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TNCAER

March 9, 2022

By 2022 Speakers

Lisa Bolton and Zack Lebane from Sherrard Kuzz Employment & Labour Lawyers made a presentation on “COVID 19 Vaccination and the Workplace”. Lisa reviewed of the changing Federal and Provincial COVID requirements.

Zack talked about when a vaccination policy reasonable. In a unionized workplace, a vaccination policy should meet the “KVP Test”: it must be consistent with the collective agreement; reasonable; clear & unequivocal; brought to the attention of employees; employees must be notified that a breach of the policy could result in discharge; and it should be consistently enforced.

Zack talked about a number of legal decisions about “reasonableness”: The takeaways from Zack’s presentation included:

  • If indoors and in-person, a vaccination or test policy is likely reasonable.
  • In a workplace with higher risk of transmission, higher consequences and/or history of outbreaks, vaccination or leave of absence policy is likely reasonable. Discipline or termination can be contemplated as a later step.
  • Expect more vaccinate or terminate policies in the coming months in the health care sector.
  • Trajectory of COVID-19 will impact reasonableness.
  • Employers should be prepared to amend or update policies as needed.

Lisa concluded the presentation on vaccination and religious objection. Most human rights-based exemption requests are based on religious beliefs. Several legal decisions were reviewed. As a takeaway, Lisa suggested several questions to ask to support an accommodation request:

  • What religion/creed do you practice?
  • How long have you practiced this religion/creed?
  • Why does your belief in this religion/creed prevent you from being vaccinated against COVID-19?
  • Have you previously been vaccinated against any other illnesses? If so, why were those vaccinations permissible under your religion/creed?
  • Do you have objective documentation to support the position you are unable to be vaccinated?
  • Critically review information received since it is unlikely that claims based on an employee’s conscience will be sufficient, even if claim is that religion protects the ability to follow one’s conscience.
  • If accommodation is required, employees are not entitled to ‘choose’ a remote work arrangement if another arrangement is feasible (i.e., testing).

Ryan Wheeler of Trans-Northern Pipeline Inc. (TNPI) made a presentation on “A Summary of Trans-Northern 2021 Exercise Program”.

Ryan mentioned the 4 pillars of Trans-Northern Emergency Management Program as prevention/mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery. Ryan summarized TNPI annual exercise program which includes:

  • A full-scale exercise every 3 years.
  • Regional table-top exercises.
  • A business continuity/disaster recovery planning table-top exercise.
  • Quarterly drills testing TNPI’s call answering service.
  • Participation in the Western Canada Spill Services Cooperative drill/exercise.

The Full-Scale Exercise postponed in 2020 due to COVID-19 was held in November 2021. TNPI uses the U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security Exercise Planning Model. The exercise focused on a security event at the Edmonton International Airport. A key lesson learned indicated that in the event of malicious activity an organization must consider the impact of law enforcement and crime scene management which will likely cause significant delays in site access and response.

Regional Table-Top Exercises focused on initial strategies and tactics for spills into bodies of water. The exercise was used to review existing aerial surveillance, how industry resources could improve capacity, and notifications with regional stakeholders. In the exercise used a Mentimeter to facilitate a quiz approach.

Regional Preparedness Exercises focused on responding to a stalled pipeline inspection gauge (PIG).

The Business Continuity/Disaster Recovery Planning Table-Top Exercise evaluated a cyber security threat to its operational technology and included a presentation on best practices promoted by Canada’s Cyber Security Centre. The exercise also tested mitigation, response and recovery measures to protect and recover critical business operations.

TNPI also does quarterly Call Answering Service Drills and is involved in the Western Canada Spills Services Oil Spill Cooperative Drills.

December 15, 2021

By 2021 Speakers

Julia Lok of the Ontario Workplace Safety & Prevention Services made a presentation “COVID Best Practices at the Workplace”. Julia went over the legal requirements related to COVID including the Occupational Health & Safety Act, Reopening Ontario Act, Regulation 364/20, Employment Standards Act and local health orders and measures.

