Membership of your H&S committee (continued)

Management representatives

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

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.

Is this page useful?