Health and Safety Committee

Minutes of the National Health and Safety Policy Committee Meeting

September 4, 2008
DATE: September 4, 2008  TIME: 1:30 pm - 4:00 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
Jean Laronde

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

Secretary

   

Observers

Paul Bruce
Jaime Robinson
Sally McQuinn
Pierre Mulvihill (UTE)
Jean-François Prégent (PIPSC)

Absent

Leon Page  

OPENING REMARKS

The Management Co-Chair welcomed the Committee members to the meeting and offered congratulations to certain Union members of the Committee on their successful re-election.

1-2. Job HAZARD ANALYSIS (JHA) FOR FIELD EMPLOYEES

The Committee was advised that Resource Environmental Associates (REA), the consultant hired to conduct the JHA for Field Employees, finished the last of its site visits and interviews during the week of July 21, 2008.  In total, 550 people were interviewed.  On August 29, 2008, REA supplied the Committee with the draft Phase II Report. 

The Committee received a presentation by REA on the draft Phase II Report.  The presentation provided the Committee with details on the site visits and interviews with employees, management, and union representatives, as follows:

      • the methodology that was followed;
      • the results of the interviews and documentation reviews; and,
      • any significant new information about the tasks carried out, the hazards, and the effectiveness of the CRA's current corporate measures to identify, minimize or eliminate the risks or hazards to which Field Employees may be exposed.

The Committee was advised, as mentioned in the contract, that REA would present the draft Phase II Report to the Agency Management Committee (AMC) on October 1, 2008. 

The draft Phase III Report was slated to be released in mid-November.  It would outline the various options, including their pros and cons, for improving existing corporate measures and for introducing new corporate measures to enable the CRA to further minimize or eliminate, to the extent possible, risks and job hazards for Field Employees.  These options could be used to address any issues that were identified during the JHA.  REA would present the draft Phase III Report to the Committee during its November 27th meeting.  Following the conclusion of Phase III, the Committee would need to review and discuss the various options and make its recommendations to AMC.

The Committee was also informed of a concern that had been raised related to the safety of CRA Information Technology staff working at Canada Border Services Agency border locations.  The Committee agreed to further examine this issue.

3. pandemic planning

The Committee was advised that all Branches had completed the testing of their Pandemic Annexes. The Finance & Administration Branch would continue to monitor the situation as it pertained to pandemic in order to ensure that plans across the Agency were kept up-to-date.

The NHSPC Pandemic Planning Working Group met to discuss and review a number of items that would need careful consideration prior to moving forward with hand sanitizer dispensers. Their next step would be to collect information from the Ontario Region regarding lessons learned related to its attempt to roll out a hand sanitizer program. In addition, posters on hand washing techniques and flu prevention were developed by the Working Group and would be distributed in early September.

4. Asbestos / hazardous materials

The Committee was advised that information was currently being collected regarding the presence of asbestos and/or PCBs in all CRA-occupied buildings across Canada.  It was noted that this involved over 150 sites, comprising some 925,000 square metres of space, including many privately-owned buildings, which would require consultation with landlords.  The Committee was reminded that, while the target date for the completion of the report was November 30, 2008, efforts were being made to expedite this timeframe.  It was reported that a substantial amount of information was expected to be available in advance, on a phased basis, as early as October 2008.

5. business continuity plans (BCPs)

The Committee was advised that the BCP Guidelines and the Building Emergency Plan Policy were updated and shared with the Unions for their review and comments. The Committee agreed that once the Unions had reviewed the revised guidelines and policy the issue would be closed.

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

Further to the commitment made at the last meeting to provide the Committee with a progress report, the Committee was advised that 5,094 managers and 29,331 employees have completed the OHS training as of September 1, 2008. The Committee would be kept apprised of the progress of the training.

7. RADON TESTING

The Committee was advised that Public Works and Government Services Canada (PWGSC) would be responsible for implementing this initiative as it was the custodian for all buildings occupied by the CRA.  It was noted, however, that CRA Real Property representatives would be requesting that PWGSC advise them of the results of their review and planned action.  The Union representative of the NHSPC associated with this issue would be kept apprised of any new developments.  This information would also be shared within the CRA (including the local workplace committees), as appropriate.

CLOSING REMARKS

The Committee was reminded that the next meeting would be held on November 27, 2008, when REA was scheduled to conduct the Phase III Presentation. It was suggested that, due to time required for this presentation, there may not be sufficient time to address the remainder of the agenda items. As a result, it was agreed that, for this one meeting, the remaining agenda items could be handled through written updates.

Original signed by

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

October 21, 2008 
Date

Original signed by

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

October 14, 2008 
Date