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Topic: Health and safety management

health and safety committee constitution
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Health and safety committee constitution

Health and safety committee constitution

If you’re going to formally consult with employees on health and safety matters, you’ll need a constitution to give your meetings some ground rules. What should it cover?

Why do you need it?

Smaller organisations can generally meet their legal duty to consult on health and safety without having a formal meeting. But if your business is one where there are few opportunities to consult directly with staff, or if you think there would be a benefit in getting management and employees heads together periodically, a committee might be the right way to go.

Note. In some instances there’s a legal requirement to establish this type of forum, i.e. where two or more union appointed safety representatives request it in writing.

What’s covered?

The idea is not to bog down the committee with rules and regulations, but to set it some objectives and give it enough freedom to make a difference.

After a short introduction there are a further three sections titled:

  • terms of reference
  • operation of meetings; and
  • employee representatives.

The Terms of reference section has seven bullet points describing the objectives of the committee, beginning with, “Provide a forum for two way, non-adversarial discussion on health and safety matters”. The Operation of meetings part goes on to explain practical arrangements, such as frequency of meetings, who will chair them, agendas, minutes, sub-groups, co-opting and the calling of special meetings. The final section describes mechanisms to appoint employee representatives and ensure that they are paid for the time spent (only as legally required).

There are blanks for you to fill in, with suggested text given in italics.

Note. Much of the content of our document is there for the purpose of fulfilling legal requirements. Therefore, you should be cautious when amending it not to strip out those elements which protect the organisation.

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