Health and Safety Committee

Minutes of the National Health and Safety Policy Committee Meeting

November 19, 2002

DATE: November 19, 2002 TIME: 1:30-6:00 p.m.

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

ATTENDEES:

Management Union
Dan Tucker (Co-Chair)
Stephen Rigby
Rob Tait
Jocelyn Malo
Patricia Ballantyne
Jean Laronde
Leon Page (Committee Secretary)
Jaime Robinson (Observer)
Greta Hill (Observer)
Cynthia Da Prat (Observer)
Betty Bannon (UTE) (Co-Chair)
Chris Aylward (UTE)
Ron Moran (CEUDA)
John King (CEUDA)
Real Lamarche (PIPSC)
Marilyn White (PIPSC)
Jake Baizana (CEUDA – Observer)
Lina Ruel (UTE – Observer)
Presenters
Cynthia Da Prat (Item #14)
Bruce Lawrence (Item #19)
 

OPENING REMARKS

The Management Co-Chair welcomed the Committee members to the meeting and indicated that he looked forward to good open dialogue and a productive afternoon. He also noted that a great deal of work had been completed since the last meeting and hoped some issues would be resolved.

The Union Co-chair indicated that she looked forward to the reports to be given today. She commented that the ad hoc Job Hazard Analysis (JHA) presentation by ModuSpec, held that morning, was very good. She also introduced the CEUDA National President, Ron Moran, to the Committee.

Prior to the commencement of discussions on the specific agenda items, Management addressed a request made by the Unions during the ad hoc JHA presentation, that they be given a copy of the “draft” Phase II Report to allow them to provide comments prior to the Report being finalized. Management agreed to the Union’s request, on the understanding that the “draft” Report was for Policy Committee members’ use only. All Committee members agreed to the restricted use.

1. SUMMARY OF INCIDENTS/ACTIONS – POST SEPTEMBER 11, 2001

The Committee was informed that the letter to other government departments which were co-located with the CCRA, requesting the sharing of information related to emergency planning, had been distributed electronically to the Committee members on October 23, 2002. To date, Management had received a very positive response indicating a real willingness of the other government departments to cooperate and share information at an early stage. Management would continue to follow-up on this issue.

On the anniversary of September 11th, the Commissioner sent a memorandum to all employees acknowledging their efforts over the past year. The Committee agreed that this memorandum would replace the one the Co-chairs had earlier agreed to send.

Management sent a memorandum on October 28, 2002 to all Assistant Commissioners, Director Generals and Directors seeking support in ensuring the appropriate reporting and follow-up of security incidents. This memorandum was also forwarded electronically to Committee members on October 30, 2002.

On October 23, 2002, Management distributed an electronic version of the Internal Audit Report on CCRA’s response following September 11th to Committee members. Management advised that the Emergency Management Sub-Committee would ensure the establishment of procedures, interaction between Branches and other government departments, and that rigorous measures would be put in place to ensure the recommendations contained in the report would be completed. It was agreed that some of those recommendations could eventually fall under the purview of this Committee. It was agreed that the Committee would be provided with an update as progress was achieved.

2. EMPLOYEES TRANSPORTING NEGOTIABLES

The Committee was briefed on the information gathered from the regions regarding procedures for employees transporting negotiables and was informed that no incidents or employee concerns had been reported by the regions.

It was agreed that local management would be asked to ensure that formal risk assessments were completed at all sites where negotiables were being transferred. Committee members would be kept informed as progress was made on this file. However, given the number of sites to be assessed, it would take some time to complete. In the interim, employees transporting negotiables would be provided with a copy of the procedures document and sensitized to its contents.

