Workplace Safety and Health Committees
A strong, proactive workplace safety and health culture is a top priority for Red River College Polytechnic. The College is responsible for and committed to providing all employees, workers, students and visitors with a safe and healthy environment. Workplace Safety and Health Committees play a key role in monitoring our internal safety and health management system.
Until Spring 2018, the College had four safety and health committees. In June 2017, the College was inspected by Manitoba Growth, Enterprise and Trade – Workplace Safety and Health Branch. Important feedback showed that the College needed to expand the safety and health committee structure to ensure representation of our many campuses, buildings, and program areas. RRC Polytech Safety and Health Services engaged staff, students and faculty members calling for their recommendations to establish a stronger workplace safety and health committee structure.
With these considerations and the complexity of operations at our nine campuses, the College proposed a new committee structure based on function of departments rather than physical locations. Committees were established and members were recruited.
Role of the Safety and Health Committee
A safety and health committee has duties under the Manitoba Workplace Safety and Health Act. These include receiving safety and health concerns from other workers, inspecting the workplace on a quarterly basis, promoting safety and health at the workplace, cooperation with any other party that has safety and health responsibilities, maintaining records, and more.
The committee discusses safety and health hazards or concerns that have been brought to light by other workers, through workplace inspections, or investigations of workplace incidents. These hazards or concerns are discussed by the safety and health committee at their quarterly meetings and the committee makes recommendations to the employer regarding possible solutions. The employer must respond to the committee’s recommendations in writing within 30 days.
A representative from Safety and Health Services will attend each safety and health committee meeting and will provide an update from SHS to the committee.
The Duties of the Committee are explained in the Manitoba Workplace Safety and Health Act, Section 40 and 41.
Additional information regarding safety and health committees is detailed in the Manitoba Workplace Safety and Health Regulation, Part 3.
“Rules of Procedure” are in place for the safety and health committees across the College. The Rules of Procedure are in compliance with the requirements of the regulation, and outline members’ term of office, procedures for changing a meeting date, and so forth.
Each committee will have a bulletin board for posting the agenda for the upcoming meeting, minutes of previous meetings, names of committee members, and more. Safety and Health Services will be establishing a method for sharing this information via Sharepoint.
Where it is not reasonably practicable to have a physical bulletin board in place, Sharepoint will be utilized instead. Templates for the committee agenda and minutes have been developed.
The following items are to be posted on the safety and health committee’s bulletin board:
- The name of each committee member, their department and job title, and date their term of office expires
- The scheduled dates of committee meetings
- The agenda for the upcoming meeting (post business seven days prior to meeting date)
- The minutes for each meeting (post within seven business days of meeting date)
- Communication from the Workplace Safety and Health Branch
- Names of first aiders in the work area
Training for Safety and Health Committee Members
Safety and health committee members are entitled to the equivalent of two days (or 16 hours) safety and health training. This training empowers the committee members to better identify hazards and generate solutions. Committee members must take the “Basics” session. Additional sessions will be available in late 2018 (Right to Refuse Investigations, Workplace Inspections).
A WSH Advisory Committee has also been established and will oversee the WSH committees, monitor trends in the minutes, review programs, and make improvements.
We are dedicated to setting an exceptional standard as an education leader in workplace safety and health, and appreciate the dedication and commitment of staff, faculty and students to ensure continuous improvements to health and safety services.
Questions or Concerns
Please contact Safety and Health Services at firstname.lastname@example.org.