Foreign Objects Found in Ovens

There has been an increase in reports of foreign objects found in ovens (FOD). In the latest inflight news on November 4, 2022, crews were notified of this increased hazard in our workplace and then reminded to follow sections 2.10.2 and 4.13.4.1 of the FAM, which address pre-flight checks. The instructions continue with procedures to follow if FOD is discovered. We know you are already doing this because that is how the increase in statics was noticed by management! We must point out though, that based on reports submitted by you, it appears many of the foreign objects originate from catering contractors – not crew as implied in the IFS News.

We are calling on management to share with committees in an open and transparent manner what is being done to address the hazard. This has gone on too long despite your committee reps repeatedly raising the alarm for months and getting no answers. Our pre-flight checks can only detect so much. Cabin crews and their verifications aren’t the only layer of protection when it comes to oven incidents. It is incumbent on all personnel, including contracted parties, to adhere to the same rigorous standards. For example, if objects are stuck to the bottom of dishes or under oven sleeves this is a failure of catering contractors to ensure safety. If deficiencies are noticed, they must be assessed, solutions implemented, and follow-up conducted to ensure the hazard has been mitigated. These objects must be stopped at their source!

What can we do about it?

Please send a copy of every report related to foreign objects found in ovens to your union at contact@accomponent.ca.

In solidarity,

Your Air Canada Component of CUPE Health and Safety Committee

Health & Safety Information Sources

A few years ago, we did a trial with email auto-responders to ensure that members had access to the latest bulletins concerning their health and safety 24/7 – even if they didn’t have access to fast data speeds. These remain in effect and have been expanded upon.

Send a blank message to the following addresses, and within a minute or so you’ll get a text-only version of the corresponding bulletin.

injury@accomponent.ca
What to do if you hurt yourself or get ill because of work

incident@accomponent.ca
Information for potentially traumatic incidents and layover safety

air@accomponent.ca
Information about onboard fume events

fatigue@accomponent.ca
Information about how to report fatigue

radiation@accomponent.ca
Information about how to access your cosmic radiation data

RTR@accomponent.ca
Information about the right to refuse dangerous work

temperature@accomponent.ca
Information about cabin and layover temperature

This is an additional tool to use but we also remain available to answer questions in person or by email.

In solidarity,

Your Air Canada Component of CUPE Health and Safety Committee

Masks – Where And When To Still Wear Them While On Duty

As the pandemic has evolved so has the guidance and mandates for mask wearing. It is important to note that public policy may not reflect specific occupational realities which must be assessed under obligations imposed by the Canada Labour Code Part II. Accordingly, an evaluation of the hazard and risk in consultation with experts remains ongoing. This takes into account a varied level of immunity, public guidance, as well as corporate policy that dictates protective measures which may be tailored to specific branches.

AIRPORT: Highly recommended.  Follow local guidance. (In some cases, still mandatory ie. secure areas in Canada)

ONBOARD: Mandatory unless eating or drinking

FLIGHT DECK: Highly recommended.

CREW TRANSPORTATION: Highly recommended. Follow local guidance.

HOTELS: Highly recommended. Follow local guidance.

ON LAYOVER: Highly recommended. Follow local guidance.

TRAINING: Mandatory in SIM and in areas where shouting commands. Highly recommended at all other times.

AIR CANADA CORPOPERATE: Highly recommended

Further info:
As the information and mask mandates are adjusted, please regularly consult epub for the latest guidance. The most up-to-date information about PPE can also be consulted in ePub as well.

Availability of PPE:
All PPE continues to be available through crew centres and/or PPE units on aircraft depending on the item. You are entitled to the amount needed.

Members are reminded that for respiratory protection, in decreasing order of effectiveness, we have access to respirators (which should be self-fitted), followed by a procedural mask overlaid with a company fabric mask (to seal side gaps), followed by a procedural mask.

In solidarity,

Your Air Canada Component of CUPE Health and Safety Committee

Moneypox Update #2

As the worldwide outbreak of the monkeypox virus continues to unfold, we are updating you on our work as a Union on this matter.

