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The Occupational Health and Safety Act is built on the principal that workers and employers must work together to identify and resolve health and safety issues. If you regularly employ 20 or more employees, if your organization has a designated substance to which a worker may be exposed, or if the MOL has issued an order to have a JHSC, then you are required to have a Joint Health and Safety Committee (JHSC). The JHSC helps to identify workplace hazards and recommends improvements to the employer.

JHSC & Inspections

JHSC Requirements

JHSC Minimum Requirement
Composition
  • 1 worker representative, selected by the workers
  • 1 management representative appointed by management
  • A minimum 50% worker representation on the committee
Duties
  • Schedule and run quarterly meetings
  • Conduct monthly workplace inspections (worker member)
  • Assist in identifying workplace hazards
  • Make recommendations to the employer to improve health and safety hazards in the workplace
  • Be present for a supervisor’s work refusal investigation (worker member)
  • Investigate critical injuries (worker member)
  • Provide feedback on the workplace violence risk assessment
  • Provide feedback on the workplace WHMIS program
  • Obtain information about hazards and/or WSIB injury experience
  • Obtain information on health and safety testing
  • Accompany an MOL Inspector during a site visit, when requested
Meetings
  • Scheduled every three months
  • One hour paid preparation time if required
  • One co-chair appointed by worker members
  • One co-chair appointed by management members
  • Minutes must be recorded and made available for examination and review by the MOL
Training
  • One worker and one management representative to complete MOL Certification (if the workplace employs more than 20 persons)
  • Certified members must complete MOL Certification Refresher Training every three years (to maintain valid Certification status)
  • Note: Although all Certified Members should receive refresher training, it is not a requirement for Members certified prior to March 31, 2016.

The JHSC is not responsible for:

  • Developing and implementing a health and safety program
  • Delivering training
  • Disciplining workers or enforcing safety rules
  • Deciding who is right in a work refusal
  • Ensuring that recommendations are implemented

These actions are the responsibility of you, as the owner, and your respective supervisors.

How are JHSC members selected?

The worker member(s) must be selected by the workers, or by the union, if the workplace is unionized. As the employer, you must allow your workers an opportunity to select (nominate and vote if required) for their worker representative. There is no specified term for a worker representative to fulfil the role but it is recommended that the workers consider a time limit for rotating member representatives from the committee. Each time a worker member leaves the committee, voting new worker member selection must take place. You can support this process by providing a documented JHSC Terms of Reference.

Management member(s) are appointed to sit on the JHSC by management.

JHSC Meetings

The JHSC must meet quarterly (every three months) as a minimum, to discuss workplace inspection deficiencies and other issues or information pertaining to workplace health and safety. In addition to meeting time, the JHSC members may need preparation time. Some tips for productive JHSC meetings are:

  • Set an annual schedule for meetings
  • Develop a JHSC terms of reference for meeting administration
  • Prepare and circulate an agenda in advance of the meetings
  • Decide on how to efficiently capture meeting minutes

Committee members also decide how decisions will be made (voting) and how to assign administrative duties (minute-taking).

Monthly Inspections

You must provide the JHSC worker with time to prepare for and conduct a monthly workplace inspection. He or she plans the route and any particular areas of focus.

A workplace inspection serves many purposes including the opportunity to observe workers doing the work or to ask questions that might pinpoint an issue. Inspections also help identify hazards so the JHSC can then recommend solutions. The JHSC worker representative needs a chance to identify hazards and to recommend possible solutions.

It’s good practice to conduct the inspection in pairs, if possible. For example, the JHSC worker representative might invite a supervisor, manager, or even yourself, to participate and act as a second set of eyes.

Remember, The JHSC members are not responsible for identifying all workplace hazards; this is the day-to-day role of all workplace parties within the Internal Responsibility System. JHSC members will, however, help you discover additional hazards that may be present so they can be addressed.

Making Recommendations

Once the JHSC worker representative conducts a monthly inspection, there may be identified hazards that will require follow-up. The person who led the inspection prepares a simple report for you, the employer, which includes the list of noted deficiencies. It is your responsibility to determine appropriate corrective actions and to document a response to the items in the report. Include supervisors in the discussion about appropriate corrective actions that pertain to their work areas and assign responsibility accordingly.

On occasion, the JHSC may identify a hazard that merits a formal recommendation. This could happen if the JHSC notes:

  • A reoccurring/repeat health and safety issue during the monthly inspections
  • A control that was not implemented effectively
  • Something requiring budgeting/planning is being recommended

When the JHSC makes written recommendations, you are required to respond in writing, within 21 days. The response must include a timetable for implementing the recommendations with which you agree, or the reasons why you don’t agree at this time.

