The National Policy Health and Safety Committee (NPHSC) met on 13 September 2017 in Montréal to review policies, procedures, practices, and training related to the health and safety of CBC employees across the country. Along with attendees from the other unions at CBC and from management, Canadian Media Guild (CMG) representatives Natalie Clancy, Wil Fundal and Andrew Shipley, and Staff Representative Olivier Desharnais-Roy took part in the meeting. The other unions involved are Syndicat des Communications de Radio-Canada (SCRC), Association des réalisateurs (AR) and Association of Professionals and Supervisors (APS).
We had 24 items on the agenda, including training, the selection of local health and safety representatives, psychological health including PTSD, and reporting of work-related injuries and illnesses.
Prevention of psychological injuries and illnesses
The Committee heard a presentation by Patrick Gagné, Senior National Manager, Employee Assistance Program and Wellness at CBC/Radio-Canada, on the different measures implemented by the Corporation to provide psychological assistance to employees after difficult or traumatic assignments. Gagné said EAP offers short term psychological counselling services. For critical incidents, which may cause trauma because of extreme stress, managers have access to resources, and can even arrange a psychologist to come do a debriefing session with the crew. Also, he said that the Corporation has taken steps to better prepare employees for difficult assignments and reminds them to call EAP if help is needed. Management also suggested during the meeting that employees may take a sick leave if they need to recover mentally after a difficult assignment. CMG representatives pointed out that the Corporation does not address psychological resiliency adequately and requested that it should improve resiliency training currently offered to employees based on best practices at the BBC. The Committee made the decision to communicate with local health and safety committees to raise awareness on psychological disorders.
Health and Safety Representatives
Thanks to Natalie Clancy’s continuous efforts, and thanks to many local units across the country, CMG now has an almost complete list of members of health and safety committees and health and safety representatives. This list was shared with the Corporation, so it can update its own list. This list should soon be posted on iO.
Until clarification is received on the applicable jurisdiction, foreign bureaus will be under the jurisdiction of Part II of the Labour Code (health and safety), and, as such, health and safety committees and representatives will be created, depending on the number of employees in each location.
The Transmission Subcommittee informed the Committee that the Corporation has started to install back-up cameras on transmission trucks. All transmission vehicles will be equipped with cameras within the next six months. New trucks to be bought by the Corporation will also be equipped with cameras, as per the new federal regulations that require all new vehicles to be equipped with back-up cameras, effective May 2018. Also, the Subcommittee informed the Committee on training statistics, with the transmission employees posting a (much) higher rate of completion of training than any other sector of the Corporation.
The statistics on training remain low in many areas of the Corporation, and it will take steps to improve these statistics. If you have not done the mandatory training modules, or any other relevant health and safety training, please check with your manager. Also, make sure that, after completing the training, you confirm having completed the training via email.
Guidelines, programs and policies
Many guidelines, programs and policies have been updated or will be updated soon. These will be posted soon on iO, including:
Electrical Safety Guidelines
Guidelines on Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs, aka drones)
Violence in the Workplace Policy
Ergonomic Hazard Prevention Program
CMG’s representatives on the National Health and Safety Committee: Natalie Clancy
Olivier Desharnais-Roy, Staff Representative