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Workplace Safety and Health Committee

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The best way to involve workers in safety and health matters is to have a workplace safety and health committee or worker representative. This provides a formal system of involving workers in identifying hazards in the workplace, investigating incidents, resolving complaints and more. Health and safety committees and representatives play a vital role in preventing work-related injuries and diseases, and are an important part of what is called the internal responsibility system. This system, based on cooperation between employers and employees, improves the overall understanding of occupational health and safety issues in the workplace.

  1. Chairperson (Employer): Duties and responsibilities-
    • Presence in mandatory in every meeting or workshop.
    • Make the vision clear of health and safety.
    • Organize meetings and workshops.
    • Address all secretaries and members on the behalf of Organization’s health and safety aspect.
    • Attends all incident investigations.
    • Conduct and Analyze Monthly Inspections.
  2. Secretory (Supervisor): Duties and responsibilities-
    • Schedule timings for meetings.
    • Arrange all seating for the participants.
    • Records Chairpersons duties.
    • Report and analyze the nature of the meeting.
    • Fix the time for members who are representatives of workers.
    • Mark the areas of recommendations.
    • Presence is must at every Inspection.
    • Participate in the development of health and safety policies and programs;
    • Help representatives immediately when they need any emergency help.
    • Participate in developing and implementing prevention programs.
    • Participate in inquiries, studies, investigations & inspections.
  3. Representative (worker representative): Duties and responsibilities-
    • Meet chairperson’s necessary to address health and safety issues.
    • Cooperate with health and safety officers.
    • Report unsafe and hazardous conditions at workplace.
    • Report all accidents and injuries at workplace.
    • Ensure that the records of work accidents and complaints are kept and regularly monitor this data.
    • Participate in development of health and safety policies actively.
    • Review injury, illness and death accidents.
    • Assists in inspections.
    • Ensure that the new workplace health and safety policy is implemented and guide others.
    • Work safely.
    • Encourage others to work safely.
    • Contribute suggestions and ideas for betterment of the company over health and safety aspect.
    • Along with supervisors inspect the workplace each month for updation.

The Canada Labour Code also provides a specific dispute resolution mechanism called the internal complaint resolution process. Employers and employees must follow this process to resolve occupational health and safety problems and disputes. Both the internal responsibility system and the internal complaint resolution process require extensive participation by the health and safety committees and representatives.

Employees sitting on the workplace health and safety committee must receive training and compensation for participating in meetings and carrying out their duties.

Employers under federal jurisdiction with 300 or more employees across Canada are required to establish a policy health and safety committee. The policy committee addresses issues that, because of their nature, cannot be effectively dealt with by individual workplace health and safety committees or representatives. Policy committees strengthen the internal responsibility system by ensuring consistency across an employer’s work sites.

The policy committee has access to all government and employer reports, studies and tests relating to the health and safety of employees. It can request from the employer any information it considers necessary to identify existing or potential hazards with respect to materials, processes, equipment or activities in any of the employer’s workplaces.

The Canada Labour Code requires employers under federal jurisdiction to appoint a health and safety representative for each workplace with fewer than 20 employees.

The health and safety representative is responsible for addressing workplace health and safety issues. The employees of the workplace who do not exercise managerial functions select, from among those employees, the person to be appointed health and safety representative.

If the employees are represented by a trade union, then the union selects the person to be appointed after consulting any employees who are not in the union.

A health and safety representative may request from an employer any information that the representative considers necessary to identify existing or potential hazards in the workplace. The representative has full access to all government and employer reports, studies and tests relating to the health and safety of employees. Of course, the representative does not have access to the medical records of any individual except with the person’s

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Workplace safety and health committee. (2019, February 27). GradesFixer. Retrieved December 2, 2020, from
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