In British Columbia, Joint Health and Safety Committees are required in workplaces where 20 or more employees are regularly employed or where otherwise required by order. But is the only reason to have a Joint Committee the fact that we are legally required to have one?
If that is how you feel about Joint Health and Safety Committees, it may help to learn about where they came from and why they were deemed necessary. We train a lot of Joint Health and Safety Committee members from our offices in Kamloops, and part of our training always deals with the why behind the requirements. In other words, “what got us here?” We are safety professionals after all, and a huge part of our job is to look at problems within organizational systems and ask the how and why questions.
As it turns out, the why behind Joint Health and Safety Committees can be traced back to 1974 at the Elliot Lake Uranium mine in Ontario. It was there that workers went on strike over health and safety concerns arising from high incidents of lung cancer and silicosis. That’s right, in this pre-right to refuse unsafe work work-scape you had to strike in order to demand a healthy and safe work environment. The video below explains the events in 1974 well:
Since the events at Elliot Lake, the role of the Joint Health and Safety Committee has evolved and expanded. Today the duties and responsibilities for committees in BC look like this:
With so many duties and responsibilities it is no wonder that Joint Health and Safety Committee member require training to do their jobs effectively. We have developed a suite of Joint Health and Safety Committee training courses to assist our clients with establishing and maintaining a truly effective JOSH Committee. We currently offer the following classes for JOSH committee members:
JOSH Committee Fundamentals; learn about:
Hazard Identification; learn about:
Accident Investigations; learn about:
Phone our head office at 778-471-6407 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information about our Joint Health and Safety Committee Courses.