Joint Health and Safety Committee Awareness (Alberta)
Joint Health and Safety Committees Awareness Training (Alberta) - Online Course
Alberta has some of the most demanding safety legislation in Canada. Part of the local requirements is creating a Joint Work Site Health & Safety Committee (HSC) when an employer has at least 20 workers, and the corresponding work will last at least 90 days. When the number of workers is between 5 and 19, a health and safety (HS) representative is designated instead of creating a committee.
This online Joint Health and Safety Committees course teaches collaborators about the benefits and responsibilities of an HSC, based on Alberta legislation. The course also explains the selection of committee members and their functions. One of the main goals of an HSC is supporting three basic rights that apply to all workers in Alberta:
- The right to know
- The right to participate
- The right to refuse unsafe work
An HSC is created to provide advice and assistance, but it does not replace the role of safety managers. In other words, companies are still responsible for health and safety in worksites, even when there is a committee or HS representative. Also, companies are responsible for supporting the committee with time and adequate resources.
What Is a Joint Work Site Health and Safety Committee?
An HSC is composed of worker and employee representatives, who identify health and safety issues in workplaces to propose solutions. The committee also raises awareness about health and safety among employees. There must be at least four members in the committee, and at least half of the members must represent the workers. Also, the HSC must have two chairpersons, one representing the workers and another representing the employer. The co-chairs are selected by the committee members.
Normally, the employer is responsible for establishing an HSC. In workplaces with many employers and self-employed collaborators, the general contractor is responsible for the HSC. When there is no general contractor, all project participants must collaborate to create the committee. Occasionally, the HSC may have to collaborate with OHS officers.
In December 2019, Alberta simplified the requirements for Joint Health and Safety Committees. Previously, employers had to create an HSC for each worksite. However, now employees are only required to have one HSC, regardless of how many worksites are active.
Responsibilities of a Joint Health and Safety Committee
An HSC helps employers respond to health and safety concerns in the workplace, while helping develop adequate procedures and policies. The committee must also get involved in training programs and workplace investigations, and address any dangerous conditions reported by employees.
Employers must provide all the necessary resources for the HSC to meet its duties. This includes time and training, and all the committee functions must be carried out during normal work hours. The employer must also publish the contact information of the HSC members where it can be easily seen by workers.
The members of an SHC are selected for a term of at least one year, and they can be re-elected. However, unions normally have terms and conditions for workers who become part of a committee.
An HSC must meet within 10 days after being created, and then at least once per quarter. All meetings are conducted during work hours, and OHS officers may request special meetings. The two chairpersons alternate as the chair in each subsequent meeting, and they have the following responsibilities:
- Keeping a minute (written record) of each meeting, and submitting a copy to the employer within seven days after each meeting.
- Copies of the minutes must also be distributed by email or published at worksites within seven days.
The minute includes information about the workplace hazards discussed in each meeting, and the recommendations to deal with them. An HSC meeting is only valid if it follows the OHS Act, and all the time used for committee activities counts as work hours – employers cannot deduct wages for this time.
This online Joint Health and Safety Committees Awareness (Alberta) course covers the following topics:
- Joint Health and Safety Committee definition
- The authority and responsibilities of a JHSC
- The roles and responsibilities of JHSC members
- JHSC functions
- Meeting agenda preparation
- How to conduct effective meetings
- Meeting minutes preparation
This course was created using standards that will allow playback on most internet capable devices with standard web browsing capabilities including Apple’s iTouch, iPad, and iPhone, as well as most other smart phones and tablets including those with Android and Windows operating systems.
Average Completion Time
Completion times vary depending on the number of times the information is viewed prior to finishing the course. The average completion time is 60 minutes.
Testing conducted in this online course is designed to reinforce the information presented. A mark of 80% must be achieved in order to receive a certificate of completion. Participants are able to repeat the course twice if the pass mark is not achieved on the first attempt.
Certificate of Completion
Upon successful completion of this online course, a certificate of completion will be available to download and print.