Health & Safety Procedure Joint Health & Safety Committees
Approved By: Bill Bragnalo
Human Resources Director
Approved on: September 02, 2003
To outline responsibilities and functions of the Joint Health and Safety Committees at Lakehead University as required by the Occupational Health and Safety Act.
1. Lakehead University has three (3) separate Joint Health and Safety Committees.
These have been created to allow each committee to focus on the unique areas under their jurisdiction. The Committees are structured as follows:
Retail and Physical Support Services Committee (RPSS)
Labs and Studios Committee (L&S)
Offices and Classrooms Committee (O&C)
2. All Committee shall function in accordance with the Occupational Health and Safety Act, Section 9. (See Appendix A.)
3. Each Committee shall keep separate minutes and these minutes shall be distributed to all the members of the Committee. Copies of all minutes will be kept with the Human Resources Officer for the purpose of record keeping.
4. All Committees shall meet at least once every three months or more frequently where possible. Amongst other responsibilities the Committees shall:
a) review the minutes from previous meetings
b) establish Committee inspection schedule and review the inspections and the inspection reports
c) review accident/incident/near-miss reports
d) make recommendations to improve workplace health and safety conditions
e) review the functioning of the Internal Responsibility system in their respective workplaces
5. All Committees shall have their own terms of reference.
6. Appointments and resignations from Joint Health and Safety Committees shall be reported to the Human Resources Officer (Health and Safety.)
Guidelines for Joint Health and Safety Committees
1) One half (1/2) of the membership shall be made up of employee members chosen by employees.
2) One half (1/2) of the membership shall represent management members.
3) There shall be two co-chairs; an employee co-chair (having no supervisory responsibilities) and employer co-chair (having supervisory/managerial responsibilities).
4) The names of Joint Health and Safety Committee members shall be posted on all health and safety bulletin boards, including work locations and telephone numbers.
5) The Committees shall meet at least once every three (3) months.
6) The assigned members shall conduct physical inspections of the workplace (planned monthly inspections.)
7) The Committee shall follow-up on recommendations and process improvements made
Functions of Joint Health and Safety Committees
The Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) sets out the following minimum functions for a Joint Health and Safety Committee:
- identify unresolved workplace safety issues
- make written recommendations for improvements
- obtain certain information from the constructor or employer regarding actual or potential hazards
- obtain information from the constructor or employer concerning testing
- be informed about results of testing
- review incident reports
The Occupational Health and Safety Act requires that at least one member of Joint Health and Safety Committee representing the employer and at least one member of Joint Health and Safety Committee representing the employees be certified.
Certified members require special training by an agency approved by Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB). Because of the training, a certified member is able to perform special duties and functions, such as:
- conducting workplace inspections
- assisting in the investigation of workplace refusal
- investigate critical injuries and fatalities
- investigating any complaint from a member of the workforce that a dangerous situation exists
- initiate and assist in the investigation of a bilateral work stoppage
- initiate a unilateral work stoppage in a prescribed circumstance
Committee members shall also be trained on specific hazards as training becomes available.
The Joint Health and Safety procedure shall be reviewed annually by the Human Resources Officer (Health and Safety). Successes will be acknowledged and recommendations shall be implemented on January 31 of each year following the receipt of feedback from all Joint Health and Safety Committees at Lakehead University.