The Health and Safety Committee

Despite the fact that it is the Law – why is it good practice to Health and Safety Committees in the workplace?

Worker participation is an important part of managing health and safety. Managers do not have the solutions to all health and safety problems, while workers and their representatives have the detailed knowledge and experience of how the job is done and how it affects them. Therefore workers and managers need to work together closely to find joint solutions to common problems.


For employers it is about obtaining help to identify the real problems and finding the right solutions and having a motivated workforce. For workers it is about preventing themselves from being harmed by their work.

In accordance with the law, workers must be informed, instructed, trained and consulted with on health and safety. Full participation goes beyond consultation – workers and their representatives must also be involved in making decisions.

The Health and Safety Committee System allows for health and safety information to be communicated across the entire organisation and from top to bottom. The committees and safety group’s provide the opportunity for the workforce and management to formerly:

Talk to one another – listen to each other’s concerns – encourages trust and respect for each other – consider what everyone has to say prior to making decisions together.


 How the Safety Groups & Health and Safety Committees work together

  • An issue initially raised by a staff member of any level can be communicated to a line manager. The principle involved is simply to consider and resolve operational issues at the most appropriate levels. Initially the issue might be resolved
    by the means of the day to day management responsibilities.
  • Any issue not resolved by Supervisors/Team Leaders/Managers can be referred to the Operational Manager.
  • However if unresolved satisfactorily the issue can be presented at the Safety Group (weekly/monthly meeting)
  • The issue raised must be logged in writing and a formal response given within one week by the Supervisors/Team Leaders/Managers.
  • Issues that remain unresolved may then be included on the agenda for the Health and Safety Committee meeting. Issues of major significance even those that have been resolved should be brought to the Committee forum as a matter of course for awareness purposes.

• Extraordinary meetings can be called for urgent decision making when deemed essential


Guidance :

Guide to H&S committees Supporting Documentation – Committee Structures. Worker Safety Reps Explained


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