Joint Occupational Health and Safety Committees
The Nova Scotia Occupational Health and Safety Act requires that employers with more than 20 employees have at least one Joint Occupational Health and Safety Committee (JOHSC). Currently StFX has two JOHSCs, the University JOHSC and the Facilities Management JOHSC.
A Joint Occupational Health and Safety Committee (JOHSC) is a collaborative employer-employee body established to work together to address health and safety issues in the workplace and is responsible to:
- perform the functions of a joint occupational health and safety committee as defined in sections 29, 30 and 31 of the OHS Act and as required by the regulations;
- hold regular meetings in accordance with written Terms of Reference and maintain minutes and records of committee activities;
- work cooperatively with management and employees to identify hazards to health and safety and provide input on health and safety programs designed to respond to the hazards;
- work cooperatively with the employer in the investigation and resolution of health and safety complaints, concerns or work refusals;
- work cooperatively with management in undertaking inspections, inquiries, and investigations concerning health and safety;
- participate in the yearly review of the Occupational Health and Safety Policy;
- advise on the development, implementation and evaluation of the OHS Management System;
- participate in the co-operative auditing of the workplace to determine compliance with occupational health and safety requirements; and
- Develop written recommendations to management as considered appropriate.
Membership on the JOHSC should include someone authorized to make decisions about most OHS issues within the Committee’s area of responsibility. The OHS Officer and the Director of Facilities Management, or designate, will act as advisors to the JOHS Committees.
A JOHSC is a committee made up of worker and employer representatives working together to identify and resolve health and safety problems in the workplace. To be successful, the Committee must meet regularly, operate in an atmosphere of cooperation and be effective in promoting and monitoring a sound occupational health and safety program.
While the employer is ultimately responsible for the overall safety program, the Committees are responsible for identifying and recommending solutions to problems.