How to Select Safety Committee Members
What makes a successful safety committee member? Find out.
Safety committee members must:
· Set a good example. Committee members must set a good example! Committee members must be above average in their safe work habits and their positive attitude about safety.
· Be visible. Names of safety committee members should be posted prominently in their departments. They are the strong right hand to supervisors. Some companies also give safety committee badges to identify their committee members.
· Hold regular meetings. Safety committees must meet formally (usually at least once a month, sometimes biweekly).
· Serve as a sounding board for safety and health activities. Positive management groups ask their safety committees to be sounding boards on proposals for new safety rules, developing JHA changes or additions to personal protective equipment, participate in safety fairs and safety victory days.
A Toronto packaging manufacturer encountered such confusion among its safety committee members that it developed an orientation program for newly appointed safety committee members, including a Job Description of an Effective Safety Committee Member. That outline of duties reads like this:Job Description of Effective Committee Member
To give your best efforts to make the department free from accidents and occupational health problems.
Work safely yourself-set the example in the department.
· Attend and actively participate in safety committee meetings when on day or second shift. If you are on third shift, notify your supervisor so that your alternate can attend.
· Work with your supervisor to eliminate hazardous conditions and unsafe work practices in the department. Speak to your fellow employees if you believe that they are engaged in an unsafe work practice; report things which you feel you can’t handle to your supervisor for further action.
· Investigate with your supervisor recordable case injuries that occur in your department. Participate in Plant Review Committee activities on lost workday case accidents or industrial illnesses in your department.
· Listen to employee suggestions about safety and bring those that appear to have merit to the department supervisor for review.
· Coordinate with your alternate to conduct department safety inspections in the first week of each month, using the pre-printed checklist as your guide. Each quarter participate with a plant management member in a facility wide safety audit.
One important topic a safety committee might need to consider is industrial hygiene requirements.
Since 1990, OSHA has required facilities engaged in the use of chemicals in a laboratory to develop and implement a written chemical hygiene plan (CHP). This standard mandates that companies set forth procedures, equipment, PPE, work practices, training, and policies to help protect employees from the health hazards presented by hazardous chemicals used in their workplace.
While most safety professionals are typically well-trained on identifying and controlling traditional safety hazards, many are less familiar with the health-related hazards in the workplace.