A COVID-19 safety plan includes screening, physical distancing, limiting capacity, cleaning & disinfection, PPE and face coverings. Safety plan best practices include:

Best practices for screening include:

  • Screening all workers & non-workers before they enter including a questionnaire, RAT and self-monitoring tool.
  • Screening visitors before arrival and on-site.
  • Maintaining attendance records.

Risks can be controlled by limiting capacity in any congregating areas, utilizing outdoor spaces, using surgical & procedure masks, and using the ventilation checklist (www.ohcow.on.ca/posts/ventilation-checklist-covid-19/) and ventilation calculation tools (www.ohcow.on.ca/posts/classroom-ventilation-calculation-tool/).

Where there is a potential exposure you need to determine the contacts using cohorts & attendance information under Public Health guidance, communicate the exposure and have response procedures and return to work programs in place.

To manage risks you must regularly identify, access, recommend controls and evaluate hazards and potential harassment, threats & violence to workers and factors contributing to negative mental health.

To evaluate if your COVID safety plan is working you should have scheduled reviews, worker feedback, involve the health & safety representative and committee, and conduct monthly inspections.

WSPS COVID-19 Resources are available at (https://covid19.wsps.ca/) and on the WSPS website (https://www.wsps.ca/).

Rob Read of Environment Canada made a presentation on “Public Notifications under the E2 Regulations”.

Rob Read began the presentation on companies that E2 Regulation apply to having a substance on the list over prescribed limits. The responsible person for E2 should have detailed info including a description of measures. To communicate to the potentially impact areas of the potential consequences and the measures taken if an environmental emergency occurs. The presentation focused on the requirements under E2 Regulations for public notification.

Notification is required for the possibility and potential consequences of an environmental emergency, a description of the measures taken to protect life, health and the environment and the measures to communicate with the public during and after an emergency.

Before an emergency, the public that may be impacted outside of the facility by an emergency should be notified of potential emergencies, consequences and measures that will be taken if there is an emergency. Notification could include door to door, phone calls, email, town hall meetings and mailing pamphlets, etc. ECCC doesn’t prescribe how notifications are done. Examples of notifications prior to an emergency were shown including a Superior Propane notification letter and a Nestle plant notification in a newsletter. Rob said that notifications during and after an environmental emergency should include the measures taken and actions to reduce harm. He mentioned a text alert from Nuclear.

September 23, 2021

By 2021 Speakers

Edy Haddad and Brian Mabee of Peninsula Canada made a presentation called “Your Roadmap for Vaccines and COVID-19 in the Workplace”. They talked about what to do if staff refuse the vaccine. You need to educate staff, talk to staff about the vaccine and have a clear policy on vaccinations. Companies need to treat vaccination information like medical records. To keep your workplace safe & compliant you need to track staff vaccination status to help with recalling staff & keeping employees safe.

To reopen your workplace you must assess the workplace capacity for safety and ensure the compliance your health & safety policies for social distancing, disinfection and masking, etc. You need to review your existing COVID procedures, their effectiveness, staff compliance, staff & visitor screening and legislative changes. You should develop policies to recall staff considering phasing recalls, criteria to base recalls on such as seniority or order of layoff, etc. and recall notices. Employment contracts and handbooks should be updated incorporating legislative changes, human rights concerns, addressing vaccination policies and clarifying responsibilities and expectations.

Addressing vaccination in policies and contracts helps to: mitigate risk; clarify expectations; resolve disputes; outline responsibilities; makes training & enforcement easier; and protects from compliance violations.

Penalties for violating ESA and OHS are: financial; legal costs even when winning; cost of wasted management time; poor employee relations & morale; adverse publicity; and reporting to other agencies such as Canada Revenue Agency.

