Health & Safety Committee
What is a Health and Safety Committee?
A Health and Safety Committee is made up of workers and management who work together as a forum for consultation on health and safety matters in their workplace with the aim of helping to make it a safe and healthy workplace. HSCs deal with the workplace as a whole, HSRs deal with matters concerning the workgroups within the workplace that they have been elected to represent. HSRs are usually also the worker representatives on your health and safety committee.
What are the functions of a Health and Safety Committee?
The specific functions of a health and safety committee are to:
facilitate co-operation between the person conducting a business or undertaking and workers in instigating, developing and carrying out measures designed to ensure health and safety at work, and
assist in developing standards, rules and procedures relating to health and safety that are to be followed or complied with at the workplace.
WHS committees may also be involved in business-specific functions so long as they have been agreed between the PCBU and the HSC and support and assist the PCBU's duty to consult its staff on health and safety matters as per Sections 47-49 of the WHS Act.
See here: SafeWork NSW FACT SHEET
What are the benefits of having a Health and Safety Committee?
The benefits of a Health and Safety Committee include:
having regular, planned and structured discussions about health and safety matters
encouraging a co-operative approach to health and safety
bringing together a group of worker and management representatives to collaboratively discuss and develop ways of improving the systems for managing health and safety at the workplace
encouraging the development and retention of corporate knowledge on health and safety matters for the workplace.
What Training is available for a Health and Safety Committee?
Although there are no prescribed formalised courses of training for WHS committees, HSC training is nevertheless available through Courtenell and recommended as "best practice", in addition to the SafeWork NSW HSR courses, for those committee members whom are also HSRs.
Available HSC Training: