Joint Health & Safety Committees

The purpose of the Joint Health and Safety Committees (JHSC) is to allow workers to participate in workplace health and safety and have a voice at the table. The JHSCs give workers the power to legally make recommendations to their employers on health and safety matters.

An effectively functioning JHSC is one where the participants understand that mutual respect to collaboratively look for potential workplace hazards, with the mind to create a healthier workplace, is fundamental.

How are committee members selected?

At least half the committee members must be worker members (who do not exercise managerial functions) and who are selected by the workers. In a unionized workplace, the worker members must be chosen by the trade union or unions.

The employer chooses the remaining members from persons in the workplace who exercise managerial functions.

When JHSCs are required, how many people are on the committee, and who are committee members?

UFCW Canada is a national union, and therefore the table below provides brief information on committee make up across Canada: when they are necessary, size, and representation. This summary is intended to provide basic facts. Please consult the legislation applicable to your province and workplace for accurate information.

Workplace Health and Safety

It is important for JHSC members to have a basic understanding of the applicable legislation and how it is applied. When a UFCW Canada member makes a recommendation to the employer and it is attached to specific legislation, it now becomes more of an “order” rather than a simple recommendation, and the employer must respond accordingly. UFCW Canada members from across Canada are able to upgrade their health and safety knowledge by accessing our free online learning for members and their families through our online webCampus.

Tips for a Smooth Running Meeting

  1. Be sure to have an agenda for JHSC members to go over before the meeting begins.

  2. The co-chairs are responsible for keeping the meeting moving by following the agenda and keeping the conversations relevant.

  3. Some time should be set aside for an educational topic, such as a talk from an equipment supplier, etc.

  4. Keep clear and accurate minutes of the meeting as they provide a permanent record and indicate what action will be taken and by whom.

  5. Post meeting minutes in a highly visible location for all employees to see.

  6. Forward committee recommendations to appropriate managers

Additional Resources

Meeting minutes template

Legislation Requirements for Health and Safety Committees