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All about the Joint Health and Safety Committee

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Several people are unaware of what is the Joint Health and Safety Committee (JHSC). However on a closer look the name itself reflects its composition. At times it is also known as the Joint Work Site Health and Safety Committee or the Occupational Health Committee, or the Workplace Safety and Health Committee or even the Health and Safety Committee.

It is essentially a forum for bringing the internal responsibility system into practice. The labour and management representatives make up the committee and meet regularly to deal with the health and safety issues at hand. This is highly beneficial to all involved. Imagine having several and relevant perspectives on the topic of health and safety and at the same time benefiting from the enhanced cooperation among all parts of work force. To be more specific, it includes people with practical knowledge as well as those with information on the policies and procedures.

Establishing the Joint Health and Safety Committee:

The responsibility of establishing the Joint Health and Safety Committee lays in the hands of the Employer themselves. The guidelines for organizing a committee are usually set via the Canadian Health and Safety legislations. The guidelines include some of the issues mentioned below:

  • Structure of the committee
  • Meeting Frequency
  • Role and Responsibilities of the Committee members.

Thus the employers need to prepare the terms of reference applicable to the formation, structure and functioning. However they need to keep in mind the issues of compliance with the OHC legislation, the effectiveness of the committee in meeting workplace specific needs and encourages a wide employee involvement.

Opting for a committee or a representative – Is it the law?

A Joint Health and Safety committee (JHSC) may be possible in a large firm but there are many small companies around where the number of employees is very low. Hence at such places it is not practical to organise a (JHSC) committee of any kind. Thus the alternative is to arrange for a health and safety representative.

However in general it is mandatory for the employer to establish the Joint Health and Safety Committee or to appoint a representative for the same. However it can also be subject to the ministerial decision. This effective for the entire Canadian Jurisdiction.

It is likely that your workplace is exempt from this requirement and hence it is a good idea to consult the most up to date and applicable legislation. The exemption usually depend on factors like the size of the work force, the industry and accident record, or a combination of the lot.

Sources for the legislation:

The guidelines for the Joint Health and Safety Committee in the various jurisdictions of Canada are mentioned below:

Canada:

Canada Labor Code, Part II (R.S.C. 1985, C. L-2), Sections 135 to 137

British Columbia:

Workers Compensation Act, (R.S.B.C. 1996 as amended) Part 3, Division 4, Sections 125 to 140

Alberta:

Occupational Health and Safety Act (R.S.A. 1980, c. O-2 as amended), Section 31

Occupational Health and Safety Code (October 2003) Part 13 Joint Work Site Health and Safety Committee, Sections 196 to 207

Saskatchewan:

Occupational Health and Safety Act, 1993 (S.S. 1993, c. O-1.1)

Part III Sections 15 to 22 (Called: Occupational Heath Committee)

Occupational Health and Safety Regulations, 1996 (R.S.S., c. O-1, r.1), Sections 38 to 49

Manitoba:

Workplace Safety and Health Act (R.S.M. 1987, c. W210)

Section 40. (Called: Workplace safety and health committees)

Workplace Safety and Health Regulation (Man.Reg. 217/2006), Part 3

Ontario:

Occupational Health and Safety Act (R.S.O. 1990, c. O.1), Section 9(2)

Quebec (English language legislation)

Act respecting Occupational Health and Safety (R.S.Q., c. S-2.1)

Chapter IV, Sections 68 to 86.

And the Regulation respecting health and safety committees (R.R.Q. 1981, c. S-2.1, r. 6.1, O.C. 2025-83) (Called: Health and Safety Committees)

New Brunswick:

Occupational Health and Safety Act (A.N.B. 1983, c. O-0.2), Sections 14 to 18

Nova Scotia:

Occupational Health and Safety Act (S.N.S. 1996, c. 7), Sections 29 to 32

Prince Edward Island:

Occupational Health and Safety Act (R.S.P.E.I. 2004, c. 42), Section 25

Newfoundland:

Occupational Health and Safety Act (R.S.N. 1990, c. O-3)
Sections 37 to 40 (Called: Health and Safety Committees)

Yukon Territory:

Occupational Health and Safety Act (R.S.Y. 1986, c. 123), Sections 12 & 13
Northwest Territories
Safety Act (R.S.N.W.T. 1988, c. S-1), Section 7
(Called: Joint Work Site Health and Safety Committee)

Nunavut:

Safety Act (R.S.N.W.T. 1988, c. S-1), Section 7
(Called: Joint Work Site Health and Safety Committee)

Safety First Consulting:

Safety First Consulting

The name Joint Health and Safety Committee itself suggests what it is all about as mentioned at the very start. In the same way “Safety First Consulting” is a health and safety consulting place for all your requirements pertaining to heath safety. As the name suggests they place the “Safety” of every one first.

And they are right to do so as well considering the amount of people that succumb to their deaths each year due to work place incidents. You will be amazed that even with all the precautions many people lose their lives as a result of work place accidents. Here are some statistics that were published recently. In 2012 approximately 4600 workers lost their lives at their work place. And in a more recent incident that occurred in May 2014 in Turkey, more than 250 miners were killed when things went wrong at a mine. These were workers from all over the world besides Turkey itself. After the preliminary investigation it was found that the calls for a safety inspection which was way overdue was neglected by the authorities.

Safety first is one firm that is well placed to help organizations on the subject of JHSC. In fact Safety First has several industrial safety training courses to offer so that the company management can have a better understanding of the same. Their team consists of certified safety professionals and an expert team of health and safety professional consultants with experience in businesses of all sizes and a wide variety of different industries as well.

The professionals at Safety First Consulting can show you how to navigate the sometimes technical and often confusing OSHA regulations with health and safety program ontario. They can help you figure out what regulations apply in your workplace and what you need to do to comply. Just know About us, take one of our classes, or request a Contact us form.

About the author

Sophie MooreSophie Moore is a Digital Marketing Analyst, in charge of many digital marketing projects that involve SEO, Social Media and mobile web strategy. Moore has a background in IT, strong experience on website development and web interface, degrees in both traditional and digital marketing at Duke University, North Carolina.

Moore has a wide experience of internet projects and keeps herself up to date with the latest technologies and trends. Moore always explains that social media is her passion, SEO a motivation and a dynamic challenge where she is involved every day.

Learn more about her at her personal site. Follow her on Twitter, on Google +Sophie or become a friend on Linkedin

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