What You Need to Know about Internal Health and Safety (H&S) Complaints
If workers believe conditions in a workplace are unsafe or that someone else is experiencing harassment or violence on the job, they have a duty to report the concern to their supervisor. Workers who report their concerns to their supervisor (or employer) and do not feel that the issue has been resolved have the option of consulting their JHSC member or HSR, if there is one.
Once a Health & Safety Complaint Has Been Received: Employer & JHSC/HSR Responsibilities
Employers who receive a complaint must ensure that an appropriate investigation is conducted. JHSC members or HSRs should remind the worker that the first step is to report any hazard to their supervisor. If the complaint pertains to workplace harassment and the alleged harasser is the worker’s supervisor, JHSC members or HSRs should direct them to the workplace harassment reporting procedure to see to whom the complaint should be made.
If the worker wishes to bring the issue to the attention of the JHSC representative or HSR, then the representative can discuss the concern with the worker and take recommendations forward: first to the Committee for discussion or directly to the employer if there is no JHSC. It is important that the JHSC (or HSR) maintains confidentiality about personal employee information. If the Committee (or HSR) decides to make a formal recommendation, they would submit that to the employer.
Employers must provide a written response to any written recommendations from the JHSC or HSR within 21 days. If the employer agrees with the recommendations, the response must include a timetable to implement them. If the employer disagrees with a recommendation, their response must explain why.
If a worker feels that the situation hasn’t been resolved after following the internal process, and utilizing all available internal supports (such as Certified Members of Committees, H&S Manager or Coordinators, other Management), they can file a complaint with The Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development.
We Can Help You to Investigate a Complaint
To learn more about how to carry out your responsibilities when investigation complaints, contact us. We’ll connect you with a WSPS Duty Consultant who can answer your questions and walk you through the investigation process, step by step.