Membership of your H&S committee (continued)
Health and safety committee members representing you, the employer, should:
- have the authority to give proper considerations to views and recommendations;
- have the necessary knowledge and expertise to give the committee accurate advice about company policy on relevant matters such as premises, processes, machinery, equipment, or production processes;
- be representatives from across the supervisory level, and include, for example, work engineers and personnel managers, not just line managers.
It is good practice for management representatives to include:
- the person responsible for health and safety in the business; and
- a representative from the most senior level of management possible, such as a board member, to show commitment and leadership.
Senior managers can show their support and commitment to the committee by:
- providing time and resources for the meetings, and perhaps even attending a meeting;
- submitting items for the agenda; and
- giving feedback through their representative on the committee.
Through leadership you can build trust and confidence so the work of the safety committee will not be undermined.
Employee representatives should:
- be appointed by a recognised trade union where there is one and they have appointed a representative;
- be elected by the employees they are to represent where there is not a recognised trade union;
- be employed in or have knowledge of the work of those they represent;
- normally have worked in the role/position for two years
Co-opted members and others in the workplace
- Have the company doctor, nurse, occupational hygienist or health and safety adviser as ex-officio members of the committee;
- Allow other specialists in your business like project engineers, chemists, human resource professionals or training officers to be called into particular meetings to deal with specific matters requiring their expertise.