Health and Safety Committee

National Health and Safety Policy Committee Meeting Minutes

June 19, 2003

DATE:     June 19, 2003  TIME:  9:00-12:00

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

ATTENDEES:

Management

Union

Stephen Rigby (A /Management Co-Chair)
Paul Burkholder (Alternate)
Denis Lefebvre
Jocelyn Malo
Patricia Ballantyne
Jean Laronde
Leon Page (Committee Secretary)

Diane Massicotte (Observer)
Greta Hill (Observer)
Luc Brisebois (Observer)

Betty Bannon (Union Co-Chair)
Chris Aylward (UTE)
Real Lamarche (PIPSC)
Marilyn White (PIPSC)
Ron Moran (CEUDA)
John King (CEUDA)

Lina Ruel (UTE Observer)
Jake Baizana (CEUDA Observer)
Martin Ranger (PIPSC Observer)

Absent:

Dan Tucker

 

OPENING REMARKS

The Co-Chairs welcomed everyone to the meeting and expressed the hope that it would be a productive morning. Due to the lengthy agenda, it was agreed that the order of the items to be discussed would be shifted to deal with the more pressing issues first and “written updates” would be provided for any issues not addressed during the meeting.

1. JOB HAZARD ANALYSIS (CUSTOMS INSPECTORS AND SUPERINTENDENTS)

The Committee was informed that the Unions had provided a written submission containing their feedback on the JHA Report and proceeded to discuss each of the recommendations. The Union Co-chair asked that a written record of the comments and concerns be kept [Appendix A].

Following discussion on the specific recommendations, the Committee discussed the status of the JHA in terms of having the consultant look at some additional information that had not been covered in the JHA. The Committee was advised that there had been opportunities during consultation on Phase I (Documentation Review) and Phase II (Site Interviews) to present additional information for consideration and, in fact, that this had happened. As well, at the last meeting, the Committee agreed to have the consultant finalize the draft report.

The Union representatives advised the rest of the Committee that they believed not all documents or issues were provided to, or utilized by, ModuSpec, and also pointed out that the original three complainants were not interviewed. With regard to whether the Customs Inspectors whose initial complaint prompted the JHA had been interviewed during the Site Interviews phase, the Committee was advised that Customs Inspectors and Work Place Committee members who were available during site visits, were interviewed. The consultants were at liberty to interview anyone who expressed an interest, and made themselves available at different times and locations for that purpose. Anyone who expressed an interest in meeting with the consultants was interviewed. As anonymity was offered to all participants, the consultants did not keep a list of names of employees who were interviewed.

The Committee was advised that timeframes were being identified for each of the recommendations. In the meantime, if a specific health and safety situation arose which required immediate action, interim measures would be put in place.

2. EMPLOYEES TRANSPORTING NEGOTIABLES

[Appendix B]

3. PHYSICAL STANDARDS

[Appendix B]

4. ACCESS TO CPIC

The Committee was informed that it was not possible to provide CPIC access at PIL at the present time because of security requirements. The Unions asked that those security concerns be identified so that they could be addressed.

The Committee was advised that the RCMP was the custodian of the CPIC system. Therefore, the information contained in CPIC does not belong to Customs. It was the security of the “information” contained in the terminals, as opposed to the booths themselves, which is of concern to the RCMP. The RCMP requires that terminals must be located in a locked area to ensure no unauthorized person has access. PIL booths located at the larger ports are not located in a locked area and therefore do not meet the level of security required by the RCMP for installation of the CPIC system. The PIL area is not conducive to that type of controlled access.

The Committee was also advised that CPIC does not provide an unqualified “hit” on a traveller’s name and date of birth. Rather, it provides a list of possible matches that the querying officer must evaluate. This is a time intensive process that is not suited to the primary environment. At the present time, preliminary information is gathered from a number of sources from secure terminals and entered into a database that is accessible in the PIL booths. If a traveller is identified as “suspect”, they can then be referred to Secondary where a full CPIC check can be run to determine if the traveller has a previous criminal history or is wanted by the police.

Management acknowledged the importance of providing as much information as possible to front line workers to assist them in performing their duties. Work would continue to improve access and delivery of information as quickly as possible, based on the technology available and its compatibility with existing systems and equipment. The Committee was informed that a pilot project would be put in place, over the coming months, to link stolen/lost license plate information from CPIC to PALS/IPIL at Primary.

5. JOB HAZARD ANALYSIS FOR FIELD OFFICERS

The Committee was informed that management and union representatives were to be identified shortly. The Working Group would then meet to:

• Identify field officers’ jobs;
• Identify jobs with common characteristics in terms of duties, risks, etc., so that they might potentially be grouped together;
• Establish criteria to prioritize jobs, or groupings of jobs, in terms of likely risk (highest to lowest); and
• Rank the jobs so the NHSPC may decide on the order in which the jobs will be assessed.

