Safety committees are invaluable to construction companies since they are a means to push safety awareness and improve the bottom line of the company. At its core, a safety committee is a team, and the team’s effectiveness depends on its members. Teams are complex and as the initial enthusiasm wears off, they may come face-to-face with some challenges.
Our OSHA defense attorneys are advocates for the construction industry and want to share some common reasons why a safety committee may fail to meet its objectives. We will share some of these reasons below and continue our list in part two of our article.
There is No Clear Purpose
Without clear goals, the team has no foundation on which to stand. If there is confusion surrounding its goals, this will affect or stop performance. For example, your goal is to decrease injuries. So, one of the ways to maintain clarity is by focusing on specific work-related injuries or near misses to make corrective actions and update your policies accordingly.
Members Are Unclear About Their Roles
The ultimate role of members is to identify hazards, evaluate them, and control them. This is done by developing safe work practices and written safety programs. When there are clearly defined roles, functions, and duties, the committee will be more effective and will be positioned to meet regulatory requirements.
No Training is Provided
The safety team is tasked with resolving employee safety concerns, creating safety procedures, sponsoring safety training, reviewing incident reports and more. Therefore, a well-trained safety team is a must. Some members may not have a general understanding of health and safety. Training should equip them to handle investigations, gathering data, safety analysis, and more.
Staying organized is key to the productivity of the committee. A structured agenda which focuses on the short and long-term goals of the company is essential. Preparing the agenda and sending it to committee members prior to meetings will ensure that everyone stays on task.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.