Joint health and safety committees (HSC) and representatives (HS representatives) bring employers and workers together to discuss and address health and safety related concerns in the workplace.
They allow workers to participate in occupational health and safety and support the 3 basic rights of workers:
- the right to know
- the right to participate
- the right to refuse dangerous work
An employer must:
- establish an HSC if the employer has 20 or more regularly employed workers
- designate an HS representative if the employer has 5 to 19 regularly employed workers
Unpaid volunteers are not included in the count of regularly employed workers, for the purposes of determining if an HSC or HS representative is required. Volunteers are workers with the same rights and protections under OHS legislation. Although they don’t count as regularly employed, volunteers can still serve as an HSC member or an HS representative.
Multi-employer work sites
For multi-employer work sites with no prime contractor, a site-based HSC or HS representative must be established if the worker number thresholds are met.
For multi-employer work sites with a prime contractor, a site-based HSC or HS representative is not required. Instead, prime contractors will be required to coordinate health and safety issues between workers and employers. Prime contractors must also designate a person to ensure cooperation between employers and workers occurs.
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