Health and Safety Committee

Minutes of the National Health and Safety Policy Committee Meeting

May 22, 2008
DATE: May 22, 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
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
Sally McQuinn
Pierre Mulvihill (UTE)

Absent

Jean Laronde
Jocelyn Malo
 

OPENING REMARKS

The Management Co-Chair welcomed the Committee members to the meeting and took the opportunity to recognize two note-worthy Health and Safety events that took place since the last meeting, as follows:

  • the National Day of Mourning, which was held on April 28th; and,
  • the North American Occupational Safety and Health week, which took place from May 4th to 10th.

The Union Co-Chair acknowledged the good work that was being done by Management and the Unions between meetings to resolve issues and items as they arose. She felt that there had been good communication between the two parties.

1. pandemic planning

The Committee was informed that all Regions and Branches had completed their Pandemic Annexes and there were only two Pandemic Annexes that still required Branch level testing. Finance and Administration would monitor the situation as it pertained to a pandemic and ensure that plans were kept up to date.

The Committee was also advised that the Pandemic Working Group of the NHSPC met on April 16th to review the posters drafted by the Public Affairs Branch (PAB). The Working Group’s feedback was consolidated and sent back to PAB for the reworking of the posters. A copy of the posters had been shared with the Committee members and, as a result of discussions during the meeting, further research would be conducted prior to finalizing the posters. Once finalized, the posters would be made available in time for the 2008 flu season.

The Committee was informed that the Finance and Administration Branch had identified a representative from the Real Property and Service Integration Directorate as their representative on the Working Group, which would be meeting to discuss the subject of Hand Sanitizers in the near future.

2. JOB HAZARD ANALYSIS (JHA) FOR FIELD EMPLOYEES

The Committee was informed that, on February 29, 2008, the Co-chairs had sent an email to all employees advising them that the CRA had signed a contract with Resource Environmental Associates (REA) for the Job Hazard Analysis (JHA) for Field Employees.

The draft Phase I report was shared with the Committee on April 10, 2008. Following this, REA made a presentation to the Committee on April 16, 2008. Feedback from Committee members was provided to REA on April 25, 2008.

On May 7, 2008, the Detailed Design Document, which outlines REA’s plan for completing Phase II, was shared with the Committee. Feedback from Committee members was provided to REA for incorporation into the final document. The Committee was informed that, as part of Phase II, REA would be starting the site visits and interviews within the next couple of weeks. The Committee was also advised that the NHSPC Working Group dealing with the JHA had worked on the selection criteria that would be used to identify those individuals who would be interviewed by REA. The Local Work Place Committees would be involved in identifying individuals.

The Committee was also advised that, as part of the contract, REA would be conducting JHA Methodology training in June for selected representatives.

3. policy review

A meeting of the Policy Review Working Group of the NHSPC was scheduled for May 28, 2008, to discuss the outstanding items related to the proposed actions that should be taken regarding the updating of existing CRA OHS policies and the removal of other policies that were no longer relevant to the CRA. 

4. Asbestos / hazardous materials

The Committee was reminded that a full list of CRA-occupied, Crown-owned buildings, where asbestos-containing material (asbestos) was present, had been provided to them at the December 10, 2007 NHSPC meeting. It was noted that while there was no national inventory that contained information about privately-owned or leased buildings, or about the storage of PCB's, Management was in the process of collecting this data on a one-time basis, in consultation with PWGSC, private sector landlords and the Regions. The Committee was advised that it is expected that this report would be available by the end of November 2008.

As a result of an issue being raised regarding how long the “Record of Asbestos Abatement/Encapsulation Project form” was to be kept on an employee’s personnel file, it had been determined that this record was to be kept on the employee’s file for the life of the file.

5. business continuity plans (BCPs)

The Committee was advised that F&A was in the process of reviewing the BCP and Building Emergency Plan (BEP) guidelines. The result would be to make any necessary revisions to ensure that BCPs deal specifically with the resumption of CRA business activities and that BEPs include any pertinent Occupational Health and Safety information. The local Work Place Committee should be consulted in the development of the BEP.  This review was scheduled to be completed by June 30, 2008.

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

The Committee was informed that, as reported at the February 21st NHSPC meeting, the communiqué advising of the existence of the National Incident Reporting Centre and its affiliated telephone number was distributed to the Police Forces on February 27, 2008.  As well, on March 17, 2008 a response was sent to the Eastern Quebec TSO Workplace Committee that referred this issue to the NHSPC, along with a copy of the communiqué, advising them of the actions that had been taken to address their concerns. The Committee agreed that this issue would now be considered closed.

7. HEALTH AND SAFETY TRAINING FOR MANAGERS/HEALTH AND SAFETY AWARENESS FOR EMPLOYEES

Further to the commitment made at the May 31, 2007, NHSPC meeting, the Committee was provided with a progress report on the number of managers and employees whose training had been recorded in CAS as of May 1, 2008.  The majority of managers and approximately one third of employees had received their training.

Management committed to following up to ensure that progress was being made and that deadlines were being met.
Management agreed to look at whether the ongoing employee awareness sessions could be delivered as part of the employee orientation session.

8. RADON TESTING

The Committee was advised that the Government of Canada had decided to decrease the acceptable level of radon exposure in federal government buildings and that Health Canada was working on a suggested approach on how the testing would be rolled out.

Harry Walker was identified as the Union Representative to work with Management on this issue when more direction was received from Health Canada.

CLOSING REMARKS

The Committee was reminded that the next meeting would be held on September 4, 2008. 

Original signed by___________ 

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

July 31, 2008 
Date

Original signed by___________ 

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

July 29, 2008 
Date