JOHSC for Supervisors

A Joint Occupational Health and Safety Committee (JOHSC) is an advisory group consisting of employers and employees working to improve occupational health and safety in their workplace.

Members meet regularly to identify hazards in the workplace, make recommendations to the employer and follow up on safety issues.

WorkSafeBC requires that a JOHSC be in place in workplaces where there are 20 or more workers. In worksites with nine to 19 workers, a worker representative is required and has the same duties and functions as a JOHSC.

The BCGEU further requires a JOHSC in any workplace that is classified as a high or medium hazard and where there are more than 10 workers. Regardless of the number of staff, WorkSafeBC may require a worksite to have a committee or worker representative.    

Overview

Committee basics

  • The committee must have at least four members
  • Employer/supervisor members cannot outnumber worker members
  • Worker members must not exercise managerial functions and are appointed by the union
  • Employer members—while not necessarily excluded—must exercise supervisory functions and are appointed by the employer (for example, scheduling, signing off Time and Leave, assigning work)
  • Two co-chairs must be chosen, one representing and selected by the worker and the employer members
  • All groups on a worksite must be represented. This might mean ensuring that members are included from all unions, departments, shifts and even other ministries if a workplace is shared

Employer responsibilities

  • Respond within 21 days in writing to any written recommendations from the JOHSC when requested
  • Provide members time off from work with pay to prepare for and attend committee meetings and to carry out other committee functions and duties
  • Provide each committee member up to eight hours of annual educational leave with pay to attend health and safety training
  • Provide the committee with the equipment, premises and clerical personnel necessary for carrying out its duties and functions
  • Post the names and work locations of committee members
  • Post the minutes of the three most recent committee meetings
  • Post any WorkSafeBC orders for the preceding 12 months relating to the committee

Meetings

  • Must occur at least once a month
  • Minutes must be recorded and posted in the workplace for at least three months, with a copy provided to the local manager/supervisor. Alternately, the supervisor must make minutes available to the union
  • Minutes must be retained for at least two years and be accessible to staff and WorkSafeBC. WorkSafeBC considers it acceptable for meeting minute to be posted on shared drives or SharePoints accessible to all staff

Training

Within six months of appointment to a JOHSC, members must attend the BCGEU/BCPSA jointly presented two-day training course, Occupational Safety and Health Committee Training. After the initial training, committee members are entitled to annual educational leave of eight hours per year for continued safety learning. Register for JOHSC training.

A Terms of Reference (DOC) will summarize all of this information and help ensure a successful JOHSC in your workplace.