Health and Safety Committee

Minutes of the National Health and Safety Policy Committee Meeting

May 13, 2004

DATE: May 13, 2004 TIME: 1:30pm-2:45pm

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

ATTENDEES: Management Union
  Dan Tucker (Management Co-Chair)
James Ralston
Jocelyn Malo
Jean Laronde
Leon Page (Committee Secretary)
Betty Bannon (Union Co-Chair)
Chris Aylward (UTE)
Réal Lamarche (PIPSC)
Marilyn White (PIPSC)
Barb Bell (CEUDA)
Observers: Greta Hill
Helen Svoboda
Ron Moran (CEUDA)
Harry Walker (PIPSC)
Absent: Claude Tremblay  

OPENING REMARKS

At the outset of the meeting, the Management Co-chair welcomed Barbara Bell, Branch President of Victoria and Island District, as the new CEUDA member on the Committee. She will replace Ron Moran. It was also announced that Harry Walker from the Penticton TSO, would be replacing Réal Lamarche as a Committee member, after the next meeting. The Committee thanked both Ron Moran and Réal Lamarche for their dedication and hard work as members of the National Health and Safety Policy Committee (NHSPC).

As a result of the recent changes to the Agency’s structure and the Committee’s membership, a copy of the revised Terms of Reference, signed by both Co-Chairs, was distributed to Committee members.

The Management Co-chair indicated that he was pleased to accept the invitation to participate in the opening session of the UTE National Health and Safety Conference, to be held at the end of the month.

Both Co-chairs expressed the hope that through constructive consultation at today’s meeting, a number of agenda items could be moved along further and, hopefully, others would be resolved.

The Management Co-chair reflected on the recent observance by the CRA of the National Day of Mourning, on April 28, 2004, in memory of all workers killed or injured at work, and acknowledged the contribution of the members of the Committee in addressing the health and safety concerns of all CRA employees. The Management Co-Chair acknowledged that, unfortunately, work related accidents do occur, and expressed the Agency’s deep regret in learning of the recent death of an Auditor from the Sherbrooke TSO, who was killed in a motor vehicle accident on his way to a client’s premises.

1. JOB HAZARD ANALYSIS RECOMMENDATIONS (COMMON ISSUES)

The Committee was advised that since the last meeting both the Unions (represented by Martin Ranger) and Management had conducted a preliminary review of the 31 recommendations resulting from the JHA for Customs Inspectors and Superintendents, and had discussed which ones still applied to the CRA. While some further clarification was required on a couple of issues, it was expected that the final list of recommendations that still applied to the CRA would be finalized within the next couple of weeks and shared with the Committee. It would then be necessary to prioritize those recommendations in the order in which the Committee would address them.

2. JOB HAZARD ANALYSES FOR FIELD OFFICERS

The Committee was advised that the names of the Union representatives for the working group would be John Andrews (Belleville) and Joanne McDonnell (Kingston) from UTE, and John Kot (Kingston) and Jean Provost (Laval) from PIPSC. As noted earlier, the Management representatives would be Richard Denis, Assessment and Collection Branch; Richard Montroy, Compliance Programs Branch; and Marcel Frappier, Finance and Administration Branch.

A meeting would now be convened so that the Working Group could commence the tasks assigned to:

  • Identify the field officer jobs to be assessed;
  • Identify jobs with common characteristics (duties, risks, etc.) so that they might potentially be grouped together;
  • Establish criteria to prioritize those jobs that should be evaluated first (in terms of highest to lowest risk); and,
  • Rank the jobs so that the NHSPC may then decide on the order in which they would be assessed.

3. INCIDENT REPORTING

The Committee was provided with the quarterly Security Incident Report for the period January 1, 2004 to March 31, 2004.

