Occupational Health & Safety Committees in the Workplace – Whom, When and Why

    An employer shall in respect of each workplace when two or more health and safety representatives have been designated, establish one or more health and safety committees and, at every meeting of such a committee as contemplated in sub-section (4), consult with the committee with a view to;

    • initiating
    • developing
    • promoting
    • maintaining and
    • reviewing measures to ensure the health and safety of his employees at work.

    MEETING INTERVALS

    A health and safety committee shall hold meetings as often as may be necessary, but at least once every three months, at a time and place determined by the committee.

    FUNCTIONS OF THE HEALTH AND SAFETY COMMITTEES ARE; –

    1. A health and safety committee –
      (a) may make recommendations to the employer or, where the recommendations fail to resolve the matter, to an inspector regarding any matter affecting the health and safety of persons at the workplace or any section thereof for which such committee has been established;
      (b) shall discuss any incident at the workplace or section thereof in which or in consequence of which any person was injured, became ill or died, any may in writing report on the incident to an inspector; and
      (c) shall perform such other functions as may be prescribed.
    2.  A health and safety committee shall keep record of each recommendation made to any employer in terms of sub-section (1) (a) and of any report made to an inspector in terms of sub-section (1) (b).
    3.  A health and safety committee or a member thereof shall not incur any civil liability by reason of the fact only that it or he failed to do anything which it or he may or is required to do in terms of this Act.
    4. An employer shall take the prescribed steps to ensure that a health and safety committee complies with the provisions of section 19 (4) and performs the duties assigned to it by sub-section s (1) and (2).

    See below, 7 Tips for an effective Health and Safety Committee in the Workplace.

    effective-safety-committee

    Author: Michelle Kok

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