Health and Safety Committee

Minutes of the National Health and Safety Policy Committee Meeting

May 31, 2007

DATE: May 31, 2007  TIME:  1:30 pm - 3:00 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)
Chris Aylward (UTE)
Lina Ruel (UTE)
Harry Walker (PIPSC)
Doug Mason (PIPSC)

Secretary Leon Page  
Observers Paul Bruce
Jaime Robinson
Édith Bélanger
 
Absent Claude Tremblay Doug Gaetz (UTE)

OPENING REMARKS

The Management Co-Chair welcomed the Committee members to the meeting and stated that she was looking forward to participating in the discussions, as the Committee members work together to address the Health and Safety concerns of the Agency.  She also pointed out that, since the last meeting, the CRA had observed both the National Day of Mourning and North American Occupational Safety and Health Week.  As well, the French Workplace Committee Train-the-Trainer session was delivered from
May 8 to May 16, 2007.

The Management Co-Chair also acknowledged the collaborative efforts of Management and Unions in dealing with OHS issues.  She noted that the Union and Management representatives should be very proud of their accomplishments in updating the OHS video, which was rolled out to the Regions in April.  Everyone who had a part in making this video was thanked.

The Union Co-Chair also acknowledged the good work being done by several working groups.

1. REPORT OF ASSISTANT DIRECTORS WORKING ROUP ON INVESTIGATIONS SAFETY ISSUES

The Committee was informed that a meeting took place on May 30, 2007, where an overview of the report of the Assistant Directors’ Working Group on Investigations Safety Issues was provided to the Unions.  The Committee was advised that any issues identified in the report would be acted upon immediately if of an urgent nature.  The entire report would also be provided to the consultant for review during Phase I of the Job Hazard Analysis for Field Employees.

2. PANDEMIC PLANNING

The Committee was advised that all Branches had identified a senior-level representative who would act as the Branch Pandemic Planning Coordinator.  For the regions, the Regional Director, F&A, would perform this function, assisted by the Regional Assistant Director, Security.  The Risk and Emergency Management Division (REMD) would be delivering a short Pandemic awareness exercise to all Branch Management Teams.  Planning at the Regional level was also underway and would involve representatives from the Programs, Human Resources (HR), Occupational Health and Safety, and the Unions.  Security Services would be following up with their regional counterparts to determine the state of preparedness in the regions.  The Committee was informed that Pandemic Plans should be finalized in September 2007.

The Committee was also informed that a National Labour Relations workshop was held in March 2007, during which a focus group discussed potential issues related to Pandemic Planning from the local, regional and national perspectives.  The input from this focus group was gathered and would be shared with the NHSPC Pandemic Planning Working Group.  A meeting of the Working Group has been scheduled for June 20, 2007, to develop a list of potential HR Pandemic issues that would affect the CRA, as well as to look into the development of an overall communication plan, which could include providing signs in washrooms outlining proper hand-washing techniques. 

The Committee was informed that once the subcommittee of the Treasury Board Secretariat HR Pandemic Issues Committee had finalized its report on identifying potential personal protective tools, the NHSPC Pandemic Planning Working Group would meet to discuss the implications of the report on the CRA.  A Management representative from F&A would participate in that meeting.

3. JOB HAZARD ANALYSES FOR FIELD EMPLOYEES

The Committee was informed that a final list of proposed sites to be visited by the Consultant was added to the Statement of Work.  The Committee was also advised that the Statement of Work, the Mandatory Criteria, the Point-Rated Evaluation Criteria and the Final Proposal, had been finalized and the Request for Proposal had been posted on May 9, 2007, with a closing date of June 18, 2007.  The Unions were advised of this by email on May 10, 2007.  As well, an updated version of the timelines was provided to Committee members (attached).

The Committee was advised that the next step would be to conduct a Bid Evaluation Process, and then to award the contract to the selected Consultant.  As discussed at the March 1, 2007 NHSPC, a Union representative was identified to participate in the Bid Evaluation Process and attended a preliminary meeting on May 22, 2007.

4. WORK PLACE COMMITTEE TRAINING

The Committee was advised that the French Train-the-Trainer session was delivered in Ottawa from May 8 to 16, 2007.  There were 4 additional people trained, bringing the total number of trainers to 46.  The English Train-the-Trainer session would be delivered in Ottawa from June 5 to 14, 2007.  Twelve participants were registered to attend this course. 

Committee members would be provided with a copy of the Regional Training Plan, which identifies that there are approximately 150 Work Place Committee members who require training. 

5. HEALTH AND SAFETY TRAINING FOR MANAGERS

As the Health and Safety Training for Managers, the Health and Safety Awareness Package for Employees, and the OHS video were inter-related, the Committee was advised that the three issues would be addressed together.

