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Joint Health & Safety Committee / Health & Safety Representative FAQs

Get answers to all your JHSC and Safety Representative questions.

What is a JHSC?

JHSC stands for Joint Health & Safety Committee. It is an advisory group required under s.9 of the Occupational Health & Safety Act (OHSA). The committee is made up of management and worker representatives who work together to identify health and safety problems and recommend solutions. Members meet regularly to:

  • discuss health and safety concerns
  • make recommendations to the employer, and
  • follow-up on progress made

What are the responsibilities of JHSC?

The responsibilities of a Joint Health and Safety Committee are:

  • Workplace inspection
  • Hazard identification
  • Provide written recommendations
  • Consult on workplace testing
  • Participate in information gathering
  • Consult on workplace training on hazardous materials

Is it a legal requirement to have a health and safety committee?

Committees are generally required where:

  • 20 or more workers are regularly employed, or
  • a toxic substance order applies, or
  • a designated substance regulation is applied (e.g. a regulation for lead or isocyanates)

For most companies, compliance means having at least two committee members - one worker and one management representative - certified in health and safety.

For mushroom, greenhouse, dairy, hog, cattle, and poultry farming operations, JHSC Certification training is required if there are 50 or more workers.

The construction industry has different requirements for joint committees. Please refer to specific information at IHSA.

What is a Health & Safety Representative?

A Health and Safety Representative is an employee elected, as an individual or as a member of a health and safety committee or both, to represent the views of employees in relation to health and safety at work.

Generally speaking, a health and safety representative has the same responsibilities and powers as a joint health and safety committee member. These include:

  • identifying actual and potential workplace hazards inspecting the workplace at least once a month or, if that is not practical, inspecting the workplace at least once a year and at least part of the workplace each month in accordance with a schedule agreed upon by the representative and the employer (constructor)
  • being consulted about and being present at the beginning of health and safety-related testing in the workplace
  • making recommendations to the employer about health and safety in the workplace, and
  • participating in the first and second stage investigation of work and inspecting workplaces when there are critical injuries or fatalitie
  • For more information, please visit our Joint Health and Safety Committees / Health and Safety Representative topic page.

Do committee members need to be certified?

At least one member of the committee representing the workers, and one member of the committee representing the employer must complete certification training.

What is Certification Training?

Certification Training is a mandated training program under the OHSA. It is intended for management and worker members of Joint Health and Safety Committees who wish to become designated as “certified members” under the Act. The intent of the law is to give members of Joint Health and Safety Committees greater knowledge with which to carry out their responsibilities.

The JHSC certification comprises of 2 parts which need to be completed sequentially followed by Refresher trainings every 3 years to preserve your certification status.

Joint Health and Safety Committee (JHSC) Certification is a process of:

1. Completing in-depth workplace health and safety training with a Chief Prevention Officer (CPO)-approved provider. Visit our JHSC overview page to select the CPO approved training course for your needs.

2. Obtaining proof (your certificate) of having completed that training from the Ministry of Labour.

How many committee members and safety representatives do I need?

  • 6-19 employees – a committee is not required, but one employee must be chosen as the Health and Safety Representative.
  • 20-49 employees – two members required, both certified
  • 50+ employees – at least 4 members, 2 certified.

How can I get certified?

WSPS offers training in a format that suits your needs. Please note that JHSC training comprises of 2 parts which need to be completed sequentially followed by Refresher trainings every 3 years to preserve your certification status.

JHSC Part 1 Certification is offered 3 ways:

  1. Instructor Led Training in locations across Ontario.
  2. Virtual Instructor Led options are available, if you can't find location near you.
  3. We also have Online eLearning. This course is designed to help you learn at your own pace, at a time that works with your schedule.

JHSC Part 2 Certification is sector specific training and is offered virtually or in person (Instructor led). Select the course below:

  1. Warehousing & Distribution
  2. Service
  3. Offices
  4. Manufacturing
  5. Agriculture

Refresher Training is for all sectors and is offered virtually or in person (Instructor led).

Is WSPS an approved CPO training provider?

Workplace Safety and Prevention Services (WSPS) is an Ontario Chief Prevention Office (CPO) approved training provider for the JHSC Certification training program.

How often should safety committees meet?

Committee members are required to meet at the workplace at least once every three months [subsection 9(33)]. More frequent meetings may be useful, particularly in industries where the work involves hazardous substances or procedures.

Do health and safety certificates expire?

All JHSC members who received certification after the new Ministry of Labour, Immigration, Training and Skills Development (MLITSD) training standards came into effect on March 1, 2016, are required to take a certification refresher training course every 3 years in order to maintain their status.

Where can I obtain the WSIB Form 82?

You will need to contact WSIB to obtain a Form 82 ("1-2-3-4 Poster"). This will be provided to you free of charge.