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Audit of Occupational Health and Safety

December 3, 2015

2014-2015

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada - Office of Audit and Evaluation

Executive summary

The Government of Canada protects workplace safety through legislation, programs and services designed to prevent accidents and injuries on the job. Health and Safety Officers, with the Employment and Social Development Canada– Labour Program monitor compliance with and enforce health and safety requirements of the Canada Labour Code - Part II legislation and the Canada Occupational Health and Safety Regulations while promoting and applying health and safety practices.

In addition, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada's (AAFC's) Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) activities are also governed by requirements included in AAFC's Policy Concerning the Occupational Health and Safety of Employees and various other directives and guidelines that have been developed within AAFC's Hazard Prevention Program. As a part of this Program, AAFC has established a set of mandatory training courses for occupational health and safety.

In 2013-2014, one of the Department's human resources priorities and key activities was to implement a healthy and safe workplace framework. Strategies and initiatives included among other things, increasing OHS training to managers and employees, implementing a centralized approach to managing work-related injury and illness (e.g. Workers' Compensation) and establishing external service contracts to deliver an Employee Assistance Program and Duty to Accommodate services.

The audit of OHS was approved by the Deputy Minister in the Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada Risk-Based Internal Audit Plan for fiscal years 2014-2017.

The objective of this audit was to provide assurance on the adequacy and effectiveness of the management control framework employed by AAFC in support of compliance with the Canada Labour Code - Part II and related regulations.

As the audit scope focused on management control activities in support of compliance with the Canada Labour Code - Part II, it did not constitute a technical review of OHS.

The audit team noted that the Department has a comprehensive set of policies, directives and program instruments to guide OHS management at AAFC.

Internal Audit identified that oversight at the local level is implemented and adequate. Oversight weaknesses were observed in the management control framework for the AAFC National OHS program. Audit recommendations are addressed to the Assistant Deputy Minister (ADM), Corporate Management Branch (CMB) in the areas of: Monitoring, Reporting, Policies and Programs and Training.

Recommendations have been included in this report to address the weaknesses identified.

1.0 Introduction

1.1 Background

1.2 Audit objective

1.3 Audit scope

1.4 Audit approach

1.5 Conclusion

Internal Audit identified that oversight at the local level is implemented and adequate. Oversight weaknesses were observed in the management control framework for the AAFC National OHS program. Audit recommendations are addressed to the Assistant Deputy Minister (ADM), Corporate Management Branch (CMB) in the areas of: Monitoring, Reporting, Policies and Programs and Training.

Recommendations have been included below to address the weaknesses identified.

1.6 Statement of conformance

2.0 Detailed observations, recommendations and management responses

2.1 Monitoring

Hazard identification and risk assessment

Assessment of hazard prevention program implementation

National OHS program 5 year plan

2.2 Policies and programs

2.3 Reporting to regulatory bodies

2.4 Reporting

2.5 Training

Employee training

Non-employee training

Annex A: audit lines of enquiry

Annex B: acronyms

AAFC
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
ADM
Assistant Deputy Minister
CMB
Corporate Management Branch
OHS
Occupational Health and Safety
STB
Science and Technology Branch
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