Joint Health and Safety Committee (JHSC) Composition, Roles, and Responsibilities
Recruiting members to your JHSC can present unique challenges. If you want to learn more about recruiting JHSC members, click here to see last month’s article about this topic.
Once you have a JHSC in place, it’s very important that you understand the composition. There is a specific mix of managers and workers that are required, and within that mixture, there are roles and responsibilities that must be filled. The JHSC as an advisory body fulfills the role of encouraging and raising health and safety awareness in the workplace. To achieve its goal, the JHSC is further split into different defining roles that fulfill specific responsibilities. This cooperative spirit ensures that your company and its workforce are able to prevent and reduce health and safety hazards. Another added benefit is that having an active JHSC also helps you keep your workplace in compliance with current Ontario health and safety legislation.
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How Many JHSC Representatives Do I need?
If your company regularly employs 20-49 people, your JHSC is required to have 2 certified members (1 worker, one management). Any additional members may or may not be certified. If your company employs 50 or more people, then you will require a minimum of 2 certified members (one worker, one management) and at least two additional members who may or may not be certified.
What Should the Composition of my JHSC Look Like?
Your JHSC must follow a specific composition, which is to say that half of them (or more!) must be worker members, and half must represent management. (S. 9(7)) In cases where your certified members exceed the minimum, it is better to have more worker representation than management. The Ministry of Labour also recommends that the worker members be representative of the whole workplace. This means if you have an office, a warehouse, and a plant, that you have at least one worker from each area.
Roles and Responsibilities
Within the JHSC, there are roles and responsibilities to be filled by members.
At least one member representing both workers and managers must be certified; however, you may have more than one, or all members certified (this is recommended). Where more than one certified worker and/or management member exists, you must designate one or more certified members to become solely entitled to exercise rights and duties of certified members. (S. 9(15))
Committees must be co-chaired by two members. One of the co-chairs will be selected from members representing workers, and the other will be selected by management. (S 9(11))
The meeting chair is responsible for preparing a meeting agenda and running that meeting. Co-chairs should alternate the meeting chair responsibilities.
One member of the JHSC should be designated as the clerk. This member will take meeting notes which include concerns, recommendations, and suggested actions. The clerk may also fulfill administrative duties such as ensuring meeting minutes are posted on the health and safety board, or writing up recommendations to submit to the employer. Taking accurate minutes is a very important function, as the Ministry of Labour would most certainly request to see them during any inspection.
How do I become JHSC certified?
- Step 1: Successfully complete JHSC Part 1
- Step 2: Successfully complete JHSC Part 2 within six months of completing JHSC Part 1
- Step 3: Successfully complete JHSC refresher training every three years
The JHSC in your workplace serves to keep your workplace safe and healthy. The benefits of a well-organized, efficient JHSC are infinite – they span from less lost time claims to better productivity from happier employees.
If you are unsure how to get a JHSC started, how to certify your current members, or how to lay out the roles and responsibilities within the JHSC, OSG can help. We have been successfully training JHSC members for over 25 years, and we are the largest private provider JHSC committee certification training in Ontario. When it comes to JHSC – we know our stuff! And we are available to you as a 24-7 resource on the web at www.osg.ca. If you prefer to speak to one our safety experts, call us at 1-800-815-9980 Monday-Friday 8:00am-4:30pm.