The Safety Committee – An Important Tool

Safety committees bring together a cross section of employee and management representatives who together strive to address the safety issues that arise in any organization. Safety committees serve as a pipeline for all employees to bring to the fore issues creating potential harm.

A safety committee is a fundamental part of any company’s safety and health management system. A safety committee offers an opportunity for employees at all levels to get involved in an organization’s safety improvement efforts. Employee involvement in an organization’s safety and health program is a part of every consensus safety and health management system including

  • International Standards Organization ISO 45001
  • the International Labor Organization Standards on Occupational Safety and Health
  • American National Standards Institute ANSI Z-10
  • OSHA Safety and Health Program Guidelines
  • The OSHA Voluntary Protection Program

Fifteen states offer workers compensation insurance premium credits or discounts for firms that have a functioning occupational safety and health program of which safety committees are an integral part.

As a part of a health and safety program safety committees bring the following benefits:

  • Prevent workplace injuries and illnesses – tracking injury trends and participating in accident/incident investigations and workplace inspections gives an organization a roadmap toward prevention by finding and fixing hazards.
  • Improve compliance with laws and regulations – raising awareness of hazardous conditions and thereby implementing improvements in facilities and work practices serves to help eliminate safety violations and shows government enforcement agencies good faith in safety promotion.
  • Reduce costs, including significant reductions in workers’ compensation premiums – safety committees can reduce costs in two ways, 1) through state programs that offer a worker’s compensation premium discount or credit for functioning safety programs and 2) reduction of costly accidents through awareness of and elimination of hazards.
  • Engage workers – safety committees provide a means for employees to participate and feel comfortable participating and giving input on safety and health issues.
  • Enhance social responsibility goals – promotion of wellbeing at work is an essential component of corporate social responsibility reporting.
  • Increase productivity and enhance overall business operations

Safety committees help to drive a positive safety culture from top management down, creating a safer environment for everyone.

Colden consultants often serve on their client’s health and safety committees.  To engage with a Colden consultant to discuss health and safe committee involvement or assistance with Safety Management Systems contact:

Greg Richey, MS, CIH, CSP, FAIHA

Michele Shepard, MS, PhD, CIH, CSP