Health and Safety Committee

Minutes of the National Health and Safety Policy Committee Meeting

July 22, 2004

DATE: July 22, 2004 TIME: 1:30pm-2:45pm

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

ATTENDEES: Management Union
  Dan Coffin (Alternate Management Co-Chair)
Stephen O’Connor (Alternate)
Josée Labelle (Alternate)
Jean Laronde
Leon Page (Committee Secretary)
Betty Bannon (Union Co-Chair)
Barb Bell (CEUDA)
Marilyn White (PIPSC)
Harry Walker (PIPSC)
Observers: Greta Hill (Observer)
Jaime Robinson (Observer)
Lina Ruel (UTE)
Bruno Loranger (CEUDA)
Martin Ranger (PIPSC)
Absent: Dan Tucker
James Ralston
Jocelyn Malo
Claude Tremblay
Chris Aylward (UTE)

OPENING REMARKS

The Co-chairs welcomed the members to the meeting and indicated that they looked forward to a productive afternoon. The Management Co-chair noted that with the arrival of the mosquito season a “Pop-Up” notice had appeared on InfoZone on June 7, 2004 to remind employees that the CRA National Occupational Health and Safety Website contained a link to a Health Canada site that provided up-to-date information on the West Nile Virus. It was also noted that the latest information from Health Canada indicated that there were no confirmed cases in Canada of humans contracting the virus.

1. JOB HAZARD ANALYSIS RECOMMENDATIONS (COMMON ISSUES)

The Committee was informed that representatives from Management and the Unions met on June 8, 2004 to review the list of Common Job Hazard Analysis Issues. The List of Common Issues was distributed to Committee members. The Union Co-chair indicated that they still had concerns with the wording of the recommendation regarding employees working alone. It was felt that this recommendation needed to remain as part of the list of Common Issues. Management indicated that this issue would be examined through the Job Hazard Analysis for Field Officers and agreed to add it to the list of Common Issues.

It was agreed that the Management and Union representatives would meet to discuss the priority of the recommendations. A report would be provided to the Committee members.

2. JOB HAZARD ANALYSES FOR FIELD OFFICERS

The Committee was advised that the first meeting of the Working Group was being scheduled towards the end of September.

It was noted that a draft list of possible field worker jobs and information about their characteristics had been prepared for the Working Group to discuss at its first meeting. An update on the Working Group’s progress would be provided at the next meeting.

3. INCIDENT REPORTING

A copy of the quarterly Security Incident Report covering April 1 to June 30, 2004, was provided to the Committee. An electronic version of the report would also be distributed for the use of the Committee members only.

It was agreed that in the future the quarterly Security Incident Report would be sent out to Committee members prior to the meeting so that they would have an opportunity to review it and seek clarification prior to the Policy Committee meeting.

4. CRA NATIONAL BUILDING FIRE EVACUATION REVIEW

The Committee was advised that the Management and Union representatives met on June 8, 2004, to discuss the survey results and to provide an electronic copy to the Union representative, and that Management is waiting for the Unions’ comments on any areas of the survey that were of concern to them. An electronic copy of the survey results will be provided to the Union members of the Committee. The Unions will provide their feedback as soon as they have reviewed the document.

The Unions raised a concern that Security personnel in the regions completed the survey, and in a number of cases the local Work Place Committee had not been consulted. The Committee acknowledged the importance of involving the local Work Place Committees in such initiatives and would endeavour to ensure that appropriate consultation took place on future initiatives.

5. WORKPLACE FITNESS PROGRAM

The Committee was advised that an updated list of fitness facilities was not yet available, as Management was determining if there were any other sites where fitness facilities are located within CRA space. An update would be provided at the next meeting.

The Committee was advised that the governance documents were on hold until there was confirmation on the new direction for the Workplace Fitness Program, recognizing that it would be part of the Wellness Program which falls under the Employee Assistance Program.

6. ENVIRONMENTAL SENSITIVITIES

The Committee was advised that the memoranda to all employees and to Work Place Committees, signed by both Co-chairs, had been distributed and shared with the Committee Members.

Management and the Unions would be closely monitoring this initiative to determine its effectiveness within the Agency. It was noted that some positive reaction had already been received from employees. Individual employee concerns would be addressed at the local level on a case-by-case basis.

7. CRA FIRST AID HEALTH AND SAFETY POLICY

The Committee was advised that feedback on the proposed revisions to the policy had now been received from the various stakeholders, including the Unions. Management and Union representatives would be meeting on August 4, 2004 to continue their consultation on this policy. The Committee would be provided with an update at its next meeting.

8. USE OF AUTOMATED EXTERNAL DEFIBRILLATORS

The Committee was advised that the results of the North American Study, which was conducted to evaluate whether volunteer, non-medical responders, could improve the survival rate of cardiac arrest cases, had recently been completed. As a result, the Public Service Panel met on June 17, 2004, via teleconference, to discuss the preliminary findings of the Study, and to determine if there was enough evidence to support issuing a government-wide policy on the implementation of defibrillators in Federal Public Service workplaces. A copy of the final Report has not yet been released.

The Treasury Board will be reviewing the recommendations of the Panel and advising all government departments and agencies of their position as to whether there is enough evidence to support issuing a government-wide policy on the implementation of defibrillators in the Federal Public Service workplaces. The Committee was advised that a copy of the Report, and Treasury Board’s position on the issue, would be provided as soon as they were received.

In the meantime, it was agreed that an update on this issue would be provided to the local Work Place Committee at the Toronto Centre TSO, as they had originally referred this matter to the NHSPC Committee for resolution.

9. WORK PLACE COMMITTEE TRAINING

The Committee was advised that, as a result of the recent reorganization of the Agency, a review had been conducted at all workplace locations to ensure that the appropriate Work Place Committees or health and safety representatives were in place. As well, the current Work Place Committee Members’ Training Course was being updated to reflect minor changes as a result of the Agency’s name change.

It was noted that, as a result of the transfer of some CCRA trainers to the Canada Border Services Agency, additional Union and Management trainers would be required in some Regions. Accordingly, Management was in the process of identifying the names of Management representatives who would be willing to provide this training. It was agreed that the Unions, at the national level, would be asked to provide the names of their representatives where a need had been identified. The Committee was advised that Management was currently working with the Training and Learning Section to schedule Train-the-Trainer Sessions early this fall.

The Committee discussed the possibility of having a “blended-learning” training course that would include classroom training with an “e-learning” element. The Committee agreed that it would be worth exploring this option with the understanding that this was not intended as a replacement for the current training course. It was agreed that the intent of this proposal was not to dilute the training course, but to have a combination of classroom learning and e-learning. The electronic format could provide general information and reference material for new committee members prior to their attendance at the training course. The Training and Learning Section would prepare a “blended-learning” proposal for the Committee’s consideration.

The Committee also discussed the status of Health and Safety Training for Managers. Management confirmed that this training had been identified in the current work plans for this year, and that development would begin as soon as other work priorities permitted. The Unions would be consulted in the development of a training/awareness package.

CLOSING REMARKS

The Co-chairs thanked the Committee members for their constructive participation in addressing the various agenda items. It was noted that the next meeting would be held on Thursday, November 25, 2004 at 1:30 in the afternoon.

Original signed by

Dan Coffin
Alternate Management Co-chair

for D.G.J. Tucker
Management Co-chair
National Health and Safety Policy Committee

September 29, 2004
Date

Original signed by           

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

September 16, 2004
Date