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What is a Joint Occupational Health and Safety Committee?

A Joint Occupational Health and Safety Committee is a committee of worker and employer representatives that work jointly (equal representation) to help create and promote safe and healthy workplaces. A joint OH&S committee is one way employees exercise their right to participate in OH&S at their worksites.

Requirements for Joint OH&S Committees are contained in both the Workers Compensation Act (Section 125-140) and the collective agreements. The Workers Compensation Act describes the specific duties and functions committees have.

Joint OH&S Committees meet at least once per month. The number of worker (union) representatives on a Joint OH&S Committee must be equal to or greater than the number of employer representatives. Each union has its own process to identify and select worker representatives.

Why are Joint OH&S Committees important to the BCNU?

Joint OH&S Committees are a cornerstone for effective Occupational Health and Safety Programs, providing a forum for collaboration, consultation, and participation in workplace health and safety.

Joint OH&S Committees are one way that workers exercise their right to participate. Workers are knowledgeable about the OH&S concerns in their workplaces and how to fix them. It’s through Joint OH&S Committees that workers have input into solutions that make their workplaces safer and healthier.

How is the BCNU involved?

To be successful in promoting workplace health and safety and helping to maintain an effective OH&S program, Joint OH&S Committee members need education and training on a range of OH&S topics. The BCNU OH&S department staff teaches a one-day course in Joint OH&S Committee function for members and stewards who are on Joint OH&S Committees.

BCNU OH&S department staff also assist Joint OH&S Committee members with OH&S research and problem solving around committee concerns.

To find out who the OH&S representative is at your worksite and how to contact her or him, talk to your steward or regional representative.

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