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How to get your safety committee or representative in place

Did you know Manitoba laws say workplaces with more than five people must pick a worker representative to monitor their health and safety systems? And if you have 20 or more people on staff, you need to set up a Safety Committee?

Who is my committee or worker representative?
Committees have four to 12 people, with at least half from non-management. Usually members are elected for two-year terms. A management member and a worker member co-chair the committee.

Worker representatives are chosen by their fellow workers.

How often do they meet?
Committee meetings are held every three months, plus anytime there is an urgent matter. (For smaller businesses, a worker representative meets with you in the same way.) At least half of worker members and half of management members must be present when the committee makes decisions, and meeting minutes must be recorded. Read the instructions to find a template and learn how to share the minutes with employees and the province.

What are the responsibilities of the committee/representative?

  • Receive and follow up on concerns/complaints.
  • Identify risks.
  • Help develop and promote safety measures.
  • Make recommendations to employers.
  • Inspect the workplace at least every 90 days.
  • Help investigate incidents.
  • Maintain records.
  • Help train new hires.

What are my responsibilities as the employer?

  • Allow these workers to attend free training and seminars. Check Safe Work Manitoba’s Events Calendar.
  • Provide the committee/representative with information needed to identify and control hazards.
  • Allow members time without loss of pay/benefits to carry out their duties.
  • Participate in regular inspections of the workplace.
  • Help investigate and report incidents.
  • Respond to or implement recommendations from the committee within 30 days.
  • Provide access to company records relevant to workplace safety and health.
  • Ensure your managers and supervisors support the committee/representative.

Where can I learn more?
Read SafeWork Manitoba's Guide and Worker Representative Checklist or Committee Checklist.

 

Watch the Committee Basics video