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Creating a Productive Workplace Safety Committee

Maybe you’re just starting your journey of creating a workplace safety committee or looking for ways to improve your current program. Regardless of the state of your safety program, it’s important to make safety a core value of your company. A group of employees focused on the wellbeing of the company’s workforce can have a direct impact on productivity and job satisfaction. Let these quick tips serve as a guide for building your committee.

  1. Seek a variety of team members. To ensure you’re getting feedback across the organization, make sure all departments are represented. While it’s crucial to get buy in from top leadership, include employees from various positions who can bring different viewpoints to discussions and potentially find blind spots in your program.
  2. Aim for realistic goals. Don’t overpromise and under deliver. Start with tempered expectations and gain momentum from easy wins. And don’t forget to share accomplishments to show how safety practices pay off.
  3. Develop basic curriculum prior to roll out. Before you announce the formation of the committee and its mission, have training materials approved and ready to go. You don’t want excitement to fade if you have to wait a month to engage employees with courses and information. Be prepared for questions and coaching scenarios.
  4. Create a meeting schedule. Committees that don’t meet regularly have a tendency to quickly fall apart. Agree on a cadence – monthly or quarterly – to come together and discuss next steps, wins and opportunities.
  5. Research your peers. In your day-to-day role, you know it helps to get out of your daily bubble from time to time. For fresh ideas and inspiration, check out how other companies are finding success with their safety committees.

An effective workplace safety committee requires an investment from all employees. An organized and dedicated plan can help demonstrate that everyone plays a role in job safety. Once you have support from the top down and ongoing safety talks, you’ll notice changes in behavior and continual improvements.

Note: These tips are conversation starters and not meant to take the place of specific provincial and federal guidelines for Canadian businesses. See the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS) for health and safety committee requirements.


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