 

March 10, 2021

By 2021 Speakers

Lisa Bolton of Sherrard Kuzz LLP made a presentation on COVID-19 Vaccination and the Workplace. The presentation was on screening customers/visitors for vaccinations; mandatory employee vaccinations; and compliance with current health & safety requirements to address COVID-19.

When considering if businesses should require proof of vaccinations, they need to weigh the objectives of protecting health & safety & minimizing potential liability under the Occupiers’ Liability Act and Bill 218; vs. the risks of Human Rights Code or privacy complaints/violations. She suggested not to implement vaccination screening for customers/visitors unless the benefit outweighs the risk. If implementing vaccination screening develop a policy you will need to identify why screening is a reasonable business requirement and confirm accommodation will be provided to those who cannot comply for a human rights-related reason. If collecting personal information follow Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act including identifying how information will be used, securely stored, safely destroyed, etc. and obtaining consent prior to collection.

Before implementing a vaccination policy, encourage voluntary compliance through education and incentives (if appropriate) assess objective vs. risk.

Vaccination status (currently) is not an exemption from compliance with public health and safety requirement. Businesses are obligated to ensure public health requirements and recommendations are followed by employees and the public on business premises.

Be prepared for a workplace inspection by having a COVID-19 workplace safety plan and following all health and safety requirements/guidance. Safety plan is a written roadmap addressing how business will address COVID-19 transmission risk. The plan includes education, workplace screening, physical distancing, mask or face coverings, cleaning & disinfecting and wearing of PPE.

January 19th, 2021

By 2021 Speakers

Jeff Yuan of Apotex made a presentation on Apotex COVID-19: Site Management Plan. The key points were:

The purpose of the Plan is to prevent and contain COVID-19 and demonstrate due diligence for Public Health, WSIB and MOL.

The Preventative Measures implemented include:

  • A working from home policy.
  • Self-monitoring & screening.
  • Screening contractors and vendors.
  • International screening.
  • Changing cafeteria arrangements.
  • Limiting the numbers of employees allowed in certain areas.
  • Eliminating the cross-over of shifts.
  • Restricting travel between Apotex sites.
  • Controlling locker room access.
  • Segregating of hallway traffic.
  • Sharing & communicating the Plan.
  • PA announcements & posted signage reminders of COVID-19 protocols.
  • Mandatory mask usage on site.
  • Restricting the number of entrances and temperature screening at entrances.
  • Employee training and testing.
  • No sharing of work vehicles.

Apotex is contact tracing for presumptive or positive cases.

Effectiveness checking is undertaken using audits of site controls, management walkthroughs, getting feedback from employees and regular reviews on updated COVID-19 guideline through Public Health.

Facility changes were made to the cafeteria, locker rooms, hallways & stairwells, temperature screening, cleaning and signage.

The presentation concluded with an outline on the managing process for confirmed cases, notifications for any workplace outbreaks and available resources.

November 18th, 2020

By 2020 Speakers

Mark Jasper of GHD made a presentation on Virtual Exercises and the Technology Used. The key points were:

How to run exercises while social distancing and limiting travel during the pandemic.

  • The Success of an Exercise in a virtual environment is dependent on: exercise planning; a strong exercise package; trained facilitators; leveraging existing communication technology platforms; and integrating innovative technology for participants.
  • To design a Virtual Exercise you need: objectives; a participant list; scenario selection; and a Master Scenario Event List (MSEL) that lays out the exercise play. He used an example of a virtual exercise in Winnipeg indicating that there is a need to interact with government agencies as if there is a real emergency.
  • To create a MSEL you need to consider: how you deliver the inject; who receives it; and what do you want them to do.
  • The evaluator of the Exercise needs to: observe the completion of objectives; clarify what may have been completed; and coach the participants. The results should not only have negatives, but focus on the positives as well.

There are various Digital Tools available for modelling, augmented reality, virtual reality and live drone feed integration. He showed examples of: graphics on top of air photos, drone images & plant schematics; modelling spills, transport and air dispersion; and camera tracking, photogrammetry and augmented reality.

