Joint Health and Safety Committees: A Fair Workplace for Everyone

workplace health and safety

Monica is a full-time university student from September to April. She spends her summers working at a neighbourhood pool that employees about 30 other people. As she had been working at the pool for a couple summers already, she has recently been assigned to manage adding chemicals to the pool. Whenever Monica goes to deal with the chemicals, she feels uncomfortable for two reasons. The first is that she does not know exactly what to do, as she never received any formal training. The second is that she does not think that she has been given the appropriate equipment to handle the chemicals. Monica wishes that she could turn to someone at work, to listen to her concerns and suggestions, so that circumstances might change.

Have you ever held a job in the past where you felt uncertain about your safety when performing a task? Did you feel like maybe you were missing important training, or that your general health was at risk? If you can think of an occasion like this, then you are certainly not alone. It is all too common for employees to be asked to perform tasks that they are not necessarily comfortable with. There are many tasks that can relate to potential health and safety concerns, such as:

  • Frequently handling chemicals
  • Operating vehicles
  • Carrying heavy objects
  • Working in hot or cold environments
  • Loud noises
  • Working around electricity
  • Working around explosives
  • Improper ergonomic equipment

To better the balance between employer expectations and employee comfort, it is necessary that workplaces establish systems to balance the need for proper health and safety procedures and tasks that are necessary to have completed. Employers can create such systems by using joint health and safety committees.

 

What is a joint health and safety committee?

joint health and safety committees

Sometimes known by similar, but varying names, a joint health and safety committee (JHSC) exists to act as a place for labour and management representatives to voice their own specific concerns. Employees that perform niche tasks have their own distinct viewpoints about how their job can be improved health and safety wise. Management has concerns about policies and procedures, not to mention delivering on bottom lines. There is almost always a compromise that works for both camps and results in a workplace that promotes good health and safety practices.

An employer is responsible for establishing a joint health and safety committee. The committee will possibly manage a handful of items:

  • Potential workplace hazards
  • Workplace risks that could cause injuries, etc.
  • Programs that protect employees
  • Health and safety complaints and recommendations
  • Enforce the recording of incidents
  • Manage the way hazard reports are handled
  • Programs that train employees
  • Participate in health and safety investigations
  • Consultations with experts
  • Employee issues with work hours
  • Programs dealing with safety

Why is health and safety important?

Ignoring the possible legal complications that could beset a company that does not follow the appropriate health and safety regulations in their jurisdiction, there are also many moral and beneficial reasons to respect health and safety. It is unreasonable to ask someone to perform a task that you yourself would be unwilling to do because of safety concerns or risk to your own health. If there is a task that must be completed, then it is especially important that employees receive the training and education that they require so that they can do their job as safely as possible. Employees who notice that their employer cares about their well being are more likely to stay at their job and even talk positively about the company, creating a good reputation for the company. The same cannot be said for the reverse scenario. Keeping trained employees means that an employer does not need to go through the training process again with fresh recruits, to only have them leave just as their predecessors did.

 

As an employer, why have a joint health and safety committee?

As an employer, why have a joint health and safety committee?

If you have at least 20 employees, the number one reason to have a committee is because it is the law to do so. In Ontario, an employer needs to have a committee of at least two people if they have 20-49 employees. If they have 50 or more employees, then the number of people in the committee needs to be at least 4. Half of the committee can be made up of representatives for labour, and the other half can be management representatives. There should never be more management representatives than labour representatives in any situation. Other than reasons having to do with the law, a joint health and safety committee is beneficial because it promotes diversity in a company. With a diverse committee, communication becomes significantly easier, and that brings many positive traits to the company. These can include:

  • Increased innovation
  • More experience
  • Reduced language barriers
  • Increased contentment with task completion
  • More problems being solved

Employees will feel as if their own unique concerns are being listened to, and the quality of their work will therefore possibly improve. There is the added benefit that the total number of claims related to health and safety will dwindle, and employees will also have a means to understand the motivations of management. The numbers mentioned above are minimums for committee members, but employers can have more people in their committees if they should so choose. This would make a lot of sense in larger companies, where employees are more likely to feel like a cog in a machine, and a larger committee would act to lessen this feeling. One of the main goals of a health and safety committee is to get as many employees as possible familiar with proper health and safety practices. To do this, it is important to include representatives from various sectors of the company, so that they might go back to their colleagues to spread the knowledge that they have picked up.

 

As an employee, what can a joint health and safety committee do for me?

In addition to becoming informed about the motivations of management, employees can also receive some other benefits by working in a company that uses a strong joint health and safety committee. Employees will always have representatives to voice their concerns in a fair environment, and they will have a dedicated group of people to manage more specific, personal matters like complaints or hazard reports. If an employee wants to have a stronger presence in the company, then they might even want to consider trying to join the committee so that they can represent those that are most like them in the company. If they do not remain in the committee long term, then they can still carry away with them the knowledge and insight that they gained while being a member. Ultimately, the bottom line is that an effective committee will lessen the amount of unsafe or unhealthy tasks that you might be asked to perform as an employee.

