What Your Safety & Health Committee Does...
Occupational safety and health (OSH) is a growing field that tries to make the workplace as safe as possible for you and your fellow workers, especially if you’re working in a high risk industry. Your employers may be legally compelled to have a safety and health committee (SHC). But what does it do?
You’re workplace may expose you and your colleagues to hazardous materials. In order to minimise or eliminate accidents, you need programmes and safe work systems. The SHC assists in the drawing up these programmes and systems.
After a programme is approved, you need to make sure those programmes are monitored. There’s no benefit to you if the programme meant to help you isn’t functioning. The SHC is responsible to review the effectiveness.
Every now and then your workplace needs to be inspected. There may be new processes or machineries. Perhaps physical conditions have changed. So, to make sure you are always safe, the SHC regularly goes over where you work.
Because of the regular checks on your workspace, the SHC can gauge what and where are unsafe. So, the SHC needs to report to the management on what’s happening.
In the private sector, it’s one thing to blow the whistle and wave the yellow cards. It’s another thing to recommend what to do. The SHC, composed of OSH professionals and technical employees, should suggest options on how the employers can address the risk.
Accidents happen every now and then, even with adequate safety measures. Whether poisoning or disease infection to death at the workplace, the SHC needs to investigate what caused it.
The SHC is only as good as the participants in it cooperate. If you are appointed to be a member of the Safety and Health Committee, now you would know some of what you need to do. Your organisation may require different duties and protocol. Alternatively, the safety and health committee should always keep the employees’ safety a priority. At the same time, there needs to be a balance with productivity and profit. Cooperation with the safety and health committee could save your life in the work place – not to mention prolong safe working conditions for you!