Information about monkeypox:

Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) monkeypox outbreak home page:
https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/monkeypox.html

PHAC Travel Health Notice:
https://travel.gc.ca/travelling/health-safety/travel-health-notices/229

CDC Information page on monkeypox (en anglais seulement):
https://www.cdc.gov/poxvirus/monkeypox/index.html

Monkeypox vaccine campaigns:

The Imvamune® vaccine is authorized by Health Canada for immunization against monkeypox and orthopoxvirus infections in adults 18 years of age and older who are at high risk of exposure.

The National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) recommends the Imvamune® vaccine may be offered to people with high-risk exposures to a probable or confirmed case of monkeypox, or within a setting where transmission is happening.

At the time of publication of this bulletin, most provinces experiencing outbreaks are offering targeted vaccination campaigns. To find out if you are eligible, contact your local public health provider by calling 8-1-1 or visiting your provincial health authority’s monkeypox information page (tip. Search with keywords “your province” + monkeypox vaccine)

What can you do to protect yourself?

Most of the protections for monkeypox are already available and familiar due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. CUPE continues to strongly recommend we follow the precautionary principle and encourage members to avail themselves of the available personal protective equipment.

Therefore, when at work (aircraft, airport, transportation, and layovers) we advise:

  • avoiding direct personal contact
  • continuing to use respiratory protection like N95 respirators or their equivalent, or double masking (cloth over surgical) to provide protection.
  • The use of gloves whenever you may come into contact with service items (utensils, dishware, linens/hot towels, refuse items) contaminated by secretions, or which could have contacted skin lesions (ex. Pickup). Gloves are also important when engaging in any activities like first aid which may require skin-skin contact.
  • On a layover, respiratory protection remains important as does avoiding crowded venues, and practicing physical distancing whenever possible. Concerns about your room (ex. bed linens) should be addressed with the hotel and reported to your company to conduct a follow-up.

For the most up-to-date general guidance see the PHAC monkeypox home page (link above).

What to do if you notice signs or symptoms (List of symptoms below)?

Though these signs and symptoms may not be all be related to an exposure to Monkey Pox, early medical diagnosis is key to obtaining access to medical treatments including Imvamune vaccine post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) and medication which can stop symptomatic illness or greatly reduce the severity of symptoms. If you have any concerns that you have had a high risk exposure:

  • From point of the first onset, the virus is contagious. However, the initial signs and symptoms may not be clear. Be aware of your health status at all times so you that can monitor for small changes. For example, don’t dismiss any strange symptoms like what could appear to be pimples on your hands or feet.
  • If you notice potential symptoms, contact your doctor or public health by speaking to a nurse at 8-1-1 to determine the next steps. This is particularly important if you have reason to suspect having had close contact.
  • Don’t come to work while sick.

Only a doctor can confirm Monkey pox using all signs and symptoms present and tools available to diagnose.

Monkeypox symptoms:

People usually develop symptoms 5 to 21 days after being exposed to the monkeypox virus. Symptoms typically last from 2 to 4 weeks and may not all occur at once:

  • A rash is characterized by lesions that pass through different stages. They can be painful and could affect any part of the body (see images below)
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • swollen lymph nodes
  • headache
  • muscle pain
  • joint pain
  • back pain
  • exhaustion

Source: https://www.cdc.gov/poxvirus/monkeypox/symptoms.html

Stigma:
We are increasingly frustrated and concerned by the notion that there is a “limited spread” of the virus and that there isn’t a need to do much more about this.

The Public Health Agency of Canada is clear in its guidance that monkeypox doesn’t discriminate and can be transmitted between individuals regardless of gender and sexual orientation. It is not an STI. It is crucial that the LGBTQ2+ community gets strong support during this health crisis, but it is also incumbent upon all of us to take the situation seriously and exercise appropriate precautions to avoid the disease spreading further and curbing the outbreak.

In solidarity,

Your Air Canada Component of CUPE Health and Safety Committee

In Touch – June 2022

Thank you, upcoming online events:
Thank you to everyone for reporting and for participating in the health and safety survey. While the members’ health and safety priorities survey went out at the end of last year, we have been planning and developing educational initiatives for your most asked questions. There was an untimely pause after the launch of our online educational activities last fall due to the omicron wave.

