Joint Occupational Health and Safety Committee
Under British Columbia’s Occupational Health and Safety Regulation, all employers are required to have either a joint occupational health and safety committee or health and safety representative. The responsibility of this individual or group is to address health and safety concerns in the workplace. The requirements are as follows:
- Employers of 20 or more workers must establish a joint occupational health and safety committee
- Employers with 9-19 workers must have a health and safety representative
Note that a joint health and safety committee must consist of a minimum of 4 members with at least half of the members representing the workers of the business, while a health and safety representative must be selected by workers at the workplace. Committee members and representatives must not exercise managerial functions and/or appointed by the union.
The responsibilities of a Joint Work Site Health and Safety Committee
The committee plays an advisory role in the workplace and participates in the following:
- Refusal to work reports;
- All worksite investigations and inspections;
- Development of health and safety policies, procedures and training programs for workers; and
- Communication between workers and employer regarding health and safety at work.
As a legal requirement, the joint work site health and safety committee must:
- Have two co-chairpersons, one chosen by the employer and one chosen by workers;
- Hold a meeting at least once a month;
- Record meeting minutes to be available for inspection by a committee member or Occupational Health and Safety Officer; and
- Receive eight hours of mandatory training and instruction.
If a workplace has a health and safety representative, the employer and representative will decide how often to meet and how to record them. A worker health and safety representative must receive four hours of mandatory training and instruction.
As an employer, you are required to:
- Provide the resources, time and training to allow your committee to function properly;
- Permit the committee to carry out meetings and related tasks during work hours;
- Arrange committee co-chairs and representatives with training of their roles and functions; and
- Post names and contact information of committee members in an area visible to all workers.
Questions? Ask our health and safety experts.
Don’t wait for a workplace inspection to happen. It’s important that you take the necessary steps to develop an internal infrastructure for health and safety representation at your workplace. Call Health and Safety Help and speak with a health and safety expert today: 1-833-200-5239.