The Committee members were advised that the Health and Safety Training for Managers course and the Awareness Session for Employees were updated based on feedback provided by the Regional OHS Advisors during the Train-the-Trainer session held on March 20, 2007.  On May 17, 2007, the finalized course for Managers was provided to Regional OHS Advisors for roll out to all CRA Managers within the next
12 months.  The Managers would be responsible for rolling out the Employee Awareness Session to all employees within three months after receiving their training.  The final package has also been sent to the Unions.  An electronic version of both sessions would be forwarded to the Unions, along with the accompanying memo sent to the Regional OHS Advisors, dated May 17, 2007.  The Unions were thanked for their feedback on these two training packages.  The Committee was advised that CAS codes have been created so that OHS Training for Managers and the Awareness Session for Employees could be tracked.

It was agreed that a status report on the rollout in the regions would be shared with the NHSPC members in 6 months.

The Committee members were informed that the new CRA OHS video was completed on March 30, 2007, and that copies of the video were distributed to the Unions and the Regions on April 20, 2007.  The video would be used in the Health and Safety Training for Managers session, as well as the Workplace Committee Members training.  The Committee was also advised that a copy of the new video was shared with the Program Coordinator of the National Joint Council Service-Wide Committee on Occupational Health and Safety and that he was very impressed with the video and with the CRA’s commitment to Occupational Health and Safety.  Everyone who worked on, and participated in the video was thanked. 

6. HEALTH AND SAFETY AWARENESS FOR EMPLOYEES

This item was combined with Item # 5 (Health and Safety Training for Managers).

7. OHS VIDEO

This item was combined with Item # 5 (Health and Safety Training for Managers).

8. HAZARD PREVENTION PROGRAM REGULATION

The Committee was advised that, on May 4, 2007, Management attended an Interdepartmental Information Session hosted by the Treasury Board Secretariat, relating to developing Hazard Prevention Programs.  The development of Hazard Prevention Programs in other government departments and agencies runs the gamut from not having started, to being quite advanced.  A copy of one of the more advanced programs was obtained and would be used in discussions at the NHSPC Hazard Prevention Program Working Group during a meeting to be scheduled in June.

The Committee members would be kept apprised of the progress on this file.

9. PORTABLE DURESS ALARMS FOR COMMISSIONAIRES / SECURITY GUARDS

The Committee was advised that, as discussed at the last NHSPC meeting, a copy of the proposed amendments to the Finance and Administration Manual (FAM), Security Volume, Chapter 26, “Abuse, Threats, Stalking and Assaults Against Employees” had been sent to Committee members on April 24, 2007, for review and comments.  The proposed amendments would now be incorporated into Chapter 26, to reflect testing requirements of equipment and the duress alarm protocol for Client Services areas.

10. POLICY REVIEW

The Committee was informed that the NHSPC Policy Review Working Group met on May 14, 2007, to discuss a preliminary list of existing CRA OHS Policies, including proposed actions that should be taken regarding the updating of certain policies and the removal of other policies that were no longer relevant to the CRA.  It was agreed that the Unions would review the preliminary list and provide their comments at the next meeting of this Working Group.

The Committee would be kept advised of further discussions to be held by this Working Group.

11. JOB HAZARD ANALYSIS RECOMMENDATIONS (COMMON ISSUES) / AGENCY OHS AUDIT

The Committee was advised that a large number of issues had been addressed as a result of the Health and Safety Training for Managers session and the Health and Safety Awareness for Employees session, as well as the introduction of the new CRA Hazardous Occurrence Investigation Report (T4009).

The NHSPC Working Group, established to address the JHA Recommendations (Common Issues), will meet on June 20, 2007, to review the status of the various issues.

12. PRESENCE OF ASBESTOS IN CRA BUILDINGS AND HAZARDOUS MATERIAL STORED IN CRA FACILITIES

Since the CRA is not a custodian of federal buildings, the Committee was advised that Management had contacted PWGSC to obtain information on the possible presence of asbestos in buildings occupied by the CRA.  As soon as the information is available, it would be shared with the Committee. The Committee was reminded that it is both the Government’s and PWGSC’s policy to ensure that any asbestos in buildings does not create a health issue. 

The Committee was also advised that, as part of the day-to-day operation and maintenance of buildings, cleaning fluids and other supplies that can be hazardous or toxic in their use are catalogued in each building under the Workplace Hazardous Material Information System (WHMIS).  It was also explained that, while there was no central registry of this information, cleaning contractors and property managers were required to have Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) available.

The Committee discussed the possibility of receiving regular reports dealing with the presence of asbestos and other hazardous materials in the workplace.  Management would look into this and report back to the Committee.

CLOSING REMARKS

The Committee members were thanked for their participation, and everyone was wished a safe and enjoyable summer. 

The next Committee meeting is scheduled for September 7, 2007.

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

August 10, 2007
Date

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

August 2, 2007 _____
Date