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

Olena Urbanowicz
Olena Urbanowicz
george hany
george hany
Loved Patrick he was the best! Halirious and informative! Highly recommend him
Nidhi Patel
Nidhi Patel
Vanessa Manocha
Vanessa Manocha
Vineeta Lekhram
Vineeta Lekhram
Eva N
Eva N
The Class was really fun and Patrick made it easy..
Elena Tan
Elena Tan
Excellent traning
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Jaspreet kaur
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Elizabeth Levy
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Grace Jung
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Janjan Mangitngit
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Chantal Amankwaah
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marina elhamy
JOYCE YEBOAH
JOYCE YEBOAH
Patrick was a great instructor for the mask fit test, very friendly
Dazel Nelmida
Dazel Nelmida
A really great person! Fun to work with :)
sarah ahmed
sarah ahmed
Katelyn Prudencio
Katelyn Prudencio
It was a fun lesson to learn about masks!
kelly Sun
kelly Sun
Patrick was a very friendly instructor for my N95 mask fit testing and funny too
Magdelina Yimesghen
Magdelina Yimesghen
Amazing mask fit session! Patrick was so kind and informative. He made the session a comfortable place for everyone, answering any and every question we had. I highly suggest coming to this session for your mask fit! I'll definitely be coming back again when my 2 year validation expires. Great job Patrick! 👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼
Marjorie Tejano
Marjorie Tejano
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Cindy Vargas
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Nabeeha Tabassum
Lis T
Lis T
Very good and helpful! Very good experience
Priscilla Biju
Priscilla Biju
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Ellise Gabrielle Flor
Marian Yhane Marcelo
Marian Yhane Marcelo
Diana Jugowiec
Diana Jugowiec
Nya Duarte
Nya Duarte
Patrick is an awesome instructor. Very kind, welcoming and patient. Efficient training done.
Fares Madaoui
Fares Madaoui
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Lora Mae Malazarte
Sharmayne MK
Sharmayne MK
Amy Vickramasinghe
Amy Vickramasinghe
Melissa Gray
Melissa Gray
Fox Calamity
Fox Calamity
nelson melo
nelson melo
On August 22nd, 2021 I took my First Aid and Safety Training at the Oak Park Neighborhood Centre and my instructor was amazing. She made the information relevant not just to our everyday life, but to our current situation. She taught in a way that everyone can understand. She answered the questions we had in a words that we understood and in a judgement free environment. Protocols for Covid-19 were in place, we were spaced appropriately and mask were worn, all procedures were done individually with sanitized mannequins. Well done!!
mon olliver
mon olliver
Excellent instructor, very thorough, helpful and friendly
Ranna Manbodh
Ranna Manbodh
Manjit Singh
Manjit Singh
Patrick was courteous, informative and kind. I highly recommend this mask fitting session to anyone who's looking to get their mask certification.
Tu-Anh Nguyen
Tu-Anh Nguyen
Mr. Patrick is understandble regarding instructions.
Frencshield Nuestro
Frencshield Nuestro
Emma Miller
Emma Miller
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Renae Campbell
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Andrea Castro
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Ellie Burland
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Arbelyn Marohom
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Corinna Viscusi
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Lily Kisilevich
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Luzinhel John Marohom
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Milly Valdivia
chuks Brian
chuks Brian
Stefano Taglieri
Stefano Taglieri
Super organized and clean.
Sophia M
Sophia M
Julia Romano
Julia Romano
Lily Li
Lily Li
Amazing class! Great instructor!
destiny sight
destiny sight
I had Ally for my CPR course. She was very friendly, professional and made the day long course feel enjoyable. Thanks so much! Would recommend
Austin Paliga
Austin Paliga
Alicia Anderson
Alicia Anderson
Sadika Dougheili
Sadika Dougheili
Brittany F
Brittany F
Had an Amazing Experience!!! Patrick is so informative and helpful, I recommend taking this class👍
Kiran Imran
Kiran Imran
Merry Kamel
Merry Kamel
Julianna Ebarvia
Julianna Ebarvia
Gerbie Nkosi
Gerbie Nkosi
The test was very well explained 👏 👌. Will recommend to others.Excellent instructor !!
