Construction workers reviewing safety protocols on a job site

Forming Workplace Safety Committees

Workplace safety is important in any industry and in any workplace setting. In the industrial industry, workplace safety can be one of the most important aspects of daily work. Industrial jobs are high risk with several opportunities for workers to injure themselves or others around them. There are ways to limit those opportunities for injury, lower workplace risks and maintain a safe workplace environment. Some of the ways this can be achieved is through safety programs, safety training and establishing a workplace safety committee. Creating a workplace safety committee is no small task. To have a successful safety committee, there are several items you should consider. 

What Does a Workplace Safety Committee Do?

The main goal for a workplace safety committee is to help reduce the risk of workplace injuries and ensure compliance with federal and state health and safety regulations. Committee’s meet regularly to discuss safety concerns, recent workplace injuries and incidents to help understand where there may be gaps in safety programs or a need for additional safety training. Workplace safety committees also play a role in establishing your businesses safety programs and can help facilitate safety training. They help connect and inspire every employee to work towards a safer work environment. 

Workplace Safety Committee Responsibilities:

  • Promote employee engagement with health and safety issues
  • Create collaboration between all level positions on health and safety issues
  • Conduct safety audits (workplace inspections)
  • Review safety incidents and accident investigation reports to prevent similar occurrences
  • Contribute to safety programs and safety training
  • Create workplace safety checklists

Why Are Safety Committees Important?

Safety committees are one aspect of an overall safety culture. Safety committees have a large and positive impact on employee interest and engagement that builds up your workplace safety culture. Employees involved in safety committees offer valuable perspective on the ins and outs of how daily tasks are completed. This can help identify hazards that management may have overlooked.

Implementing a workplace safety committee can also help reduce workers’ compensation premiums, saving your business money. 

How Do You Form a Workplace Safety Committee?

There are a few things to consider when planning out what your safety committee will look like and how the committee will run. Work with fellow upper management to determine what will be best for your business. You can also seek the guidance of a workplace safety consultant to help you decide on the best fit for your unique needs. Items to consider include:

  • Committee Size
    • You need a committee large enough to handle the amount of anticipated work and responsibilities delegated to them. 
  • Committee Roles
    • A few common roles include: chairperson, vice chair, committee members and decision maker (who has final say in disputes)
  • Meeting Schedule & Location
    • When and where will your committee meet? Consider incorporating walking meetings that allow the committee to move through the workplace looking for safety concerns that can be addressed on the spot. 
  • Set Goals
    • What will the main responsibilities and goals of this committee be? What will they contribute to? Consider short term and long term safety workplace goals. 

How Do You Make Sure Your Safety Committee is Successful?

Setting up a workplace safety committee is a big step towards cultivating safety culture, however following through on the success of the safety committee plays a bigger role. In order for your newly established workplace safety committee to be successful, you need a team that will be dedicated to participating and implementing the committee's safety plans. Owners and upper management also need to be dedicated to the success of this committee and regularly provide their encouragement and support. Visible upper management support makes a meaningful impact on workplace safety.

Tips for an Effective Safety Committee

  • Be Inclusive
    • Include employees from upper management, mid-level and entry level positions from every department to ensure that different perspectives and voices are heard. 
  • Be Consistent
    • Set a schedule for all safety committee meetings that includes a well planned agenda with member established short term and long term goals. Meeting times should be steady on the same days and same times. 
  • Communicate Regularly
    • Have a member take notes and send recaps from your safety meetings to the team after. Consider setting a schedule of reminder emails and follow ups to your committee members. 
  • Instill Accountability
    • Meeting attendance should be mandatory to ensure everyone is onboard with safety action items and is empowered to implement them. Hold safety committee members accountable for the responsibilities they have been given using completion dates and corrective actions.

Safety compliance consultants can help your company establish and grow an effective safety program that ensures your business stays compliant with current regulations and certifications. Industrial Compliance & Safety has the resources and expertise to work with you and your business to implement best practices that promote workplace safety culture.

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