(Transcribed from Video at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCfJpRJg2P6hIvx7JAQsRAxQ)

Many people ask me when do I need a health and safety committee representative, and when do I need a health and safety committee? Because they’re new as of January 1, 2019; actually they date to June 1, 2018 when they came into being. You need a health and safety committee rep if you have between five to 19 employees.

You have to appoint them from the workers, and they act as a conduit from workers to management, and management can communicate to workers much more effectively using a health and safety representative. Please don’t get bogged down with the 90-day rule.

If you’ve been in business longer than 90 days you’re going to need, if you have between five to 19 employees, a health and safety rep. If you have 20 and above you’ll need a health and safety committee. Some companies I work with have two committees, they have an operating health and safety committee which was in force prior to June 1, 2018 and doesn’t meet the new regulations; and they also have a new committee that deals with complaints or concerns from the workers and meets the requirements of the June 1, 2018 requirements.

Now, you’re going to require mandatory two-hour training from the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety. You can go to the website and download the two-hour course. You’ll also need an additional eight hours of training that so far is in the classroom. Certain certifying partners are offering it or will be offering this training, like ACSA or AASP, and it’s important that committee members meet legislative training requirements. Also they should be familiar with their duties, so you should have good terms of reference, setting up quorum, composition, and how often they meet.

These are some ideas for effective health and safety committees, or effective health and safety representatives. It’s also now part of the new audit protocol.

Barb Semeniuk is a veteran Safety Auditor and Worker Advocate. Her experience and diligence save companies dollars, and make workers safer while on the job.