Health and Safety Committee

Minutes of the National Health and Safety Policy Committee Meeting

November 30, 2006

DATE: November 30, 2006         TIME:  1:30 pm-2:30 pm

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

ATTENDEES:

Management

Union

Members

 

Observers

Absent

Lysanne Gauvin (Management Co-Chair)
James Ralston
Jocelyn Malo
Jean Laronde
Leon Page  (Committee Secretary)

Paul Bruce
Édith Bélanger

Claude Tremblay

Chris Aylward 
(Alternate Union Co-Chair)
Kent MacDonald (UTE)
Lina Ruel (UTE)
Harry Walker (PIPSC)
Doug Mason (PIPSC)

Betty Bannon (UTE)

OPENING REMARKS

The Management Co-Chair welcomed the Committee members to the final meeting of 2006, and noted that the Committee had a very productive year in addressing health and safety issues.

During the year, the Committee accomplished the following initiatives:

  • A decision was taken to reimburse the full cost of protective footwear to employees required to wear it.  As a result, we worked together to establish a national maximum amount for reimbursement of $145.00.

  • The Work Place Member and Health and Safety Representative Policy and the First Aid Health and Safety Policy, as well as the associated procedures, were updated and have been posted on our OHS Website.

  • The Work Place Committee Training package was revised and would be available in January 2007.

  • A memorandum entitled “Threats Against Employees – 1-866 Line for Threat Reporting” was prepared and sent out to all employees on April 10, 2006, to advise them of the changes in procedures for reporting threats against employees.

  • The NHSPC collaborated with the Finance and Administration Branch to align Chapter 15 (Reporting of Security Incidents) and Chapter 26 (Abuse, Threats, Stalking and Assaults against Employees) of the Security Manual with the recent change in procedures for reporting threats against employees.  These policies have now been issued.

  • Portable duress alarms were issued to all service agents.

  • The new Hazardous Occurrence Investigation Report (T4009) was developed and would come into effect early in 2007.

  • Communiqués were sent to the regions to advise them of important events, such as:

    • the National Day of Mourning, in remembrance of those workers killed or injured on the job; and,

    • North American Occupational Health and Safety week.

Significant progress has also been made toward addressing a number of other OHS issues, which were discussed at today’s meeting.
It was noted that the current agenda was indicative of the good work being done on the OHS Issues by the NHSPC.

1. JOB HAZARD ANALYSES FOR FIELD EMPLOYEES

The Committee was advised that the draft statement of work was shared with the Unions on October 25, 2006, for review and comments, along with the evaluation criteria and a list of mandatory requirements.

The Committee was informed that the draft statement of work, the contract evaluation criteria and the mandatory requirements were sent to the Finance and Administration Branch to be included in the Request for Proposal to hire the consulting firm, to conduct the JHA for field employees’ jobs.

It was mentioned that the Finance and Administration Branch was working with PWGSC to finalize the contracting process.  It was anticipated that a Request for Proposal would be issued soon.  The Committee members were provided with a copy of the updated timelines and deliverables document.

It was noted that the time required to prepare the contract took longer than planned (from 4 months to 7 months), due to revisions to the statement of work, the development of contract evaluation criteria (mandatory and points-rated requirements), the preparation of a document with information to facilitate the preparation of the request for proposal, and the review of documents by multiple stakeholders.  However, it was expected that the timelines to award the contract and complete the JHA would more closely adhere to the estimates.

The Committee was advised that other documents to be provided to the consultant, such as the CRA Policies, Guidelines, Training Materials, etc, the list of offices for the consultant’s representatives to visit, as well as the information about the employees to be interviewed across Canada, were being finalized for use when the consultant firm begins its work.

The Committee members were informed that they would be consulted on the list of sites to be visited.

2. WORK PLACE COMMITTEE TRAINING

The Committee was advised that the training package had been finalized and translated, and was being formatted for printing and distribution.  It was anticipated that copies of the package would be sent out to the trainers, the Unions and the Regions in January 2007.

As a result of an agreement at the NHSPC meeting of September 7, 2006, the list of trainers for the Work Place Committee training has been updated and was shared with the Committee members on November 8, 2006.

It was agreed that Train-the-Trainer sessions, in both languages, would be scheduled for May or June 2007.

