Looking for ways to reduce and eliminate hazards at your construction site? A safety committee may be the way to go. Currently, all employers are not required by OSHA to establish a safety committee but our OSHA defense lawyers recommend that you consider forming one. Safety committees are responsible for implementing injury and illness prevention programs such as hazard identification, workplace inspection, and safety management. Implementing an effective safety committee helps you improve rates of injury and illness and your compliance with OSHA regulations. Read part one of our article to learn more.
Establishing a Committee
If your company is required to establish a committee or you elect to establish one voluntarily, the first step in launching the committee is to announce its formation by offering an introductory meeting to familiarize employees with the committee. Share committee goals, roles, delegated powers, and responsibilities. The following are essential to establishing the committee:
- Types of roles and associated responsibilities
- The length of time a person can serve in the role
- How often the committee meets and agenda procedures
- How decisions are made and conflicts resolved
- How members will maintain involvement with the committee
- How and to whom will hazards and recommendation be communicated
Essentials for Effectiveness
An effective safety committee requires time and energy to develop. Preparation and a plan will increase your effectiveness. It’s important to start out by discussing goals, objectives, and resources available to the committee. The following are vital for the ongoing effectiveness of the safety committee:
- Stay consistent by hosting regular meetings
- Have a clear agenda
- Require regular attendance to meetings and take attendance
- Recognize members that make regular and significant contributions
- Keep meeting minutes and provide members with the minutes detailing discussions, actions to be taken, and follow up for each item.
- Publicize the accomplishments of the committee to display its effectiveness in safety initiatives
- Maintaining Enthusiasm
Our OSHA defense lawyers understand that construction companies have many moving parts. We know that it is easy to drop the ball in one area to put out the flames in another. However, safety committees are one of the best ways to prevent workplace illnesses and accidents. Unfortunately, some of these committees lose their effectiveness when the initial enthusiasm wears off. This can be avoided when the safety committee’s mission and purpose are emphasized as well as balanced representation across the company at various levels (not just at the management level). It is also helpful to introduce new members or invite nonmembers for a fresh take on safety issues in the workplace.
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.