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In BC (British Columbia) Canada if you have a Joint Health and Safety Committee you need to train up!

When you need a joint health and safety committee

If your workplace has 20 or more workers, you need a joint committee. This includes any workplace where there are 20 or more workers employed at the workplace for longer than a month. WorkSafeBC may also order that a joint committee be established in any other workplace.

https://www.worksafebc.com/en/resources/health-safety/checklist/jhsc-evaluation-tool?lang=en

https://www.worksafebc.com/en/resources/health-safety/information-sheets/joint-health-safety-committees-faq?lang=en

https://www.worksafebc.com/en/resources/health-safety/information-sheets/worker-health-safety-representatives-faq?lang=en

When you need a worker health and safety representative

If your workplace has between 9 and 19 workers, you need to have a worker health and safety representative. This includes any workplace where there are 9 or more workers employed at the workplace for longer than a month.

Committee Basics

  • The committee must have at least four members
  • Employer/supervisor members cannot outnumber worker members
  • Worker members must not exercise managerial functions and are appointed by the union by the formal BCGEU process
  • Employer members—while not necessarily excluded—are appointed by the employer and must exercise supervisory function (e.g. scheduling, signing off on Time and Leave requests, assigning work)
  • Two co-chairs must be chosen, one representing and selected by the worker members, the other by the employer members
  • All groups on a work site must be represented. This might mean that members are included from all unions, departments, shifts and even other ministries if a workplace is shared

JOHSC Key Duties & Responsibilities

  • Conduct regular workplace inspections
  • Investigate accidents and incidents
  • Communicate any work process or environment changes that may impact worksite health and safety to management
  • Attend to worker concerns regarding worksite health and safety
  • Identify potential safety hazards and making recommendations for corrective action to management
  • Consult with and act as a liaison between workers and management on all workplace health and safety matters
  • Participate in refusing unsafe work only once the supervisor has investigated and believes that an undue hazard does not exist

Meetings

  • Must occur at least once a month
  • Minutes must be recorded and posted in the workplace for at least three months. Provide a copy to the local manager/supervisor. The supervisor must make minutes available to the union
  • Minutes must be retained for at least two years and be accessible to staff and WorkSafeBC. Meeting minutes on shared drives or SharePoints accessible to all staff is considered acceptable by WorkSafeBC

Employer Responsibilities

  • Respond within 21 days in writing to any written recommendations from JOHSC when requested
  • Provide committee members time off from work with pay to prepare for and attend committee meetings and to carry out other functions and duties of the committee
  • Provide each committee member up to eight hours of annual educational leave with pay to attend health and safety training
  • Provide the committee with the equipment, premises and clerical personnel necessary for carrying out its duties and functions
  • Post the names and work locations of committee members
  • Post the minutes of the three most recent committee meetings
  • Post any WorkSafeBC orders for the preceding 12 months relating to the committee

What joint committees do

The joint committee plays an important role in your occupational health and safety program, giving workers and employers a way to work together to identify and find solutions to workplace health and safety issues. The joint committee has the following specific duties and functions:

·        Identify situations that may be unhealthy or unsafe for workers, and advise on effective systems for responding to those situations

·        Consider, and promptly deal with complaints relating to the health and safety of workers

·        Consult with workers and the employer on issues related to occupational health and safety, and the occupational environment

·        Make recommendations to the employer and the workers for the improvement of the occupational health and safety, and the occupational environment of workers

·        Make recommendations to the employer on educational programs promoting the health and safety of workers and compliance with Part 3 of the Workers Compensation Act and the regulations, and to monitor their effectiveness

·        Advise the employer on programs and policies required under the regulations for the workplace, and to monitor their effectiveness

·        Advise the employer on proposed changes to the workplace, including significant proposed changes to equipment and machinery, or the work processes that may affect the health or safety of workers

·        Ensure that accident investigations and regular inspections are carried out as required

·        Participate in inspections, investigations and inquiries as provided in Part 3 of the Workers Compensation Act and Section 3 of the Regulation

In workplaces where a worker health and safety representative is required, the representative has the same duties and functions as a joint committee, to the extent practicable.

Mandatory training

All new joint committee members and must receive eight hours of training and instruction on the following topics:

·        The duties and functions of a joint committee

·        The rules of procedure of the joint committee

·        The requirements around conducting incident investigations

·        The requirements around conducting regular workplace inspections, and how to make regular inspections

·        The requirements around responding to a refusal of unsafe work

·        The requirements for annually evaluating the joint committee

 

All new worker health and safety representatives must receive four hours of training and instruction on the following topics:

·        The duties and functions of a joint committee

·        The requirements around conducting incident investigations

·        The requirements around conducting regular workplace inspections, and how to make regular inspections

·        The requirements around responding to a refusal of unsafe work

Annual education leave

All joint health and safety committee members and workers health and safety representatives are entitled to eight hours of leave per year to attend occupational health and safety training courses run or approved by WorkSafeBC

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