Behind every successful Occupational Health and Safety program, there is a Joint Health and
Safety Committee. This committee is a critical component of your health and safety program.
The Occupational Health and Safety Act is a piece of legislation that legally applies to almost all workers, supervisors, and employers in workplaces across Canada. The Act applies to lots of businesses within Ontario including dental practices.
The Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) sets out all legal responsibilities for all individuals within a workplace, so that the responsibility for health and safety is shared among everyone. This is to create an internal responsibility system within the organization.
One of the requirements of the OHSA is the establishment of a Joint Health and Safety Committee.
Workplaces with 20 or more workers are required by the Act to have a Joint Health and Safety Committee. This committee should be comprised of both workers and employer representatives, all committed to maintaining and improving the health and safety of the workplace. At least one of the JHSC is required to be certified by a Ministry of Labour approved program.
The role of the JHSC includes but is not limited to:
- Identifying potential or actual workplace hazards
- Obtain health and safety information from the employer
- Investigate work refusals, injuries, or incidents
- Make recommendations where appropriate
The committee is required to hold regular meetings, conduct workplace inspections, and document all meeting and inspection with meeting minutes.
Workplaces with 6-19 employees must have an appointed health and safety representative. In this case, no Joint Health and Safety Committee is required. This individual should be identified and have their name and contact information posted for all workers to be aware and able to contact. The role of the representative is much like the JHSC.
Does your health and safety program have a solid foundation? Do you have a Joint Health and Safety Committee that is up to code?
If you and your business need support ensuring you are compliant with the Occupational Health and Safety Act, contact IPAC Consulting today. We can help establish your business’ Health and Safety policy and program to keep you and your employees safe!