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Occupational Health & Safety Committees and Representatives

Employers must consult and cooperate with Occupational Health and Safety Committees or Representatives to resolve health, safety and welfare concerns in a timely manner. In workplaces without a Committee or a Representative employers must consult directly with workers.

Occupational Health & Safety Committees (OHSC) are required for any workplace with 10 or more employees. Some workplaces with between 5-9 workers are required to appoint an Occupational Health & Safety Representative (OHSR).

An OHSC must have at least 2 members and not more than 12 members. Half of the members of the committee must be workers not connected to management.

Members of an OHSC and a OHSR are either elected by the employees or appointed by a union, if there is one.

Employers are required to post the names of members of an OHSC or the name of the OHSR.

Federally regulated workplaces that have 20 or more employees must also a have a Workplace Health & Safety Committee. Workplaces with fewer than 20 employees must have a Health and Safety Representative. However, they cannot investigate an occurrence of violence or harassment. These are reported to the employee's supervisor or the person designated in the work place's harassment and violence prevention policy.

Duties of Committees and Representatives

Committees and Representatives work with employers and workers to help create a healthy and safe work environment.

The duties of Committees and Representatives include:

  • Helping employers identify and control health and safety hazards in the workplace.
  • Talking with workers about health and safety concerns and helping resolve their concerns.
  • Receiving and distributing information to workers about health and safety.

Employers must make sure that committee members or representatives have a reasonable opportunity to:

  • inform workers about their rights
  • receive and investigate concerns during regular working hours

The committee or representative must be provided time to do the above during regular working hours and without loss of pay or other benefits.

If the employer does not resolve a health and safety issue raised by a committee or representative they must provide the committee or representative with written reasons for not doing so. After this the employer, the committee, any member of the committee or the representative can refer the matter to an Occupational Health Officer.

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The Shift Project is funded by the Department of Justice and delivered by the Public Legal Education Association of Saskatchewan (PLEA).

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