March 22, 2016 Minutes


HELD ON MARCH 22, 2016, 12:00P.M. – 1:00P.M., CONFERENCE ROOM AB101-H


Minutes respectfully submitted by Alice Chow, Recording Secretary

ATTENDANCE: A. Choi, A. Chow, D.S. Moon, N. Price-Jones, G. Patel, S. Sivanandam, M. Williams, C. Weidner and H. Zhao

ABSENT:  with regrets

  1. Approval of Agenda: H. Zhao added an additional agenda item, “Welcome New Members”.


  1. Welcome New Members (H. Zhao): Zhao welcomed S. Sivanandam and N. Price-Jones to join the committee.


  1. Approval of Minutes of Meeting March 30, 2015: Approved except for item 6, incident report. Weidner recommended not including personal details in the minutes. So, the minutes should be revised to “H. Zhao reported that a faculty member fell down the stairs inside AB in October 2014.    After this incident, A. Choi has quickly contacted the property manager and had the strips installed.  She has also confirmed that strips have been installed on all building stairs.”  As a follow up of item 2, H. Zhao asked about the status of the balcony surface on MP.  M. Willian said proper lightings have not been installed but upgrade would be conducted soon. The condition should be improved by next meeting. For Item 3, C. Weidner would provide guideline to faculty on how to respond to students on accessibility request. She reported that the guideline has been drafted and would be finalized in the meeting that would be held in two weeks.


  1. Report from Joint Health and Safety Committee (South) (M. Williams): Weidner reported that there are concerns related to the use of polyester blend lab coats being sold in the UofT Bookstore which are not suitable for use with  flammable chemicals.  Education would be required at the point of sales.  Since there is not a heavy chemical use in both D.S. Moon and S. Sivanandam’s labs, there would not be any concerns for the astronomy group.


  1. Inspection Report, Plan and Assignment (A. Choi, M. Williams, G. Patel): Choi reported that G. Patel and M. Williams were responsible for the safety inspection. They would set up a day each month to conduct the inspection of different sections of the astronomy locations (AB, MP and High Bay) in different phrases.  C. Weidner would resend the inspection checklist to G. Patel and M. Williams.  H. Zhao asked about the frequency of inspection of the crane.  D.S. Moon said it would be inspected once a year if the crane was used. D.S. Moon arranged to have inspection in the following week. S. Sivanandam did not foresee any use of the crane in AB73 in the near future.   For the mini machine shop, S. Sivanandam reported that there was safety protocol and training was required before access to the workshop.  He added that there has been discussion on better protocol for access, like access by T-Card.


  1. Training and Certification (H. Zhao): Zhao has circulated the JHSC Certification Training and the deadline was March 28. M. Williams reported that he has completed part 1 and 2.


  1. Workplace Safety Awareness (H. Zhao): Zhao said University has the Basic Occupational Health & Safety Awareness Training but B. Gaensler found that new appointees were not aware. A. Choi has circulated the email about the online training to everyone again.  H. Zhao – mentioned to C. Weidner that there was no way to know who has completed the training.  C. Weidner said she has brought this issue to EHS and she was being told that the VP of University HR and Equity was working on this and the requirement to complete the training would be included in the employment letter for new hires soon.  This would be an automatic part on boarding of new staff. EHS was also working with VP of University HR and Equity to generate quarterly reports to departments to show who have or have not completed the training. In the meantime she would generate reports manually and forward to departments to follow up. H. Zhao would also circulate as a follow up that graduate students working as TA should complete the training as well.


  1. Other Business: Zhao reported that a graduate student has broken the glass of a window in the lab and cut his finger on February 25, 2016. The student was then brought to the student clinic for first aid. He was not doing TA work and Hugh has reported the incident and brought to the attention of the Chair and the Dunlap director.  S. Sivanandam reported that there was a minor ant infestation in his lab, AB73B and action has been taken to have the ants removed.  A. Choi reported that asbestos survey work has been conducted on March 14 and 15 in the Astronomy Building. That was a general university survey to update the record regularly.  H. Zhao discussed about the new University Health & Safety Policy that was recently forwarded by C. Weidner.  H. Zhao also mentioned that the new policy has been posted on the bulletin board. He pointed out that the clause “Managers and supervisors, whether academic or administrative, will take responsibility and accountability for the health and safety of all workers” means supervisor has the responsibility to deliver the message and be accountable.  A. Choi said the department would be accountable for the shared  machine shop and  L. Lanca  maintained the records of  who had the keys to the labs and machine workshop.  H. Zhao revealed that there was a new policy on off campus safety. C. Weidner said there was an online form for supervisor to fill in about what kind of risk may be expected for off campus work.  She would send the link, and H. Zhao  would forward it to the departments


  1. Next Meeting: The next meeting will be held in August/September 2016.


  1. Meeting adjourned at 1:02 p.m.