Kevin Wallace of Spartan Response made a presentation on Decontamination & Disinfection Services

Kevin talked about Spartan’s programs and work plans to disinfect facilities per Covid- 19 recognized best practices, resulting in an efficient process while ensuring the safety of the Spartan staff and respecting client assets. They provide detailed verification that are protecting client’s employees from virus contact. The Standard Pre-Service client engagement includes: a site visit; identifying key client contacts, layout drawings and general operational details.  Upon engagement, Spartan would work with the client to identify the specific at-risk areas to disinfect (contacted by suspected carrier).

Spartan summarizes the key information is a responder database, making it readily available to personnel for 7/24 call support. Spartan developed a specific training indoctrination for its employees to ensure best practices are understood and followed with respect to decontamination and PPE requirements. Kevin showed examples of incident reports and certificates are typically posted on Health & Safety billboards.

September 18, 2020

By 2020 Speakers

Sharon Walker of Vaughan Emergency Planning made a presentation on COVID 19: Innovations and Lessons Learned.

Sharon provided an overview of innovations and process improvements in operations and service delivery that resulted from COVID’s impact on the public service. The results were process improvements, financial efficiencies, productivity gains, improvements in customer satisfaction, enhanced service outcomes, partnerships, safety and employee morale.

There was a shift to e-services, many programs were delivered thru curbside programs. There were a number of innovations at the EOC and many systems upgrades at the City.

Ryan Wheeler on behalf of Trans Northern Trans-Northern Pipeline made a presentation on the 2019 Bleasdell Exercise.

Ryan did a presentation on the Bleasdell Exercise, a full scale emergency response exercise on Oct. 8 & 9, 2019 in Quinte West Ontario. The scenario was a pipeline rupture and discharge into the Trent River near the Trenton’s drinking water intakes. The objectives were to validate using ICS, communication, field protocols and procedures with Quinte West and other stakeholders; establishing a Unified Command, Joint Information Centre and Science Table; source water protection; and testing software.

The Exercise Learnings Strengths were:

  • The TRG IAP software was a good communication tool.
  • Support from TNPI shareholders Shell and IOL.
  • Collaboration and teamwork from participants.

Sat Anand of Anco Chemicals Inc. made a presentation on Security Awareness and Security Plan for Railway Loaders under Transport Canada.

Sat presented a security awareness and a security plan for Railway Loaders, Anco has under Transport Canada.

  • A railway security plan includes:
  • Goals & objectives.
  • Prevention, mitigation, response and recovery from security concerns.
  • A security policy.
  • Staff training for security awareness and security plan.
  • Dealing with risks from suspicious persons, behavior and objects.
  • Gate locking, signage, fencing, cameras and alarms.
  • Security checks & visitor sign in.
  • Procedures for opening & closing, emergencies and onsite response.
  • Back up records.
  • Security Plan risk assessment.

Sat also mentioned about CN Tariff 9000. A company can be fined by CN for any safety violation near a railway track in the facility; track maintenance; and or any equipment in operation near the track.

July 8, 2020

By 2020 Speakers

Ryan Wheeler of Trans-Northern made a presentation on COVID-19 Response for Business Continuity

Ryan said that Trans-Northern was designated as an essential business and used their Business Continuity Plan to develop a Pandemic Plan.

The objectives of the Pandemic Plan included: ensuring the safety of TNPI employees, consultants and contractors; maintain operations and assets; and mitigating operating risks. The strategies and tactics to implement the Plan included: communicating workplace guidelines; providing a self-assessment tool for staff; developing and implementing a line control mitigation plan; ensure the supply of safety equipment (PPE); identifying critical staff and 3rd party services; developing and distributing essential service engagement letters; implementing a communications strategy; and developing a recovery plan and workplace guidelines to prevent COVID transmission.