But starting back up in August we will continue to roll these out beginning with a repeat of the first webinar on the basics of health and safety and reporting. The next few online events will focus on topics like fatigue, violence, and harassment in the workplace, 737, 220, air quality and psychological hazards in the workplace.

Thermometer keychains:
Good news! Back by popular demand, the Component Health and Safety Committee will once again be offering keychains with integrated thermometers. These will be available at base local union offices and include an email link that will automatically respond with information about their proper use and how to report temperature issues in the workplace.

These will help members accurately report temperatures, not just onboard aircraft, but in other places where it’s sometimes hard to determine how hot or cold it is like crew transport and hotel rooms. By citing specific temperature readings, you will be adding useful information for the employer as well as hotel and safety committees to base their work and use when conducting follow-ups.

Get to know your reps and reach out!
You’re always welcome to stop by the local health and safety office at your base. Their locations, phone numbers and emails can be found below. In addition, we have included the contact information for us at the Air Canada Component. Although we don’t have an airport office, we maintain an “open door” policy by phone and email!

Remember that official reporting remains crucial to the safety process and us representing you! To read the Union’s bulletin about reporting click HERE.

YYC: Next to the local union office on departure level between the outside doors 7/8.
T- 403-221-2625
healthandsafety@local4095.ca

YYZ: Terminal 1. Room EBS121. (Hallway by the elevators near crew centre)
T- 905-676-4352
sante.health@local4092.ca

YUL: Located in the comm center
T- 514-422-2432
sante.health@local4091.ca

YVR: Located in the union office
T- 604-276-4625

Rouge: located in Rouge 4098 YYZ Local Office level 2 T1
health.safety@cupe4098.ca
T- 905-678-6330

Component Health and Safety:
sante.health@accomponent.ca
T- 416-798-3399 Ext. 264

Educational initiatives for committee members:
Continuing education is an essential part of our roles as representatives. Health and safety is a dynamic field, and through learning opportunities, we can remain on top of emerging concepts and best practices. This not only allows us to represent you with more confidence but gives us more to bring to the table when committees are trying to find ways to address safety issues.

This past year your Chair and Vice-Chairpersons began courses at the University of Calgary’s Occupational Health and Safety program. We’re pleased to report that by December 2022 we should have our Fundamental and Advanced certificates.

We will be recommending making the following courses available to all committee members in the proposed 2022/2023 budget:

  • CUPE National airline-specific 3-day health and safety introductory course.
  • Occupational Hygiene Basics (toxicology, hearing, breathing, infectious agents)
  • Hazard and risk analysis

They will empower all our front-line reps to better understand and apply the complex concepts and systems involved in health and safety work.

ADCP/CFAU outreach:
As part of the Union’s resumption of normal operations the Airline Division Health and Safety Committee met in Toronto on June 1st to review current common challenges and resume work on some important projects that it had begun last year.

These include a common communication platform to facilitate ongoing discussion between our twice-yearly meetings as well as initial steps towards creating a program that would mobilize Union resources to provide critical incident support to members involved in serious incidents.

Regulatory Issues:
Over the past two years, members have expressed deep concern about the approach of the two regulating agencies that oversee health and safety in the federal transport sector: Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) and Transport Canada (TC). The general feeling expressed to us has been that it seems anything goes, no matter what employees report, no matter what hazards we face as workers.

It is important to know that your union has met regularly with both agencies throughout the pandemic and intends to continue engaging them again soon. We don’t blindly trust what we are told and must be bluntly honest with the membership that in some notable instances, these agencies appear to be all talk no walk.

Particularly concerning to your Union are comments that have been made by government staff, which call into question the proper application of the Federal Labour Program as well as whether the two agencies are fulfilling their obligations untoward one another when it comes to sharing of information, support, and general joint oversight of their work.

The Union is filing extensive access to information requests to seek confirmation of what we have been told so far in these meetings, as well as to follow up on the concerning things shared by agency workers.

THIS DOESN’T MEAN REPORTING IS USELESS! Multiple agency workers have told the Union that continued reporting will be crucial to demonstrate whether the agencies are effectively overseeing safety programs at the company.

To read the Union’s bulletin about reporting click HERE.

In solidarity,

Your Air Canada Component of CUPE Health and Safety Committee