Tips for Effective Safety Committees

Posted by Melissa Hall in #YHSafetyTips, Dec 12, 2018

Do you want to start a safety committee? Perhaps you are looking for ways to make your safety committee more effective as we head into 2019.

A safety committee is an organized group within a workplace consisting of members from both management and the workforce. Safety committees are tasked with reviewing the safety rules are regulations that are currently in place, developing written safety programs and safety training, preforming workplace safety inspections, and promoting a healthy and safe culture within the workplace.

While companies and organizations are not required to have a safety committee, some states provide incentives, including reductions in worker’s compensation premiums, for organizations with established committees.

Continue reading for a list of four guidelines to follow to help optimize the performance and effectiveness of your organization’s safety committee.

1: Set Realistic Long-Term and Short-Term Goals
When setting goals for your safety committee, think about setting goals for both short-term and long-term achievements. Try to set measurable goals that are attainable within the time parameters that you and the committee deem reasonable. For example, a short-term goal might be to purchase more fall protection harnesses within the next 60 days, while a long-term goal might involve implementing safety training in 2019 with a goal of zero incidents in 2020.

2: Include Employees from All Areas and Disciplines of Your Organization
Your committee should include members from all areas of your organization, as well as members with varied viewpoints and experiences to allow for a well-rounded committee. Including a mix of your labor force and management team will also lead to a diverse committee.

To start building your committee, it is recommended to ask for volunteers or invite previous safety champions to join, but some organizations may want to rotate members yearly or every two years. Rotating members will make everyone feel like their voice can be heard, and will make the committee seem less like a chore to those involved.

3: Develop a Basic Curriculum
Think of safety topics that directly affect your industry and incorporate them into your committee meetings. Select topics that cover both how to identify workplace safety and health topics as well as how to avoid such hazards.

OSHA and the National Safety Council offer training courses in a variety of areas, as well as other reference and training materials.

4: Schedule Your Meetings In Advance
Schedule the meetings around the same time every month and distribute the meeting agendas a few days in advance to allow all attendees to prepare ahead of time. It also allows everyone to block out time in their schedule so that they don't miss the meetings. Try to follow your agenda and avoid unrelated tangents to make the most of your meeting time.

In addition to following the guidelines above, please remind all committee members that they should be mindful of respecting their fellow committee members during meetings and while working at your organization. You should also remind members that they should be mindful of any safety or health related tasks whenever they are in the office or out on the job site and make note of any major hazards or incidents for future discussion and action.


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