3. WORK PLACE COMMITTEE TRAINING

The Committee was briefed on the outcome of the Pilot Session that was held October 9-11, 2002, for the updated Work Place Committee Training package. The training package was now ready to be rolled out. The Committee agreed that the responsibility for conducting Train-the-Trainer sessions would remain at the national level to ensure consistency across the country. Regions who had trainers available would proceed to schedule training for untrained Work Place Committee members as soon as they received the Training package. The Committee was informed that:

· a covering memorandum and CD-Rom training package would be distributed to the Regions by November 22, 2002;

  • the regions would be informed that Train-the-Trainer sessions should not be conducted in the regions;
  • the regions would be asked to provide the names of trainers who required the Train-the-Trainer Course, as well as the names of any additional trainers that they would require; and,
  • Train-the-Trainer sessions (English and French) would be scheduled and the dates for these sessions would be confirmed as soon as possible after these trainers had been identified.

It was agreed that the Regions would be requested to forward a copy of their training plans ensuring that, to the extent possible, untrained Committee members were given the highest priority. As well, annual OHS training plans would be provided to the Committee.

Management clarified a concern raised at the last meeting regarding a potential gap between the training delivered in the Southern Ontario Region (SOR) by Health Canada and the content of the revised CCRA 3-day course. The Committee was informed that those who had previously taken the Health Canada training in SORO would also be taking the revised CCRA 3-day Work Place Committee training.

4. PHYSICAL STANDARDS STUDY

Committee members were provided with a copy of the report entitled “An Opinion on the Presence of a Bona Fide Occupational Requirement for Customs Inspectors and Superintendents”, prepared by Dr. Janice Deakin. A copy of Dr. Deakin’s curriculum vitae was also distributed to address concerns regarding the consultant’s credentials and experience.

The Committee was advised that the findings of the study would be analyzed to determine how they could be applied within the CCRA. Management indicated that it would consider the Unions’ request for consultation during this process and confirm whether there would be any restrictions on the distribution of the report beyond the Committee level.

5. USE-OF-FORCE TRAINING

The Committee discussed the various components of the Skills Maintenance Training Program. It was anticipated that this training would commence around June 2003. Management would address the pass/fail component of the training once further data was analyzed.

The Committee discussed the need to adjust the Use-of-Force Training for officers suffering from minor chronic conditions. In these cases, instructors were directed to adapt their method of teaching to avoid aggravating such conditions. However, it was noted that the final examination could not be compromised. The Committee was advised that 67 participants reported injuries at the Use-of-Force Training during the period February 2002 to August 2002 and that it would be provided with a breakdown of injuries by Region.

6. VOLUNTARY COMMUNICABLE DISEASE INOCULATION PROGRAM

On September 26, 2002, the Committee was provided with a copy of the influenza immunization memorandum that was distributed to the regions. A few administrative questions had been received but no major concerns were raised.

7. ENVIRONMENTAL SENSITIVITIES: CHEMICALS & PERFUMES IN THE WORKPLACE

The Working Group provided the Committee with a copy of its draft Terms of Reference. On November 7, 2002, the Working Group had met to review the documentation gathered, to date, and to identify further areas of research. The Working Group would continue to research environmental sensitivities by exploring the “best practices” that CCRA and other work places were adopting, as well as analyzing the polices and guidelines currently used by other organizations.

The Working Group would table a proposed Action Plan at a subsequent meeting.

8. PEARSON INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT (PIA) REFERRAL

Management confirmed that since there was an Assurance of Voluntary Compliance already in place to cover the issuance of protective equipment at PIA, it would await the outcome of the Job Hazard Analysis before making any further decisions regarding issuance of additional protective equipment.

9. INCIDENT REPORTING

A copy of the Customs and Security Reports on Assaults and Threats Against Employees was provided to Committee members for review. These reports included information gathered from incident reports received during the period April 1, 2002 to September 30, 2002. The Committee discussed the content and format of the two documents. It was agreed that any further comments would be taken into consideration when finalizing these documents.

It was proposed that an additional column be added to the Customs Report to record whether a weapon was used during the incident. It was also proposed that the Comments section include an indication of the police response time.