3. HEALTH AND SAFETY AWARENESS TRAINING FOR EMPLOYEES

The Committee was advised that the draft awareness package for employees had been reformatted by the Public Affairs Branch, and was shared with the Union representative of the working group on October 12, 2006, for review and comments.

The awareness package had also been converted into a stand-alone PowerPoint presentation, which was presented at the second pilot of the Health and Safety Training for Managers course on October 25, 2006, in Montreal.  The PowerPoint presentation had been updated to incorporate comments provided by the observers who attended the pilot session and was shared with the Union representative of the working group on November 10, 2006, for review and comments.  The feedback would be reviewed and discussions would be held with the Unions to explore options for roll out to the regions.

Upon completion, the PowerPoint presentation would be shared with members of the NHSPC and once rolled-out, it would also be posted on our National OHS Website for reference purposes only.

4. HEALTH AND SAFETY TRAINING FOR MANAGERS

The Committee was advised that the course had been updated and piloted a second time on October 25, 2006, in Montreal.

The trainers received positive comments, as well as suggestions for changes, from the course participants.  The training course would be updated based on this feedback and would be shared with members of the Committee prior to rollout.  As part of this process, it was agreed that, at the beginning of the training, managers would be advised that the training session would be focussing on OHS, and not on dealing with injured or ill employees, as there is a separate course that covers these issues. 

The Committee was advised that this issue would be brought to AMC to get support to have managers both attend the mandatory training and also deliver the training to their own employees.

5. PANDEMIC PLANNING

The Committee was informed that the CRA Pandemic Strategy was being revised based on comments received from Committee members on November 22, 2006. The revised document would be shared with the Committee within the next couple of weeks, along with feedback on their comments.  Following this it would be forwarded to AMC for approval.

The Committee was advised that the Lessons Learned from SARS document had been shared with management and union representatives in the Greater Toronto Area, for review and comments.  The document would be revised and presented to the NHSPC for discussion regarding next steps.
As well, the Committee was advised that the CRA was participating on an HR Pandemic Issues Committee that has been established by the Treasury Board Secretariat to address global HR issues.  A meeting of this committee was held on October 11, 2006, where there was an overall discussion concerning pandemic planning.  A subsequent meeting was expected to take place in the near future.

It was noted that psac and pipsc representatives attended a briefing given to the National Joint Council Executive Committee by the Public Health Agency of Canada, on September 7, 2006 where an overview of the history of pandemics (definitions, causes and effects, etc.) was presented. A follow-up meeting was to be scheduled.

A discussion was held concerning Staff Relations aspects of Pandemic Planning and the Committee was assured that this would be considered, in consultation with Government of Canada Central Agencies.

6. HAZARD PREVENTION PROGRAM REGULATION

The Committee was advised that Management and Union representatives of the Committee met on October 12, 2006, to review the Hazard Prevention Program Regulation and identify actions that should be taken to meet its requirements.

Follow-up meetings would be scheduled to determine next steps.

7. PORTABLE DURESS ALARMS FOR COMMISSIONAIRES / SECURITY GUARDS

The Committee was reminded that duress alarms were in place, where required and that it would now be the responsibility of the local office, in consultation with the local Work Place Committee, to ensure that the proper response protocol was in place, including addressing the use of portable duress alarms.  It was agreed that Management would review the policies and procedures currently in place and investigate the possibility of issuing a reminder to the Regions with regard to regular testing of duress alarm protocol.

8. OHS VIDEO

The Committee was advised that the script of the current OHS video (both English and French) was sent to the Union on October 24, 2006, for review and comments.  A follow-up meeting was held on November 14, 2006, between the union-management working group and the Public Affairs Branch.  It was noted that the Public Affairs Branch would begin the process of contracting a production company to develop a new video.  It was agreed that the working group members would review the current script and make suggestions as to what should be kept, what should be removed, and what should be added.  This information would then be used to produce the new video.

The target for completion of the video would be the end of March 2007.

CLOSING REMARKS

The Committee members were thanked for their participation and wishes were extended for a happy holiday season.

The schedule for the 2007 NHSPC meetings is as follows:

  • March 1st
  • May 31st
  • September 6th
  • November 29th

Original Signed by Claude P. Tremblay for

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

February 23, 2007 _____ 
Date

Original Signed by ______ 
 
Chris Aylward
Alternate Union Co-chair
for Betty Bannon
National Health and Safety
Policy Committee

February 21, 2007 __________
Date