As mandated by the NJC Executive Committee at its November 15, 2002 meeting, the OSH Committee undertook the first step of simplifying the format of the existing NJC directives. The primary objective of this preliminary exercise was to remove material in the directives, which is clearly redundant given the coverage now offered by the Canadian Occupational Health and Safety (COHS) Regulations made under the Canada Labour Code (CLC), Part II.

The following thirteen standards have been simplified and amalgamated to form the new directive, which contains enhancements of and additions to the CLC, or particularities to the Public Service not covered by the CLC and found in the current version of the Directives:

–   Use and Occupancy of Buildings Directive (Permanent Structures)

–   Elevated Work Structures Safety Standard

–   Elevating Devices Directive

–   Boilers and Pressure Vessels Directive

–   Noise Control and Hearing Preservation Standard

–   Electrical Safety and Health Standard

–   Sanitation Safety and Health Standard

–   Hazardous Substances Directive

–   Hazardous Confined Spaces Directive

–   Personal and Protective Equipment and Clothing Directive

–   Tools and Machinery Safety and Health Standard

–   Materials Handling Directive

–   First Aid Safety and Health Standard

During its September 21, 2005 meeting, the Executive Committee approved the new amalgamated directive, hereinafter called the Safety and Health Directive, and established the effective date of January 1, 2006

HIGHLIGHTS

The new directive has been divided in sections mirroring the organizational structure of the Canada Occupational Health and Safety Regulations. For a full understanding of overall responsibilities, the directive should be read in concert with the Regulations. The corresponding references to the Regulations have been inserted in brackets.

There are also hyperlinks to Web sites, which will give the reader additional information on technical subjects. That information, however, does not form part of the directive.

Part I of the new document regroups general information related to collective agreement, the grievance procedure, effective date, application and common definitions that were found in several directives previously. Definitions specific to a particular directive were left in their respective sections.

Specific references to standards (i.e. CSA) have been replaced with the generic term "the appropriate standard", which is now defined based on a hierarchy of authorities as follows:

"appropriate standard" means, if a standard is not contained in the Canada Labour Code, Part II, a standard or standards which provides the highest level of safety.   If more than one standard meets this criterion, the standard or standards shall be selected using the following order of precedence:

1.     standard prescribed by provincial occupational health and safety legislation;

2.     standard recognized by the Standards Council of Canada or by the International Organisation for Standardization (ISO);

3.     standard developed by a government organization with regard to a subject area within their jurisdiction (eg: Health Canada, Transport Canada, Environment Canada);

4.     standard developed by an association recognized by a majority of qualified practitioners in the field to which the standard is addressed (eg: American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers "ASHRAE");

5.     standard universally accepted by a majority of qualified practitioners.

Also, in order to ensure a lighter style and a logical flow of ideas, the Committee refined the language of certain paragraphs where sentences or portions thereof were removed.

The new section 11.2 has been re-written combining old sections 7.2 and 7.3 of the Confined Spaces Directive.

This new directive contains only one change to the substance of the old directives, as it is expected that a cyclical review exercise, which is the proper negotiated forum for altering the substance of a directive, will soon begin.

PROTECTIVE FOOTWEAR ALLOWANCE

The approved change, which will be found at Part XII of the new directive, has been approved for implementation no later than January 1, 2006. The Personal Protective Equipment Directive currently provides a rate for reimbursement for protective footwear. This rate will no longer be provided.

The following wording will be found in the new directive:

12.10   Protective Footwear

12.10.1            Protective footwear shall be provided, free of charge.

12.11   Purchasing Protective Footwear

12.11.1            Should the Department decide not to issue protective footwear directly, it may provide protective footwear that meets the appropriate standard by having employees purchase the protective footwear and receive reimbursement for the full costs of the purchase, upon presentation of proof of purchase.

12.11.2            If the Department wishes to have employees purchase protective footwear and be reimbursed, the Department shall establish, in consultation with either the Workplace Committee, Safety and Health Representative or the Policy Committee (as defined in Canada Labour Code), a price range appropriate to the type of protective footwear required.

It is recommended that departments who do not currently provide the footwear free of charge should address any questions to Caroline Proulx, Treasury Board Secretariat, at (613) 952-2966.