Management will clarify the number of incidents identified in the report (number of employees vs. number of injuries).

10. EVACUATION POLICY

The Committee was advised that the consultation process on the revised Emergency Planning Policy had been completed and indicated that comments received would be incorporated in the final document, where appropriate. The Committee discussed the responsibilities of search teams and the involvement of local Work Place Committees. It was noted that emergency plans must be developed locally and that where CCRA was co-located with other tenants in the same building, it was the responsibility of the prime tenant to establish evacuation procedures.

11. PERSONAL ALARM SECURITY SYSTEMS (PASS)

The Committee was provided with a summary of the PASS Program Review Report including action taken, to date, to maintain the current system. On-site reviews were currently taking place to identify and prioritize “dead zone” spots at all sites.

Management indicated that it would continue to consult with other organizations such as the RCMP, to identify a solution to the issue of “dead zones”. In the interim, Management would work with local Management and local Work Place Committees to identify “dead zones” and attempt to develop remedial solutions within the existing system.

12. TIPS FOR THE USE OF LAPTOPS

The Committee was informed that the Union had no further comments on the draft Tips for Using Laptops (or Notebooks). As a result, the final document was now available on the CCRA’s InfoZone, in both official languages, at http://tpsd/intranet/guides_e.html.

13. WORKPLACE FITNESS PROGRAM

The Committee was advised that based on a legal opinion, the CCRA and employee(s) could be held liable for incidents related to employee supplied equipment. A decision on whether employee supplied equipment must be removed from CCRA facilities would be made as soon as further research was completed.

The Committee was advised that the issue of whether the employer would provide additional fitness facilities, if it was determined that employees must maintain a certain level of fitness, would be dealt with once the results of the Physical Standards Report had been studied.

14. OHS WEB SITE

The Committee was advised that the National Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) Web Site had been developed and would be launched through InfoZone on November 21, 2002. The new web site contained OHS Legislation, Policies and other OHS sites of interest. The web site was a work in progress that would continually add material and links as they were identified and would eventually include information on the National Policy Health and Safety Committee such as its membership, Terms of Reference, and minutes of meetings. The Committee was given a demonstration of the new OHS Web Site.

15. X-RAY EQUIPMENT TRAINING

The Committee was briefed regarding software and equipment being acquired, and the procedures that were being developed, to monitor and record information from dosimeters worn by marine staff. The equipment would maintain an ongoing record of the readings of each dosimeter issued to marine staff and would provide an “alert” when an established maximum exposure level was reached. Officers would be able to access their individual accumulated readings upon request. The software had been ordered and it was expected that the program would be implemented early in the new calendar year.

It was agreed that consideration would be given as to whether Atomic Energy Canada (Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission) could verify Customs Inspectors’ dosimeter readings in the interim. The Committee would be informed accordingly.

16. ACCESS TO CPIC

The Committee was provided with information concerning access requirements for the use of CPIC, as currently covered in a formal Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). The current MOU restricted the type of information that could be accessed through CPIC and how it was used. However, when the next MOU was negotiated, consideration would be given to expanding the use of CPIC to include queries by Collections Officers.

17. TAX PROTESTERS

The Committee was advised that the survey to gather Tax Protester information was a request by Treasury Board Secretariat to substantiate CCRA’s resources to deal with tax protesters and to justify the funding. A meeting would be scheduled shortly to discuss the progress made in dealing with tax protesters.

The Committee was informed that Detax websites would continue to be monitored, and that reports on these websites would be prepared and provided on a quarterly basis.

The Committee was advised that the monitoring of Detax websites for possible legal implications would be further discussed at the upcoming NUMC meeting, and at a future meeting between Union and Management in early January.

18. SHIFT WORK

The Committee was provided with a summary of shift work in the CCRA, which included an overview of the information gathered from the regions on the types of shift work that currently existed and the number of employees working shift work. The Committee requested that the data for three locations be reviewed as the number of employees working shift work at those locations seemed high.

