Health and Safety Committee

Minutes of the National Health and Safety Policy Committee Meeting

September 7, 2007

DATE: September 7, 2007  TIME:  9:00 am - 11:00 am

LOCATION: 8th Floor Board Room, 200 Laurier Ave. W.

ATTENDEES:

Management

Union

Members

Lysanne Gauvin (Management Co-Chair)
Jocelyn Malo
Claude Tremblay
Jean Laronde

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

Secretary Leon Page  
Observers Jaime Robinson
Édith Bélanger
Sally McQuinn
Pierre Mulvihill (UTE)
Lina Ruel (UTE)
Absent James Ralston  

OPENING REMARKS

The Union Co-Chair welcomed the Committee members to the meeting. She also indicated that the National UTE Health and Safety Conference, which was held on August 24-26, 2007, went very well, and thanked Management for their support and participation at the Conference.  The Management Co-Chair commented that she enjoyed participating in the Conference and had found it very interesting and informative.

The Management Co-Chair advised the Committee that during the late spring, a review of the maximum reimbursement amount for protective footwear was undertaken and that, following consultations with the Working Group that had originally addressed this issue, it was decided that the maximum reimbursement amount would not be adjusted since it was still appropriate. 

The Committee was also informed that a notice was sent by the Finance and Administration (F&A) Branch to the Agency Management Committee members on August 17, 2007, asking them to remind all employees of the procedures for reporting threats against CRA employees.  The package also included a copy of the original memorandum outlining the threat-reporting requirement, which had been shared with the Committee on April 21, 2006.

1. pandemic planning

The Committee was informed that the Risk and Emergency Management Division of F&A had been working with various branches and regions to help develop their pandemic plans. Once these plans have been completed, they would be tested and validated, with a target for completion by the end of September 2007. 

The Committee was also informed that the NHSPC Pandemic Planning Working Group met on June 20, 2007 and decided to focus on creating a communication strategy that would provide information to employees on protecting themselves from the influenza virus, rather than focusing solely on a pandemic at this point in time.  It was also proposed that any communication products that were developed related to this issue should be included on the National OHS Website, under the existing “influenza” heading.

It was suggested that the Working Group should also look at other communication tools, such as a video prepared by the Ontario Region featuring Dr. James Young, Special Advisor to the Deputy Minister of Public Safety Canada.  It was agreed that the Working Group would need to meet soon, in order to provide timely communication for the influenza season.

2. JOB HAZARD ANALYSIS FOR FIELD EMPLOYEES

The Committee was informed that the original Request for Proposal (RFP) had been reposted on July 25, 2007, with a closing date of September 5, 2007.  The Bid Evaluation process was now in progress.

A revised timeline document was distributed (Appendix A), based on the latest tendering process.

3. WORK PLACE COMMITTEE TRAINING

The Committee was advised that, as a result of the English Train-the-Trainer session delivered in June 2007, there were now a total of 57 people trained to conduct the Work Place Committee Member Training. 

The Regional Training Plans had been shared with the Committee members on July 10, 2007, indicating that approximately 200 people would need to be trained in 2007–2008. 

4. HAZARD PREVENTION PROGRAM REGULATION

The Committee was advised that the Working Group met on August 29, 2007, to discuss the overall direction for meeting the requirements of the Hazard Prevention Regulation

The Working Group plans to develop a Hazard Prevention Program (HPP) that would parallel the seven components of the Regulation.  Using these seven components as a starting point, the Working Group would propose an outline for a HPP, and would identify the CRA initiatives that were currently in place, as well as potential initiatives that could be implemented to fulfil the CRA’s obligations under the Regulation.  These documents would be shared with the Committee for its consideration, once they were drafted.

The Committee was also informed that while some of the requirements of the Regulation would be addressed by the JHA for Field Employees, the Working Group proposed that, in the interim, it would undertake a review of the CRA’s Hazardous Occurrence Investigation Report forms (T4009s), and analyze the information available related to general accidents/incidents. To make this exercise more relevant, the information would be divided into specific work environments, such as general office, warehouses, call centres, etc.  It was noted that a report would be prepared outlining the results of this review, which would be used to establish next steps.  The Committee members would be kept apprised of the progress of the Working Group.

5. policy review

The Committee was reminded that the Working Group met on May 14, 2007, to discuss a preliminary list of existing CRA OHS Policies.  This included reviewing proposed actions that should be taken regarding the updating of certain policies, as well as the removal of other policies that were no longer relevant to the CRA. During the May 14th meeting the list was provided to the Union representative of the Working Group, who would review it and provide feedback.  Once the Unions have completed their review, a meeting of the Working Group would be scheduled to review the Unions’ feedback and discuss next steps.

After the policies have been updated, they would be reviewed on a cyclical basis.

6. job hazard ANALYSIS RECOMMENDATIONS (common issues) / Agency ohs audit

The Committee was advised that an updated list of recommendations was shared with the Working Group when they met on June 20, 2007. The Committee was also informed that two thirds of the original recommendations had been finalized, and was provided with a copy of the eight outstanding recommendations.  The Working Group would review the list to ensure that it was satisfied with its contents. 

One of the ongoing recommendations reflected the need for a system of health and safety accountability for Managers and Supervisors.  To address this recommendation performance measurement criteria were established for inclusion in all performance expectations for managers and supervisors.  These criteria were shared with the Committee on July 27th for review and comments, and were subsequently forwarded to the Resourcing and Career Management Division of the Human Resources Branch, for inclusion in the 2008 - 2009 Performance Management cycle.  Managers and supervisors would be advised of this during the upcoming Health and Safety Training for Managers sessions.

7. Presence of asbestos in cra buildings and hazardous material stored in cra facilities

The Committee was advised that a report being prepared by Public Works and Government Services Canada (PWGSC) pertaining to the presence of asbestos or other hazardous materials in the workplace should be available by late fall, and should also identify whether the building is Crown-owned or privately owned.

It has been confirmed that PWGSC would be responsible for maintaining this database for all Federal facilities including those occupied by the CRA. 

8. ERGONOMICS

The Committee was advised of the Unions’ dissatisfaction with the CRA’s decision to discontinue the Agency’s Ergonomic Services Unit (ESU).  The Unions stated that their reaction was not based solely on the displacement of five employees, but also on the resulting impact that the discontinuance of this service would have on the health and safety of all of their members.  They also felt that the Health Canada assessments would be nowhere near as comprehensive or complete as those provided by the ESU.

It was agreed that there would be separate dialogue between the Union and the Chief Financial Officer and Assistant Commissioner, Finance and Administration Branch regarding this issue as he was unable to attend the meeting.

9. BUSINESS CONTINUITY PLANS

The Committee was advised that all Branches and regions were currently reviewing and validating their Business Continuity Plans (BCPs), which identify the Agency’s critical business functions and potential recovery strategies, in the event of disruptions to normal business.

The Unions expressed concerns that the local BCPs may not be comprehensive enough to assist managers in dealing with certain situations, such as floods within a building.  It was acknowledged that the BCP could not cover every potential scenario; however, consideration should be given to identifying some of the more significant potential incidents, with a view to developing tools to assist local Work Place Committees in such situations.

A separate meeting would be scheduled with representatives of F&A to further discuss the BCP process.

CLOSING REMARKS

The Committee members were thanked for their participation.  The next Committee meeting is scheduled for December 10, 2007.

Original signed by

 

Original signed by

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

 

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

 

 

December 5, 2007

 

November 28, 2007

Date

 

Date