The rights, duties, and functions of Joint Health and Safety Committees (JHSC) are intertwined. The function of the committee is to support the IRS and ensure that it is functioning effectively. To do this, the JHSC has several duties which it is able to perform thanks to the rights afforded to it by the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA). The following duties and rights ensure that the JHSC functions successfully.
- Identifying workplace hazards. A worker member of the JHSC inspects the workplace monthly to identify workplace hazards that could endanger the health or safety of workers.
- Making recommendations to the employer. The JHSC recommends ways to improve workplace health and safety such as additional protective devices and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) or safety training programs.
- Investigate work refusals. A worker member of the JHSC must be present at work refusal investigations to ensure that the health and safety of the refusing worker is the top priority.
- Investigate critical injuries or fatalities. A worker member of the JHSC must be present at investigations of fatalities or critical injuries.
- Consulting. The JHSC has a right to be consulted prior to any workplace testing that is related to occupational health and safety. A worker member also has the right to be present for the testing sessions.
- Obtaining information. The JHSC can ask the employer for health and safety information, including information about potential or actual hazards, workplace safety practices, and workplace testing. The JHSC can also obtain information from the Workplace Safety Insurance Board (WSIB) if the workplace falls under the Workplace Safety Insurance Act.
For more information on Joint Health and Safety Committees and training requirements, click here.