The Committee was informed that research on shift work would continue to identify best practices in other organizations that could be applied within the CCRA to help improve the quality of life for shift workers.

19. ACCIDENT REPORTING

The Committee was reminded that the Accident Tracking System was established to give a better understanding of the number, type and severity of accidents occurring within CCRA using the Hazardous Occurrence Investigation Reports (LAB-1070) and provincial Workers’ Compensation Forms.

A CCRA Health and Safety Accident Report was presented to the Committee. The Committee discussed the document and noted the areas with higher accident rates and the common themes of injuries being sustained.

The Committee agreed to the following next steps:

  • Share the report and statistical Summary with local Work Place Committees for them to continue to focus on areas deserving attention;
  • Share other OHS information, as it becomes available, (guidelines on lifting, ergonomics, environmental sensitivities, etc.) with local Work Place Committees and employees through the new OHS website; and,
  • Continue to study specific work environments which have the most frequent injuries to determine “why accidents happen” and “what can be done” to reduce accidents/injuries.

20. EXAMINATION PROCEDURES IN MARINE CONTAINER VICINITY

The Committee was informed that the Marine Centre of Expertise had expanded its lesson plans relating to the Canada Labour Code, Part II, with particular attention being paid to the obligations of the employer and employees regarding health and safety in the marine container environment. The training package contained national procedures that would be adapted for local requirements. Management was currently reviewing the package to ensure it was adequate, and would provide a timeframe for the completion of this review.

21. SECURITY INCIDENTS

In response to discussions at the last meeting, the Committee was informed that employees did not have to pay for the installation and monitoring of security systems required as a result of security incidents. A periodic assessment of individual situations would be done to determine if there was a continued need for the increased security measures. If it were deemed that the threat no longer existed, the employee(s) would have the option of keeping the security system, but would then be responsible for paying future monitoring costs.

Further to a previous meeting, the Committee was informed that it appeared that sessions to assist employees in terms of how to cope in today’s society did not exist. Committee members were encouraged to share any information they become aware of regarding this type of training.

22. QUARANTINE TRAINING

The Committee was informed that Management was reviewing the feedback from the various stakeholders on the draft computer-based Quarantine Training package and would be determining how the training material and method of delivery could be improved.

23. TELEWORK

The Committee was advised that the Telework Policy was now finalized and would be rolled-out shortly. Committee members would be provided with an advance electronic copy of the document for their information only.

It was confirmed, as discussed at the November 13, 2001 meeting, that an employee in a telework arrangement would be covered under the Canada Labour Code, Part II, insofar as the employer controlled the activities being performed by the employee at the telework location. The Telework Policy would require employees to complete a checklist, similar to that completed for a work place inspection at the employer’s premises, to ensure that the telework location met the requirements of the Canada Labour Code, Part II.

24. SILENT HOURS

The Committee was informed that the Union had conducted a survey of various CCRA locations, to look at controlled access during silent hours. The findings revealed that the procedures varied from location to location, for employees working during silent hours. Concerns were raised that in the case of a building emergency evacuation, security may not be aware of all employee(s) on the premises.

It was noted that the current Policy on Access Control (FAM, Security Volume, Chapter 13) did not contain specific instructions regarding access controls during silent hours. Rather, the Policy stipulated that procedures must be in place locally to ensure that access to restricted areas was limited to authorized individuals.

Management agreed to look into the issue of access to facilities during silent hours.

CLOSING REMARKS

The Co-chairs thanked the Committee for the constructive dialogue during the meeting. It was noted that the next Committee meeting would take place on February 6, 2003 and the subsequent meetings were scheduled for April 10, June 19 and October 2, 2003.

Original signed by

D.G.J. Tucker
Management Co-chair
National Health and Safety Policy Committee
February 14, 2003

Original signed by

Betty Bannon
Union Co-chair
National Health and Safety Policy Committee
February 5, 2003