Letter To CDS: Requesting Update On Occupational Health Inspections

15 February 2018

General J.H. Vance
Chief of the Defence Staff
Department of National Defence
National Defence Headquarters
Major General George R. Pearkes Building
13th Floor, South Tower
101 Colonel By Drive
Ottawa, ON K1A 0K2


Dear General Vance:

In March 2015, I conducted a constituent engagement visit to 12 Wing Shearwater. During that visit, concerns were raised regarding occupational health inspections, specifically on the completion and timeliness of the testing of potential health hazards in Canadian Armed Forces-controlled workshops. At the time, I committed to reviewing these important issues.

My Office’s preliminary examination revealed several deficiencies:

  • There is a shortage of trained and qualified Preventive Medicine Technicians (military) and Occupational Health Technologists (civilian). The Canadian Armed Forces only recognizes workplace health inspections conducted by these groups, so staffing shortages will affect the completion rate of mandated inspections.
  • As of November 2017, of the 1,108 identified workshops on bases and wings across Canada, only 648 (59%) received health inspections current within the mandated three year timeframe.

These preliminary findings are concerning. As you know, the impact of missed inspections could be detrimental to the health and wellness of members of the Canadian Armed Forces and the civilian employees working alongside them.

In light of these findings, I would welcome your comments and/or an update on any actions to be taken to address this deficit.


Gary Walbourne


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