Who should be on my safety committee?
Seek employees from different areas of your organization with varied backgrounds. This can help the committee get diverse perspectives on how safety issues and solutions will be viewed throughout the organization. Try to include at least as many front-line employees as upper management members. This can make the members feel more at ease discussing important safety topics.
What do safety committees do?
Safety committees can get involved in a wide variety of activities to help make your workplace safer. The following are some common duties of safety committees:
- Developing and reviewing safety policies and procedures
- Evaluating all safety and health programs
- Conducting workplace safety inspections
- Reviewing workplace accidents, illnesses, exposures, and near misses
- Evaluating OSHA compliance
- Making recommendations in response to hazards and incidents
- Bringing external safety resources to the company
Am I required to have a safety committee?
Safety committees are always a good idea, but not all states require them. Nebraska requires all employers who are subject to the Nebraska Workers’ Compensation Act to have a safety committee. Minnesota requires all employers with more than 25 employees and employers with fewer employees who have high hazard/high risk workplaces to have safety committees. Wisconsin, Iowa, South Dakota, Kansas and Indiana do not require safety committees. For details on other states, see OSHA’s Safety and Health Programs in the States white paper.
Other tips for safety committee success
To set your committee up for success, strive to consistently do the following:
- Have clearly defined goals and a mission statement
- Respond when employees give feedback
- Stay focused and avoid taking on too many activities or issues
- Ensure your safety program is supported by leadership and consistent with their messages to staff
- Enforce safety policies
- Define how long committee members will serve (if size of company allows rotation)
You can also find more tips in our blog post, expert tips and best practices to make your safety committee thrive.
For specific questions or assistance organizing a safety committee, call your loss prevention representative at (800) 937-1181.