardous materials.  Therefore, any remaining hazardous materials were now managed on a project basis, within both Crown-owned and leased facilities.

While it was not believed that a significant problem existed, PWGSC would be asked to prepare a one-time inventory.  The inventory would identify any hazardous materials currently stored on-site in buildings occupied by the CRA.  This would require some time to complete and it would not be practical to maintain at the national level.  The availability of the information required to produce this inventory would be dependent on the private lease agreements that were in place.

The Committee was reminded that information concerning hazardous materials was catalogued under the Workplace Hazardous Material Information System and was available at the local level.

6. business continuity plans (BCPs)

The Committee was informed that Management and Union representatives met on January 14, 2008, to discuss the purpose of Business Continuity Planning.  A sample BCP was shared with the Union representatives. 

It was agreed by the Committee that the Business Continuity Plans should deal specifically with the resumption of CRA business activities, while the Emergency Plan, which would be shared with the Unions, would deal with building and staff emergency activities.  Management agreed to review the applicable CRA policies and make revisions as required.

7. security incident notification – referral from the eastern quebec tso

The Committee was advised that the communiqué to inform Police Forces of the existence of the National Incident Reporting Centre and its affiliated telephone number would be distributed on February 27, 2008. 

CLOSING REMARKS

The Committee was reminded that the next meeting would be held on May 22, 2008. 

Original signed by___________ 

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

 April 15, 2008
Date

 Original signed by ___________

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

 April 9, 2008
Date