 

How can I learn more about joint health and safety committees?

How can I learn more about joint health and safety committees?

If you are interested in learning more about joint health and safety committees, or you would like formal acknowledgment of your knowledge on the topic, then it makes sense to look into getting a joint health and safety committee certification. This joint health and safety certification will go over:

  • The definition of a Joint Health and Safety Committee
  • When a JHSC is required
  • The committee member selection process
  • Committee roles and responsibilities
  • The scheduling, agendas and conduct of meetings
  • Record keeping
  • Committee member inspections and investigations

This course, intended for anyone from workers to mangers, is available to complete on your computer or mobile device at your own pace. Upon the successful completion of this JHSC certification, you will receive a digital certificate acknowledging that you know all about joint health and safety committees!

Contact

SOS First Aid and Safety Training services the following Southern Ontario communities: Greater Toronto Area (GTA), Mississauga, Oakville, Burlington, Milton, Guelph, Vaughan, Woodbridge, Maple, Richmond Hill, Brampton, Acton, Georgetown, Hamilton, Ancaster, Brantford, Stoney Creek, St. Catherines, and Welland.

Customer Reviews

Some details weren’t covered, like how fast do you administer compressions.
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Michelle was knowledgeable and super engaging with many experiences to share. I feel confident to provide emergency first aid if needed. Thank you!
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Michelle was lovely! Her personal anecdotes made the material memorable and made what could have been a very long boring day, fun. Thank you!
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Mr. Pounall made the experience extremely educating, while entertaining with his jokes every now and then. For the future he should work on enhancing his stand up comedy career and making a few global tours to make this 5 stars a 6 star.
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Leonard Dsouza
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Jessamyn Bickle
Wonderful experience! Allyson , the instructor was very resourceful & up to date. Enjoyed thoroughly. A great learning experience.
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Dipalee Vajaria
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sanja c
Prakash Nagar is a great program host/teacher. 10/10 recommended 🙌🏻
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Mae Suliguin
The mask fit certification was professional and very thorough. I really liked Patrick, the mask fit specialist. He's very knowledgeable, really personable and fun. The Kingbridge Garden Circle location is also very accessible, clean and ample free parking. I was really pleased with the session.
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Rita Ganassini
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purna desar
Amazing teacher so well done
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Mariel Mendoza
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Lisa Pim (Lcp)
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melanie cianci
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Pamela A
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Laurie Gallant
SOS First Aid and Safety Training is a wonderful organization! 🙏Speaking to Velma in many occasions, and meeting the instructor, Peggy, was enlightening as they assured me that my daughter, Mariella would receive accommodations achieving her First Aid and CPR Level C certification with support. 🥰 Being a parent who advocates for their child when in need is so important. ✅ Being heard and supported is truly amazing! 🦋 Every child, teenager, or adult learns is his or her own way. 💕Hopefully, people continue to see, acknowledge, and remember that everyone is special and there must be patience, empathy, and compassion for each person in any life situation! 👏🏼 Being able to obtain this certificate is a milestone for a 14 Year Old who said, “Mom, I could have had a day off on Saturday, and it is a class with adults! —-and we had to study an entire manual full of too many modules!!!” ☺️ Again, much gratitude and thanks to Velma and Peggy at SOS First Aid for the extra time and support given to my daughter. 🦋 Not only did the girls learn how to save lives, they learned how to adapt and persevere! Dream Big! 🙏
Mary Jane Guibao Wheeler
Mary Jane Guibao Wheeler
Purvi Desai
Purvi Desai
Very informative session. Patrick did a good job at making it fun.
Maria Jaramillo
Maria Jaramillo
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Rebecca Keane
Kacy Knight
Kacy Knight
Patrick was a great instructor!
Alifiya Al-Harazi
Alifiya Al-Harazi
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Courtney Priest-Brown
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Blood Orange Beauty
Jon
Jon
Michelle k was amazing learned alot of good things, I found she was verry thorough and to the point, realy enjoyed and would recommend the class to my peers
Tevin Taylor
Tevin Taylor
Youngwon Kim
Youngwon Kim
Great course! Loved the instructor Mr.Nagar (I think) he was funny and provided great real life instructions and examples.
Divya Sharma
Divya Sharma
Patrick was a great instructor for N95 mask fitting test. Thanks for the great experience.
ahmad kd
ahmad kd
