Under the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (WHS Act), health and safety committee (WHSC) role within an organisation is to monitor and improve health and safety of workers and others. This includes, assisting organisation’ s to development and review of health and safety policies and procedures for the workplace. They also proactively promote consultation, cooperation and WHS.
Formation of Safety Committee
The duty of the employer or top management is to set up a WHS committee following a request from the health and safety representatives, or the employees. WHS committee could comprise of the Chairperson, Vice-Chairperson, Secretary, and General Members. The General Members of this structure are usually made up of individuals from various areas and levels of the organisation, that represents the administration, operating departments, and staff personnel.
It is required that the WHS committee has to be established within 2 months from the date of the initial request placed.
Constitution of WHS committee
WHS committee needs to have a constitution, outlining their roles and responsibilities, how often they will be meeting, quorum, minutes taking and the actions WHSC members can take.
As per WHS legislation, WHSC should meet at least every three months and has to provide a reasonable amount of time to discuss all health and safety issues.
Employers Responsibility towards to WHSC
Employers are required to provide WHSC to the members following:
- Time to attend the meetings and complete their functions as committee members
- Normal pay for the time spent at the meeting and completing HSC functions
- Access to requested information about risks and hazards at the workplace
- Reports related to worker safety to help address WHS concerns
Benefits of health and safety committee
1. Facilitate co-operation
WHSC is designated to facilitate meaningful conversations on workplace safety procedures in such a way that each worker’s concern is accounted for and every concern is adequately represented. The WHSC is designed to address workers’ complaints on existing WHS systems and coordinate such feedback to higher management for reform and further assessments.
2. Assist in developing WHS policies and procedures
Another major function of the WHS Committee is, assist in developing and carrying out measures to improve the health and safety of workers. WHS committee helps to maintain and improve health and safety standards, rules, procedures and establishes the standard of best work practices.
3. Assist in identifying hazards
WHSC consists of various staff members from departments within an organisation. They can be the valuable resource to identify the hazards within the workplace. This can include site inspections, start-ups and reviewing safe operating procedures.
4. Assist in developing risk controls
WHSC assist organisations to improve workers’ quality of life within the company. Committee members assist their organisations to take necessary steps to remove the hazards. They also implement changes to control the hazards, stop incidents from happening.
5. Address health and safety issues
WHSC is a continuing mechanism for the organisation to provide a safe working environment to their workers and others by monitoring and addressing health and safety issues.
6. Assist Health and Safety reps in their roles
HSR are elected representatives of workers they represent. WHSC assist in HSRs when they have identified issues that cannot be resolved within their work group. This could be evaluating WHS policies/procedures or analysing the issues impacts.
7. Identify training needs
Whilst reviewing the risk controls, outcomes or the incident reports, WHSC members can identify the training needs of the workers.
As a result, Health and Safety Committees provide one of the most effective ways to ensure that safety concerns are brought forward. Similarly, WHS committee provides a forum for employees and management to work together to solve health and safety problems. In other words, an ideal WHS committee can contribute their efforts to prevent injury and illness on the job and increase awareness of health and safety issues among workers, supervisors, and managers and develop strategies to make the work environment safe and healthy.
WHS and training compliance solutions have a 1-day WHS Committee training for businesses. The training program includes problem solving, conflict resolution and duties of WHS Committee Members.
In addition, we offer this training program in an online training platform (self-learning), where committee members, can login and complete their online WHS Committee training by themselves. (We can also provide this Committee training in zoom video conferencing platform)
More information contact WHS and Training Compliance Solutions for Onsite WHS Committee (WHSC) training, or Online (zoom) Committee training.
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Group bookings for online WHS training programs – Contact us. We have group booking discounts.
WHS and Training Compliance Solutions
Learn more about our Onsite WHS Committee training or call 07 5499 2406 to book an appointment with us.