Joyous Joy
Joyous Joy
kind guy patrick thank you
likkledianito
likkledianito
Sharalee Solomon
Sharalee Solomon
Amazing fun experience
Arian A
Arian A
Trae Colley
Trae Colley
S Pbailee
S Pbailee
Lee Ann
Lee Ann
Tyson has been a great instructor. He answered questions in detail and made it a comfortable learning environment. 10/10 would recommend!Course was completed at the Mississauga site.
Tiffanie Christopher
Tiffanie Christopher
Tyson was a great instructor!! Very informative and also shared some stories.
Diana “dayana” Hosien
Diana “dayana” Hosien
the training was educational, and the facilitator was knowledgeable and at ease with the group.
Andrea Jantoska
Andrea Jantoska
Tyson was the best instructor one could hope for. He took his time to go through the material and was really hands on. I thought the class was going to be long and boring but I actually ended up having fun and I feel 100% prepared to help in an emergency situation.
Alake Mills
Alake Mills
Had a First Aid/CPR-C course at the living arts centre and it was great. Was very informative and our instructor Tyson really tried to make it an engaging and enjoyable day
Myles Abreo
Myles Abreo
It was nice to met Patrick sacco
Raghad Baraket
Raghad Baraket
I attended a Mask Fit Testing class and my instructor, Patrick, was amazing! He was very outgoing and made everyone feel comfortable and relaxed while telling us about the important information we needed to know. I highly recommend!
Keiyana Campbell
Keiyana Campbell
Amrit Rehsi
Amrit Rehsi
Yuliia Bilous
Yuliia Bilous
Mario Sacco was a very enthusiastic instructor. Very pleasant.
Katrina K
Katrina K
It was a good experience. Partick Sacoo is a good instructor.
amandeep khurana
amandeep khurana
Class was as fun as first aid can be. Tyson was an awesome instructor.
Daniel Tchitchkevitch
Daniel Tchitchkevitch
Awesome teacher, made it light and fun. Great job Tyson.Multiple dates available - easy to flex with personal schedule
Tasha Singh
Tasha Singh
Such a great experience completing my mask fit training with SOS First Aid. Mario was very informative and kept the class entertaining!
Rachel Hunter
Rachel Hunter
I came here for my First Aid and CPR HCP/BLS level. The theory portion was hybrid and the practical was in person at Living Arts Centre. The training was well organized and very informative. They provide everything that you will need for the training. I will definitely come back when I have to renew my certification.
Natalie
Natalie
Well my experience was a bit scary because I was not mentally prepared. At first I thought I was going to pass out but then I was able to withstand the smell of what the instructor was spraying into the mask. I thought I would pass out at first when I had on the N-95 mask but then I realize that it was doable and I can tolerate the test. Good luck.
Avril Jones
Avril Jones
I had an amazing experience . The instructor was respectful and the course is wonderful.
Samantha S
Samantha S
thank you:) i enjoyed it and i met an awesome instructor
Bonu Satimova
Bonu Satimova
Friendly, informative and efficient.
Vinita H.C.
Vinita H.C.
Skirt skirt
Skirt skirt
Lauren Trevors
Lauren Trevors
Sydney
Sydney
Dania
Dania
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Krista Pearce
Herleen Mudher
Herleen Mudher
Just completed my training with Julie. She was fantastic, knowledgeable and very patient. She has so much experience and she trained us so well. SOS First Aid and Safety Training are true professionals and care so much for us to succeed and that is key. Keep up the great work. Thank you so much Julie:)
Amanuel Sengal
Amanuel Sengal
Well organized, excellent instructors for Remote First Aid Training. I would highly recommend SOS for training.
Kim Macdonald
Kim Macdonald
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hannah zanetti
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H Elbahu

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Effective Sept 22/2021: In accordance with Ontario Government regulations, SOS First Aid requires proof of vaccination along with valid ID for all participants attending SOS First Aid classes at our public locations. Participants can download proof of vaccination from theOntario Government Portal