Health and safety committees
Setting them up and making them work
If two or more union-appointed health and safety representatives request in writing that you set up a health and safety committee, you must do so within three months of the request. Although there is no such requirement if you consult health and safety representatives elected by the workforce, it is good practice to set up a health and safety committee where:
- you have several health and safety representatives elected by employees; or
- you have to consult both union-appointed health and safety representatives and employee-elected representatives.
If you and your health and safety representatives want to set up a dedicated health and safety committee, it is useful to agree together:
- the principles of how it will work best so that it is clear for all employees and members of the committee;
- who the members will be;
- how often the committee will meet;
- what the committee will do;
- how you will make decisions and deal with disagreements; and
- what resources representatives will need as committee members.
Case study: UCATT North-West
The Union of Construction Allied Trades and Technicians (UCATT) has a long-standing policy of partnership and co-operation with employers and employees on health and safety matters. Although the union firmly believes in the value of health and safety committees, it warns that many organisations jump too quickly when putting together such committees without the appropriate preparation...
Case study: Geocel
A health and safety committee was established with representation from the workforce, with a senior manager chairing the group. The representation changed annually to give everyone the opportunity to contribute...