The monthly inspection report and any formal recommendations may be posted on the health and safety bulletin board for the month, which contributes to the workers’ right to know.

Certification Training

The law requires that at least one worker representative and one management representative receive specialized training to carry out their functions, where a workplace has 20 or more persons regularly employed (O. Reg. 385/96, Sect 4). This training is called JHSC Certification. You will need to arrange for the members to attend Certification training (and Certification Refresher training), which must be delivered by a MOL-approved provider. As the employer, you must pay for this training and the time spent by workers becoming trained.

Pay the JHSC members

JHSC members must be paid their regular or premium rate (whichever applies) for the time it takes to fulfill their duties. This includes up to one hour to prepare for meetings and time attending the meetings. In addition, the worker representative must be paid for time spent:

  • Conducting the monthly inspection
  • Investigating a critical injury
  • Attending a work refusal

The worker member and management member must be paid for the time it takes to attend MOL Certification training.

See the Resources section for sample JHSC Terms of Reference, Inspection Checklists and Report forms.

JHSC Meeting Agenda

JHSC Meeting Agenda

Joint Health and Safety Committee (JHSC) sample meeting agenda. Employers are encouraged to use, reproduce, or customize this document / template to meet their health and safety requirements.
105 KB PDF
JHSC Minutes

JHSC Minutes

Joint Health and Safety Committee (JHSC) sample meeting minutes recording form. Employers are encouraged to use, reproduce, or customize this document / template to meet their health and safety requirements.
83 KB PDF
JHSC Notice of Recommendation Form

JHSC Notice of Recommendation Form

Joint Health and Safety Committee (JHSC) sample notice of recommendation form. Employers are encouraged to use, reproduce, or customize this document / template to meet their health and safety requirements.
76 KB PDF
JHSC Terms of Reference

JHSC Terms of Reference

Joint Health and Safety Committee (JHSC) sample terms of reference. Employers are encouraged to use, reproduce, or customize this document / template to meet their health and safety requirements.
118 KB PDF
Workplace Inspection Checklist

Workplace Inspection Checklist

A workplace inspection checklist template. Employers are encouraged to use, reproduce, or customize this document / template to meet their health and safety requirements.
101 KB PDF
Certification Part Two - Agriculture (2 days)

Certification Part Two - Agriculture (2 days)

CPO Approved! Certification training for Joint Health & Safety Committee (JHSC) members in the Agriculture industry.

1 scheduled date(s)
  • Classroom
  • On-site
$405.00

Certification Part Two - Manufacturing (2 days)

Certification Part Two - Manufacturing (2 days)

CPO Approved! Certification training for Joint Health & Safety Committee (JHSC) members in the Manufacturing industry.

59 scheduled date(s)
  • Classroom
  • On-site
$405.00

Certification Part Two - Offices (2 days)

Certification Part Two - Offices (2 days)

CPO Approved! Certification training for Joint Health & Safety Committee (JHSC) members in office environments.

36 scheduled date(s)
  • Classroom
  • On-site
$405.00

Certification Part Two - Warehousing & Distribution (2 days)

Certification Part Two - Warehousing & Distribution (2 days)

CPO Approved! Certification Part Two training for Joint Health & Safety Committee (JHSC) members in warehousing & distribution workplaces.

18 scheduled date(s)
  • Classroom
  • On-site
$405.00

Certification Refresher - All Sectors (1 day)

Certification Refresher - All Sectors (1 day)

CPO Approved! Certification Refresher Training for Joint Health and Safety Committee (JHSC) Members - All sectors.

73 scheduled date(s)
  • Classroom
  • On-site
$249.00

Inspecting Your Workplace (1/2 day)

Inspecting Your Workplace (1/2 day)

This 1/2 day, instructor-led course equips you with the necessary skills for regular, planned inspections.
12 scheduled date(s)
  • Classroom
  • On-site
$149.00
Health and Safety Representative (HSR) Basic Training eLearning Program (English) (Ontario) (8 hours)

Health and Safety Representative (HSR) Basic Training eLearning Program (English) (Ontario) (8 hours)

NEW This one-day eLearning training program provides training on the powers, functions and duties of the workplace health and safety representative.

View Details 
$25.00

Workplace Inspections (English) (1 hour)

Workplace Inspections (English) (1 hour)

This course will teach you how to effectively prepare, conduct and document workplace inspections.
View Details 
$49.00
The Effective JHSC

The Effective JHSC

This publication is designed to provide JHSC members with the tools and information to function more effectively as a team.
View Details 
$20.00