Establishing an effective safety and health committee

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An ideal safety and health committee is well-established and effective, with its employees and managers eager to serve and responsive to all recommendations. However, there may be a significant gap between what you’d like to achieve and the committee you see today. Consider these tips and benchmarks for getting your committee from here to there.


Right size

The size of the committee depends on the size of your company. It is suggested that a committee consist of 6-10 members for a workforce up to 200 employees.  Large companies with various locations and/or shifts should consider having multiple committees.

Right people

A good safety committee cares about their duties and the outcome. It is important to choose active, productive people who work well in groups and are comfortable speaking out. One of the most important roles of a member is to serve as a vehicle for employees to express their concerns about working conditions. It may prove beneficial to elect the head of the committee by its members. Furthermore, rotating members keeps the committees fresh. A one year appointment with the committee is usually long enough to make changes without getting burned out.

Risk tasks

The purpose and activities of committees will vary, but the following list generally includes common tasks.
  • Accident Investigations
  • Safety inspections
  • Behavioral observations
  • Review of equipment
  • Job Safety Analysis
  • Reporting concerns to management
  • Corrective action recommendations
  • Safety training
  • Developing and managing incentive programs
  • Communicating safety and health information to employees

Right result

A strong and purposeful committee should be inspired by management’s belief in the work of the committee members who sincerely want to improve the safety and health of their coworkers.

Highlights

  • An ideal safety committee is well established and effective with employees who are committed to serve and responsive to managers.
  • The right size of a committee is typically 6-10 members for up to 200 employees.
  • Businesses with multiple locations should consider additional committees.
  • One of the most important roles of a member is to serve as a vehicle for employees to express their concerns about working conditions.
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