In reviewing the report, it was noted that in all but one incident, the local Work Place Committee had been involved. Management confirmed that this oversight had since been addressed. Management noted that there are security incidents that are reported and recorded on the Security Incident Report that do not have health and safety implications. In such cases, the local Work Place Committee would not be notified. Management also confirmed that any security incident that created a real or potential health and safety risk for employees would be brought to the attention of the local Work Place Committee, and the Labour Relations Division who, in turn, would advise the Unions at the national level.

The Committee was advised that a memorandum dated May 13, 2004 had been sent from the Security Directorate to Regional Directors of Finance and Administration informing them of changes to the Security Incident Reporting Process and, in particular, the establishment of the National Incident Reporting Centre. This unit would have a dedicated phone line through which Security Officers would be able to report all security incidents to the national Security Directorate. It was expected that this would improve the timeliness and accuracy of information received.

The Committee discussed the importance of providing training to managers in the regions so that they would have a better awareness and understanding of the various security policies, procedures and guidelines. The Committee was advised that the Security Directorate was currently preparing a training module for this purpose that would be incorporated in the Finance and Administration segment of the Management Group Learning Program to be offered starting this Fall.

4. WORKPLACE FITNESS PROGRAM

Committee members were provided with a list identifying CRA locations where fitness related facilities were currently located. The list represented fitness facilities that had been approved under the existing Workplace Fitness Program and implemented within the regions. It was pointed out that in most cases, those facilities included showers and lockers only. It was noted that the Vancouver Island TSO, which did not appear on the list, also had shower facilities available for employees. The Committee would review the list and provide their feedback.

5. ENVIRONMENTAL SENSITIVITIES

As a result of the discussions that took place during the last meeting, the Environmental Sensitivities (ES) Information Sheet for employees and the ES Poster had been updated and copies of the final draft documents were distributed to the Committee.

The Committee was advised that a covering memorandum to Work Place Committees would be prepared, to be signed by both Co-chairs, requesting their assistance in identifying locations for posting the ES Poster in the most appropriate area at each workplace. The Committee was also informed that a memorandum, to be attached to the Information Sheet for distribution to all employees, was currently being prepared for signature by the two Co-chairs.

Management noted that based on the lack of conclusive scientific support for, and clinical evidence of, the toxic effects of exposure to chemicals in the work place, the Agency was not prepared to implement a scent free policy. The Committee had accepted the Working Group’s recommendation that this issue should be addressed through employee education and awareness. Individual employee concerns would continue to be dealt with on a case-by-case basis. As well, the rollout of the awareness campaign would be monitored to assess its effectiveness, and to determine whether or not further action would be required.

The Committee thanked the Working Group for the development of the awareness package, which it hoped would result in a positive impact throughout the Agency.

6. CRA NATIONAL BUILDING FIRE EVACUATION REVIEW

The Committee was provided with an update on the progress of the CRA National Building Fire Evacuation Review. In particular, data had now been received from all 137 locations in response to the questionnaire, and a preliminary analysis had begun. It was noted that a meeting would be scheduled shortly between the Unions (represented by Marilyn White) and Management to review a summary of the data received. The Committee would be provided with an update at the next NHSPC meeting.

7. EMPLOYEES TRANSPORTING NEGOTIABLES

The Committee was advised that the results of the threat and risk assessment exercise conducted by the Agency revealed that for all CRA facilities a contracted third party, such as an armoured car service, transports negotiables to financial institutions. As a result, the Committee agreed that this was no longer an issue that needed to be addressed, and no further action would be required.

8. CRA FIRST AID HEALTH AND SAFETY POLICY

The Committee was advised that as soon as all of the feedback had been received from the various stakeholders, the Unions (represented by Chris Aylward) and Management would schedule a meeting to discuss the suggested revisions to the Policy.

CLOSING REMARKS

The Co-chairs thanked the Committee members for their participation. The next meeting is scheduled for July 22, 2004.

Original signed by

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

 July 12, 2004
Date

Original signed by           

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

 July 7, 2004
Date