Safetip #32: 15 Typical Duties of a Safety Committee
Clearly Define the Duties of a Safety Committee
Safety committees bring together workers and employers. They contribute to a culture of safety. The formation of safety committees is a regulatory requirement in certain jurisdictions around the world, including Canada, many states in the U.S., and many EU member-states. In addition, many organizations have safety committees as a best practice.
To make sure that safety committees operate as efficiently as possible, it is a good idea to clearly define and document the purposes of safety committees, and to follow a five-step process for forming safety committees. Once a safety committee is ready, it is also helpful to establish the parameters of the committee’s activities by clearly defining its duties.
15 Duties to Make a Safety Committee Effective
WorkSafeMT, a nonprofit organization focused on improving workplace safety in Montana, has outlined the typical duties of a safety committee in Best Practices for Workplace Safety Committees. The list is thorough, yet simple, which makes it very practical. Here’s the full list from WorkSafeMT:
- Report unsafe conditions and suggest corrective actions.
- Meet at least monthly; less frequently for smaller departments or operations, but at least meet quarterly.
- Clearly define the duties and responsibilities of committee officers and members.
- Review incidents, near misses, supervisor’s Accident Investigation Reports, and, on a periodic basis, claim summaries and loss analysis.
- Review all serious injuries—not for fault-finding, but for fact-finding to prevent a reoccurrence of the same or similar incident.
- Contribute ideas and suggestions for improvements in safety.
- Work safely and influence others to work safely.
- Make periodic facility safety audits.
- Sponsor and coordinate contests, poster programs, safety drives, etc., and supply other informational materials that help promote safer operations.
- Develop, implement and review written safety programs (job-specific and company-wide).
- Build enthusiasm for safety programs.
- Direct involvement with organization-wide safety training.
- Establish dispute resolution procedures.
- Propose and create safety checklists.
- Identify high-risk job tasks and develop written safe operating procedures.
Use the list “as is”, or adapt it to fit your particular circumstances based on your industry or region.
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