1 Joint work site health and safety committees OHS information for workers, employers, and prime contractors Who is responsible for establishing KEY INFORMATION an HSC? A Joint work site health and safety The employer is responsible for establishing an committee (HSC) is required on HSC at the work site. For work sites that have work sites where there are 20 or multiple employers or self-employed people, the more workers and the work is prime contractor is responsible for establishing a expected to last 90 days or more HSC. If there is no prime contractor, all employers and self-employed people shall The employer must provide coordinate the establishment of a HSC for that adequate resources, time and work site. training to help the committee function effectively What are the duties of HSCs? HSC members have a number of duties and The HSCs role is to advise and functions they must fulfill to help prevent assist, not assume managerial workplace injuries and illness, including: responsibilities for health and safety at the workplace receive and address concerns and complaints about the health and safety of workers, participate in the identification of hazards to workers or other persons arising out of or in connection with activities at the work site, What is a Joint work site health and develop and promote measures to protect safety (HSC) committee?
2 The health and safety of persons at the work site and check the effectiveness of the An HSC is a group of worker and employer measures, representatives working together to identify and cooperate with an OHS officer exercising solve health and safety concerns at the work duties under the Occupational health and site. They also promote awareness and interest safety Act (OHS Act), the Regulations and in health and safety . HSCs form an important the OHS Code, part of the internal responsibility system and develop and promote programs for education help ensure that work site parties are aware of and information concerning health and their roles and responsibilities in the workplace. safety , HSCs also provide support for the three basic make recommendations to the employer, rights that all Albertans have in protecting their prime contractor or owner respecting the health and safety : the right to know, the right to health and safety of workers, participate, and the right to refuse dangerous participate in investigating serious injuries work.
3 And incidents at the work site, maintain records in connection with the Employers and multi-employer/self-employed concerns and complaints received, person work sites that employ 20 or more (in total) full-time and part-time workers and have attend to other matters relating to the duties of the committee, and work that is expected to last 90 days or more are required to establish an HSC. other duties as may be specified in the OHS Act, Regulations and Code. 2018 Government of alberta LI036 updated May ISBN: 978-1-4601-3762-8. Joint work site health and safety committees What are other HSC duties? Terms of Reference In consultation with the HSC the employer must: An HSC must establish terms of reference that: develop and implement of the violence ensures the committee's membership prevention plan and the harassment represents all OHS concerns at their prevention plan, and worksite, review the violence and harassment sets out a process for replacing members of prevention plans when an incident occurs, the committee if they depart, when the committee recommends it, or every establishes a dispute resolution process to three years.
4 Use if the committee fails to reach a consensus about recommendations to be put Employers, contractors and prime contractors forward, and have a duty to: creates a process for coordinating with other consult and cooperate with HSCs to develop HSCs established by the same employer (or policies, procedures and codes of practice prime contractor). for their work sites, provide committees with reasonable The terms of reference may also address other opportunity to inform workers on OHS items to support the effective operation of the matters, committee. allow committee members to examine Terms of office, quorum, and other items that records, policies, procedures, codes of support an effective committee are addressed in practice, reports or manufacturer the OHS Act. specifications required under OHS. legislation, and Term of office give information or documents addressed to the HSC as soon as possible after it is Committee members are elected to a term of not received.
5 Less than one-year. Members may continue to hold office until reappointed or re-elected, or Who is on the HSC? until a replacement is appointed or elected. Members can hold office indefinitely. If the The HSC has at least four members and at least worker member is part of a union, the term of half of them represent the workers. The worker office of the worker member is the term specified representatives are selected by the workers, or in the union's constitution. by the union agreement, if one exists. The employer appoints the employer representatives. Meeting quorum Selection of co-chairs If some members cannot attend a meeting, the meeting can still take place. However, in order Each committee must have two co-chairpersons. for the committee to make decisions, there must An employer co-chair is chosen by the employer be a quorum. This means at least half of the members on the committee and the worker HSC members must be present, both worker co-chair is chosen by the worker members.
6 Members and employer members are How do I contact the HSC represented, and that at least half of those present represent workers. members? Workers and other parties at the work site need How often does the committee to be able to contact a committee member with a have to meet? concern or question. The employer or prime The HSC must meet within 10 days after being contractor must post the names and contact established and every quarter after. information of committee members. Joint work site health and safety committees What are other rules around HSC Are committee members entitled to meetings? take time away from their regular The co-chairs alternate in serving as chair at duties? HSC meetings and participate in all decisions of HSC members are entitled to take the following the committee. time away from their regular duties: HSC shall hold its meetings and carry out its amount of time that the committee or duties and functions during normal work hours.
7 Representative determines is necessary to An HSC must convene a special meeting if prepare for each meeting, requested to do so by an OHS officer. time required to attend each meeting, time required to attend approved health and The co-chairs of an HSC must ensure that: safety training, and minutes of each meeting of the committee time that the committee or representative are recorded, copies of the minutes determines is necessary to carry out the approved by the committee are given to the members' duties as a committee member employer within seven days after the day the under the OHS Act, Regulations and Code. meeting was held, and HSC members are deemed to be working while copies of the minutes approved by the performing committee work and are entitled to committee are posted or provided by be compensated at the applicable rate of pay. electronic means at the work site within seven days after the day the meeting was Are HSC members entitled to held.
8 Training? Meeting minutes To ensure a successful committee, a prime The minutes of each HSC meeting must be contractor or employer must provide the HSC. recorded. Minutes are a written record of what co-chairs with training about the duties and went on at the meeting. They detail any work functions of the committee. The employer shall site hazards that were discussed during the permit each member of the committee to take meeting and recommendations that were made whichever is greater 16 hours or the number of to address those hazards. They should also hours the worker normally works during two include administrative information, such as the shifts to attend work site health and safety date of the meeting and a list of members who training programs, seminars or courses. During were present. training, the committee members are deemed to be at work and must be paid at their regular rate The employer or the prime contractor shall of pay. maintain a copy of the minutes for two years and have them readily available for inspection by an What is the role of the HSC.
9 HSC member or an OHS officer. regarding inspection of the work site and incident investigations? Any business of a Joint work site health and The HSC members play an important role in safety committee that is conducted where a work site inspections and incident investigations. quorum is not present is not validly A brief summary of these duties are outlined in transacted, and any meeting of a this section. For additional information, please committee that is held where a refer to the additional resources at the end of quorum is not present is not a this bulletin. valid meeting of the committee. OHS Act 26(2). Joint work site health and safety committees Participation in work site inspections The employer and HSC must prepare a plan for investigating incidents. The plan must include Inspecting the work site at regular intervals is the necessary procedures, personnel and one of the duties of the committee. Regular resources required to conduct an investigation.
10 Inspections have been shown to reduce injuries In addition to conducting their own and illnesses, and to improve the internal investigations, committees must accompany an responsibility system. OHS officer during an investigation, if requested. An inspection is a planned walkthrough of the The co-chairs of the HSC may participate in the work site to identify health or safety hazards that investigation of serious incidents, as well as any may be present. An inspection may examine a other incident that injures a person, or that had selected work area or particular hazard, certain the potential to cause a serious injury. types of machinery, tools or equipment, or specific work practices. Effective incident investigations will identify direct and indirect causes of incidents. A focus The HSC must inspect the worksite at least once on fact-finding, not fault-finding, will prevent before each quarterly meeting. The employer similar incidents. and HSC may consider the size of the work site, type of activities, the number of workers, and other factors to determine if more frequent The investigation of serious inspections are needed.