Health and Safety Committee

Report of the Health and Safety Committee

March 2016

Doug Gaetz

There has been a lot of talk in the media and locals lately around the subject of asbestos within Canada Revenue offices and other government buildings. It is important to note that the use of asbestos in buildings was standard practice in the 60s, 70s and 80s and, in some cases, even today. As long as the material is encapsulated, asbestos poses no significant health risk.

There are also well-documented procedures/policies and communication guidelines that have to be strictly adhered to when working with asbestos and when renovations are being performed.

At the national level, the issue of asbestos is the topic of ongoing discussion between the UTE and the CRA through the National Health and Safety Policy Committee.

Any specific concerns should be addressed with local union executive and or manager or your Workplace Health and Safety Committee/Health and Safety Representative.

A listing of all buildings occupying CRA employees that has asbestos present has been shared with all locals.

On December 17, 2015, the Workplace Relations and Compensation Directorate (WRCD) launched a new policy structure.

There is only one Policy now, the Policy on Workplace Management, which provides the direction for all WRCD policy instruments, including those related to health and safety. From this policy flows the directives, procedures and standard operating procedures. (SOP). I encourage members and Health & Safety representatives to view CRA info zone for more information on these directives. In the upcoming CRA H&S newsletter provides further information on this topic.

The next meeting of the National Health & Safety Policy Committee will be held March 3, 2016. Minutes to the previous meeting held in December 2015 should be posted soon to the info zone and UTE web site.

Respectfully submitted,

Doug Gaetz
Chair of the Committee