TNPI also implemented: virtual internal response planning exercises; liaising and community outreaching through on-line platforms; and face to face meetings with emergency responders.

Sat Anand of Anco Chemical made a presentation on Anco’s COVID Plan

Sat overviewed Anco’s response to the Coronavirus and flu prevention. A memo was issued and discussed with the staff explaining possible safety instructions with policy to follow including: staying at home when sick; washing hands; wearing masks; avoiding gatherings; cleaning surfaces (including providing hand sanitizers, cleaning sprays and wipes); asking some employees to work from home and some to work alternately in the workplace; only 1 employees per room was allowed; and providing guidelines for travel and gatherings. Security changes included locking all gates and office entrances; monitoring trucks entering the property; relocating pick up and drop off locations for couriers to the parking lot; and discussing the RDC security code and railway loader security plan.

The Continuity and Recovery Plan included: following the Public Health guidelines; conducting a workplace risk assessment; mitigating risks; adding PPE; and cautiously & safely bringing staff back to the workplace maintaining social distances with proper PPE.

Cathy Campbell and Catherine Wieckowska of Responsible Distribution Canada made a presentation on COVID-19

Cathy and Catherine made a presentation on RDC’s response to COVID-19. They talked about phone apps for COVID-19. Companies should consider the stress and fear involved with the pandemic and the return to work. Companies should show compassion in their response. They showed that the perceived risks of re-opening was higher among women.

Cathy overviewed that there are 2 million unemployed in Canada. 39% of worker were interested in teleworking. And there was a significant drop in emissions during the pandemic. Catherine said that compassion is a business imperative.

Mark Jasper, Ben Scott and Danielle Chambers of GHD made a presentation on COVID-19

Ben Scott talked about the changes to business’s internal operations such as: Office closures, working remotely, self-isolation, limited field work and PPE for employees. He talked that GHD has a Boarding Pass app and is identifying innovative solutions for clients. The talked about the app is a self-assessment app with a temperature check and questionnaire.

Danielle Chambers from the GHD Waterloo office talked about specific services offered for COVID-19 including assisting clients with preparing plans, assessment, screening, training, movement strategies, messaging and education, mitigation, industrial hygiene audits, FIT testing and training for care and PPE use.

January 15, 2020

By 2020 Speakers

Mitchell Gibbs from First Response made a presentation on Clandestine Drug Labs which had a special focus on emergency responders, removing waste and remediation. He said it is very dangerous for emergency responders to deal with drug labs. Fire and explosions are the primary risk. Meth labs contain hazardous unknown chemicals. Most chemicals are not labeled. There is no WHMIS or TDG. Many of the unknown hazardous chemicals are dealt with on site by responders. The sources of many of the chemicals to make meth can be purchased at drug stores and hardware stores. Owners are responsible for the cleanup of the site.

Mitchell said that anyone can buy a book on-line on how to make meth. He showed the group many examples of the locations of drug labs. He concluded his presentation mentioning the Meth Watch Program and that local chemical companies must watch who they sell to and a lot of the chemicals are brought in via trucks and shipping containers.

November 13, 2019

By 2019 Speakers

Jennifer Threndyle from WSPS made a presentation on Violence and Harassment. She defined workplace violence and workplace harassment. She outlined the need to prepare policies to prevent violence and harassment including:

  • Developing and maintaining programs to implement the policies.
  • Assessing the risks of workplace violence based on the nature of the workplace and type of work.
  • Developing measures and procedures to control the risks.
  • Taking reasonable precautions to protect workers who are at risk of physical injury.
  • Alerting certain workers to the risk of workplace violence from persons with a history of violent behaviour.

The WSPS is able to complete a Workplace Violence Risk Assessment specific to a workplace, assist in developing a program and present an awareness session. At the end of the presentation, Jennifer mentioned various online resources such as the WSPS Workplace Violence & Harassment Toolbox; MLTSD Resources and the Excellent Program which replaces all other Health & Safety Rebate programs.