On December 14, 2016 the Workers Compensation Board of Directors approved changes to the Occupational Health and Safety Regulation. These changes seek to improve Joint Health and Safety Committee (JOSH) involvement in workplace safety and empower worker representatives in investigations and recommendations for improvement in health and safety.
Effective today, April 3, 2017, the following changes will be in full force:
New members of the Joint Health and Safety Committees will require a full day of training within 6 months of joining a committee. This is in addition to the 8 hours of education each member of a JOSH Committee is entitled to each year.
Incident Investigations will include mandatory participation by a Worker Representative. This requirement is to ensure that someone familiar with the work is included in an investigation and, so that recommendations to prevent further incidents are implemented effectively in the workplace.
Annual evaluations of JOSH Committee effectiveness are now required. The evaluation is the responsibility of the Co-Chairs of the committee in order to ensure both worker and employer are represented. The evaluation considers access to training, time to attend meetings and to participate in all functions of the committee and who is represented on the committee.
Resourced, functioning and committed JOSH Committees are the backbone of any health and safety program. If you are on interested in being involved in Health and Safety at your worksite, contact your Chief Steward.