In the United States, they have OSHA, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Canadians have something similar, except that instead of the organization being a national one and operating from a national location, Canadians have local organizations. More to the point, each company has its own joint health and safety committee that has to operate under provincial regulations, since provinces have slightly different regulations for their own committees. These committees meet regularly (usually once or twice a month, more rarely on a weekly basis) to resolve health and safety issues within an individual company. The following is how to get a committee started for your company, and what issues you should address once your company's committee is in active operation.
Pick Appropriate Members for the Committee
Based on provincial laws, you will need to select somewhere between four and twelve members for your committee. Be sure to elect and/or appoint members that would be most appropriate to these matters. For example, if you have someone with advanced medical training working in the company, he or she would be a good candidate. People who work with some of the most dangerous equipment in the company would also be a good choice. You also need a few supervisors or managerial team members and a regular employee or two to round things out.
Get the Committee Members Certified
It is not enough to simply choose and elect committee members. Each of those members has to be a certified member. There is a brief training and certification course that they can take, and then they can be actively resolving the health and safety issues that are brought before the committee.
Types of Issues That Need Resolutions
Often, the types of issues that need resolutions are the ones that present the most danger to the employees. A lack of personal safety equipment to give to new employees, ineffective training on new machines, missing safety guards on machines that cut, slice, and bore holes, etc., are the types of issues the committee needs to hear and resolve. Additionally, there will be times when employees are injured, and it must be determined how to deal with the situation. The solution is often to give the employee time to heal, address medical bills, give the employee other work to do to remain busy and employed with the company, and/or take a second look at gaps in insurance for the company overall.
For more information on obtaining a Joint Health and Safety Committee Certification, contact your local professionals.