Patrick was great. Class was easy to understand and they were well prepared with copies of sheets and allowed e transfer payments for those who needed a mask provided which was very helpful.
Marina Naalband
Marina Naalband
Arielle U
Arielle U
It was amazing experience and Patrick was helpful .
Alia Mohamed
Alia Mohamed
Sarah Fox
Sarah Fox
The instructor Patrick was very pleasant and engaging. He explained the content clearly and was very knowledgeable about the topic.
Georgianna Kelly
Georgianna Kelly
Mary Jane Gambito
Mary Jane Gambito
Excellent session. Patrick explained everything clearly.
Rohini Telang
Rohini Telang
Patrick Sacco completed my N95 mask fit test and was very kind and knowledgeable. He explained the procedure and was very informative.
Conida Halley
Conida Halley
Oneisha Donaldson
Oneisha Donaldson
George El Khal
George El Khal
Eubelyn Pagayon
Eubelyn Pagayon
Ai T
Ai T
Instructor Michelle is lovely, knowledgeable, had a wealth of personal experiences to share to make the first aid material relatable and accessible. Velma always has a great team and I'm always happy to update my trainings with SOS every time.
Kim FB
Kim FB
Paul McNeil
Paul McNeil
Good place to do Mask fit test and pcr.Kind and generous instructor specially patrick
harshil patel
harshil patel
Fantastic instructor. Clear, easy to understand instructions. Very friendly.
Lisa Hickey
Lisa Hickey
SHREYA PATEL
SHREYA PATEL
Patrick Sacco was very thorough with the N95 testing!
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Krystal Goulbourne
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Kaleigh Redel
Instructor is very energetic and have a good energy through out the training. Recommended.
Anthea Katon
Anthea Katon
Great way of educating, clear, good
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maggie abrahem
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Rodica Suciu
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Jahnvi patel
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Brianna Zuniga
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KHUSHALI PATEL
Patrick was awesome! Great demonstration! He was fun, funny and made the test enjoyable. Totally recommend!!
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Gaurav A
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levent sevim
Paul and Elizabeth Gilbert
Paul and Elizabeth Gilbert
The instructor Patrick was super friendly
Dr. Harsh Parikh
Dr. Harsh Parikh
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Jackie Ruvalcaba
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Dorothy Murray
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E Aquino
Abbey Garant
Abbey Garant
The instructor (Mitchell)was amazing.
vennah tondoya
vennah tondoya
A fast and friendly fit test experience. Patrick Sacco was nice and very informative. Thanks!
Arianna Mailloux
Arianna Mailloux
HARPREET KAUR
HARPREET KAUR
WASIM SASSILA
WASIM SASSILA
Jyoti Syroop
Jyoti Syroop
Dazzel Roco
Dazzel Roco
Jasdeep Bains
Jasdeep Bains
Patrick was great!
Abena Agyeman
Abena Agyeman
Juliana De Oliveira
Juliana De Oliveira
Awesome instructors, the class was so enjoyable and easy to understand!
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Arthi Siva
De Muffin
De Muffin
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Mobs_ Nishikino
9th Oakville Trafalgar Beavers
9th Oakville Trafalgar Beavers
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Somanpreet Kaur
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Fatima Albaiti
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Beep Beep Sheep
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John Smill
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Danny Yousif
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parveen jolly
Baburajan Sundaram
Baburajan Sundaram
Jeremy Huang
Jeremy Huang
Instructor Jessica was really cool. She explains clearly and effectively. Enjoyed learning with her.
nu mai
nu mai
Mihir Khatri
Mihir Khatri
zia haq
zia haq
Monica R
Monica R
Andrew McCulloch
Andrew McCulloch
Praka is an amazing teacher very easy to follow along with, funny and helpful. As well as the organization is very hands on and nice with customers
shawn nassir
shawn nassir
Manuel Filla
Manuel Filla
Darryl Sinclair
Darryl Sinclair
PakTo Kwok
PakTo Kwok
caroline martyn belchior
caroline martyn belchior
Ian Dawson
Ian Dawson
Instructor Patrick Succo was very helpful and led a great, in-depth N95 mask fit class.
kathleenlindsay97
kathleenlindsay97
Cloey Lymburner
Cloey Lymburner
Vaishali Damor
Vaishali Damor
Tracy
Tracy
Adam Casey
Adam Casey
Maaria A
Maaria A
Very good
Diana Kubi
Diana Kubi
Wonderful and well detailed! Thanks Patrick!
jemila binkola
jemila binkola
Class was well structured and the instructor was well educated and friendly
Sarah Fletcher
Sarah Fletcher
Iulia Roman
Iulia Roman
Patrick was amazing! Super intelligent and helpful. I'll definitely be returning when my mask fit expires and need to renew.
Julia Abbate
Julia Abbate
Patrick Sacco was amazing!!
kiana saquing
kiana saquing
Patrick was an excellent instructor for mask fit testing, he is very knowledgeable and informative. Definitely recommend sos first aid and safety training for mask fit testing.
Patricia Seyffert
Patricia Seyffert
Emily Hsiao
Emily Hsiao
Great experience! Patrick is awesome! Thanks again for helping me with my N95 mask fit test!
Julia Fabro
Julia Fabro
Excellent and very friendly. Really enjoyed the class
Tamika Bramwell
Tamika Bramwell

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