The Service Wide Occupational Health and Safety Committee
Everyone has a role to play in ensuring that employees have a safe and healthy workplace. Most recently you have heard that Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC) has established an inventory of all of their buildings that contain asbestos. This inventory includes the name and location of the building and whether or not there is a known presence of asbestos and whether or not there is an asbestos management plan in place for buildings with a known presence of asbestos. The Privy Council Office (PCO) made it mandatory for all other departments to follow the way of PSPC and to establish their own inventories. Once those inventories are established, health and safety (OHS) committees have a large role to play. This memo outlines your role.
The NJC Occupational Health and Safety Directive enhances the Canada Labour Code Part II for the Core Public Administration (and other departments/agencies following this directive). Part XI of the NJC OHS Directive, which enhances Part X of the Canadian Occupational Health and Safety Regulations, provides specific direction on asbestos management.
It is important to understand that OHS committees need to be informed of any updates to the asbestos management plan and participate in the annual re-assessment of the building asbestos inventory. Asbestos management plans are to be updated every 5 years and the building asbestos inventory is updated on an annual basis. This is done up to the time that the asbestos is all removed and there is no longer a known presence of asbestos in the building or that the building is no longer occupied by the employer.
Please ensure that you know and understand your role for the management of asbestos.