6. ACCIDENT REPORTING

Two draft memoranda were distributed to Committee members for their feedback. The Committee was advised that the purpose of the memorandum to Work Place Committees was to share a copy of the CCRA Health and Safety Accident Report (which covered the period April 1, 2000 to March 31, 2002) and provide a brief summary of its findings. The memorandum also stressed the importance of working together to promote a safe, healthy work environment and provided information on specific health and safety concerns, such as “lifting ” and “ergonomics”. The memorandum to employees provided a summary of the findings of the CCRA Health and Safety Accident Report, as well as raising awareness on health and safety issues and reminding employees to report workplace hazards.

7. PERSONAL ALARM SECURITY SYSTEMS (PASS)

[Appendix B]

8. ARMED AND DANGEROUS LOOKOUT INTERIM POLICY

The Union stated that it would not support the rescinding of the interim policy until such time as operations were properly staffed and officers were provided with appropriate training and protective equipment. The Union also stated that a Primary officer had no right to put a fellow officer working in Secondary at risk, by referring an identified armed and dangerous person in for an examination. The Union questioned why the Policy should be rescinded when it was a reminder to exercise discretion.

The Committee was advised that the interim policy does not provide for discretion. By rescinding the interim policy, the Agency would be reverting back to the original policy which allowed CIs to use their own judgment, based on their experience and the circumstances of the situation, to determine whether to send the subject of an armed and dangerous lookout to Secondary, or have the subject proceed into Canada and immediately notify the police. The interim policy removed this discretion from CIs.

9. REIMBURSEMENT FOR MASKS

[Appendix B]

10. EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT POLICY

[Appendix B]

11. WORK PLACE COMMITTEE TRAINING

[Appendix B]

12. WORK PLACE FITNESS TRAINING

[Appendix B]

13. INCIDENT REPORTING

The Committee was informed that, due to the different audiences and individual needs for which the reports were intended, the Customs and Security Incident Reporting packages would not be combined. Therefore, they would be distributed separately.

The Customs package was forwarded electronically to Committee members on June 18, 2003. The package included three draft documents: a Memorandum to Regional Directors, a sample Customs Combined Report Form, and General Information and Instructions on how to complete the form.

The Security package was currently being finalized and would be distributed to Committee members by July 31, 2003 for their comments. The package included a Memorandum to Directors, a revised Chapter 15 of the Financial and Administration Manual - Security Volume, and the Security Incident Report Form.

Once the Committee provided its feedback, the documents would be revised as necessary, and both packages would be distributed nationally.

14. JOB HAZARD ANALYSIS FOR REGIONAL INTELLIGENCE OFFICERS AND INVESTIGATORS (NON-UNIFORMED CUSTOMS OFFICERS)

The Committee members had received an electronic copy of the Statement of Work and the Union Co-chair expressed the importance of the NHSPC being actively involved throughout the various phases of the Job Hazard Analysis (JHA). In particular, she pointed out that all reports (including working drafts) should be received by Union and Management NHSPC members at the same time for consultation purposes.

The Unions requested that they receive advance notification of all site visits to ensure that their members were available. As well, they asked that they receive a copy of all progress reports produced and that they be included in conference calls during the various steps of the process.

The Committee was advised that ModuSpec would be contracted to carry out the JHA for Regional Intelligence Officers and Investigators because of their experience in conducting the earlier JHA. As soon as the contractual paperwork had been completed, the project would commence.

15. SHIFT WORK

The Committee was provided with the Shift Work Study Results, a Summary of Shift Work in the CCRA, and Shift Work Best Practices. Management noted that it would be inappropriate for the Committee to deal with certain practices such as the Correctional Services’ approach to retirement, as this was a pension legislation issue.

16. ENVIRONMENTAL SENSITIVITIES

Copies of educational materials and posters that the Working Group has collected regarding environmental sensitivities were distributed to Committee members. Due to other priorities, the Working Group was not yet in a position to table an action plan. However, there was general agreement that it was important to promote awareness of environmental illnesses. The Working Group will continue its research and gather additional examples that may be useful in developing a course of action for the Agency.

17. SILENT HOURS

[Appendix B]

18. RADIATION DOSIMETERS

An electronic copy of the deck used in the field for training CIs on the use of dosimeter readers and related software was distributed to Committee members on June 13, 2003, thus completing the outstanding commitment on this issue.

19. EXAMINATION PROCEDURES IN MARINE CONTAINER VICINITY

The Committee was informed that an electronic copy of the draft “Dockside Examinations” section of the Enforcement Manual had been forwarded to them for their review and comments.

20. ATROPINE INJECTORS

[Appendix B]

21. CHEMICAL, BIOLOGICAL, RADIOLOGICAL, NUCLEAR AND EXPLOSIVE (CBRNE) TRAINING

A copy of the CBRNE training material was forwarded to Committee members on June 9, 2003. The Committee was advised that a copy of the CBRNE training material had also been provided to all CCRA offices across Canada for use as reference material. [Management would confirm whether the CRBNE training was a one-day course].

22. SEVERE ACUTE RESPIRATORY SYNDROME (SARS)

[Appendix B]

CLOSING REMARKS

The Co-chairs thanked the Committee for their participation and noted that the next Committee meeting would take place on October 2, 2003.