What is the purpose of Occupational Health and Safety Committees and Representatives? To monitor health and safety. To aid in the creation of a positive health and safety culture in the workplace. Both employers and workers share in the responsibility for accident and injury prevention in the recognition, evaluation and control of workplace hazards.
Is every workplace required to have a committee or representative ? The OH&S Act requires employers to establish an OH&S Committee or a Worker Health & Safety (WH&S) Representative as a way of monitoring health & safety in the workplace.
Where 10 or more workers are employed, the employer is required to establish a committee to monitor the health, safety and welfare of the workers employed. Employers are responsible for establishing and training OH&S committees, encouraging them, and responding to their recommenadtions.
Do OH&S committee members need training? In each workplace where there are 10 - 49 workers employed, the employer is responsible for providing and paying for certification training for the co-chairs of the committee Where there are 50 or more workers employed the employer is responsible for training and paying for all members of the committee.
How are OH&S committee members selected? The OH&S committee should consist of at least 2 but no more than 12 members. At least one half of those members must represent the workers and be elected by fellow workers. Employer representatives are appointed by the employer.
Each OH&S committee must have 2 co- chairs -- one designated by the employer and one selected by the worker representatives on the OH&S committee.
What are the functions of an OH&S committee? Monitoring the OH&S program at the workplace. Receiving and responding to OH&S concerns of workers. Identifying aspects of the workplace that are unsafe and recommending corrective action. Receiving or distributing promotional health and safety information to workers.
Participating in workplace inspections. Meeting at least once every 3 months to discuss health and safety concerns. Participating in the process of investigating accidents/incidents. Promoting OH&S programs and policies such as OH&S orientation program. Promoting health and safety training. Monitoring the effectiveness of corrective action.
Why does an OH&S committee need a “terms of reference”? A well-defined, clearly stated terms of reference outlines the structure and function of the OH&S committee and is essential to its effectiveness. It provides clear direction in the OH&S committee’s roles and responsibilities in the workplace and should address items such as
function, purpose and scope of the OH&S committee process for forwarding recommendations to the employer provisions for record keeping frequency of meetings number of people required to meet provisions for special meetings number of OH&S members specific responsibilities of members terms of office
Should the OH&S committee use an agenda for each meeting? An agenda will ensure effectiveness of meetings. Agendas should be given to members before meetings are held. Agendas should include the following; attendance approval of minutes of the previous meeting
consideration of unfinished business, for example, follow-up on recommendations review of accident/incident investigation reports, workplace inspection reports, complaints from workers, work refusals, and reports from subcommittees review the status (development, implementation and evaluation) of the OH&S program.
Should the minutes of each meeting be recorded? A minutes report form provided by the Workplace Health Safety and Compensation Commission must be used to document meetings. These minutes must be; posted in a prominent area of the workplace forwarded to the Commission within 90 days of the meeting kept with the OH&S committee’s files.
Rights of the Worker Workers have three basic rights as far as workplace health & safety is concerned; The right to know The right to participate The right to refuse
The Right to Know Workers have a right to know about all hazards to which they might be exposed in a workplace; Some examples are when workers have to work with chemicals. When a worker is asked to use a piece of equipment they have never used before they have a right to know the hazards associated with this equipment; personal protective equipment (PPE) required such as safety glasses or gloves
The Right to Participate Workers have a right to participate in protecting themselves against injury or illness in the workplace, for example; Sitting in on a OH&S commitee Taking part in developing safe work procedures Assisting with workplace inspections Reporting unsafe work situations to their supervisor
The Right to Refuse Workers have the right, under the OH&S Act, to refuse to do work that the worker has reasonable grounds to believe is dangerous to his or her health & safety, or the health & safety of another person at the workplace. There is a procedure that one must follow in refusing to work;
Workers’ Compensation At any given time we have about 10000 injured workers in our province. These workers fall under the Workplace Health, Safety and Compensation Act. Under this act is the Workers’ Compensation Commission. What does the Commission do?
Workers’ Compensation Commission The Commission; Provides services and benefits to employers and injured workers In the case of a death as a result of a work injury, provides services and benefits to the workers dependents Supports workers in their return to work Educates employers and workers regarding occupational health & safety.
Workers’ Compensation Commission All incorporated and limited companies must register with the Commission. All other employers who perform work in the province and have one or more workers must register with the Commission. The only workers in industries not covered are; professional sports competitors or persons employed in respect of a function in a private residence.
Are Students Covered? Students are covered under the Act; If an employer is directly paying them to work. If students are not being paid but are on a work-term from Memorial University or any of the regional government colleges. If students are not being paid but are part of a high school work-term program authorized by the school. If employers are hiring students and the funding is coming from the federal “Summer Student Program”.
Workers’ Responsibility if Injured @ Work get first aid treatment, if available. report injury to your employer immediately tell employer what happened, where it happened, and names of witnesses visit a doctor tell doctor it was work related doctor will give you an employer’s copy of his form report your injury to the Commission
How do Injured Workers Report Get a “Worker’s Report of Injury” form from the employer or union office Fully complete a worker’s report of injury Make sure you include full name, MCP #, mailing address, & D.O.B. Complete all information before signing the form Form must be completed by injured worker Mail or fax to the Commission as soon as possible.
How Employers Report an Injury Must notify the Commission within three days of the injury Must complete and return the form “Employer’s Report of Injury” to the Commission If employer does not report within three days they will be subject to a “late reporting” financial penalty If the employer fails to notify the Commission at all there is also a financial penalty.