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              JHSC Meeting Minutes
Every jurisdiction spells out certain requirements for JHSC meetings in its OHS statute, regulations or both.
The JHSC meeting requirements generally cover the following areas:


      How often the JHSC must meet;

      When it should meet;

      Where it should meet;

      How many members must be present at the meeting to constitute a “quorum”—that is, the
       attendance level required for the JHSC to take official action;

      How the meeting should be run;

      How to document what happened at the meeting, such as by taking minutes; and

      What should be done with the meeting minutes, including where they should be posted and how
       long they should be retained.

In addition, the workplace safety regulatory agencies publish guidelines, booklets and other resources for
JHSCs that include guidance on many topics, including how to conduct effective committee meetings.


Online Resources


      ALBERTA: Joint Work Site Health and Safety Committee Handbook

      MANITOBA: Workplace Safety and Health Program Committee Manual

      NEW BRUNSWICK: Joint Health and Safety Committees Booklet

      NORTHWEST TERRITORIES/NUNAVUT: Guidelines for Developing Effective Health and Safety
       Programs

              OHS Insider | Bongarde Media Co | 102-501 Main Street, Penticton, BC | V2A 9A6 | Canada | 800.667.9300
                                                                                                        Model Form

   NOVA SCOTIA: Joint Occupational Health and Safety Committees: A Practical Guide for Single
    Employer Workplaces

   ONTARIO: A Guide for JHSCs and Representatives in the Workplace

   PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND: Guide to Workplace Health and Safety Committees

   SASKATCHEWAN: Occupational Health Committee Manual




          OHS Insider | Bongarde Media Co | 102-501 Main Street, Penticton, BC | V2A 9A6 | Canada | 800.667.9300
                                                                                                                Model Form

HOW TO COMPLY


There are slight variations in the JHSC meeting requirements from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. However,
these requirements are very similar and cover the same general areas. So let’s look at each of these areas
in more detail.


How Often the JHSC Should Meet




Each jurisdiction specifies how frequently the JHSC should meet. Frequency requirements fall into two
camps:


        Monthly meetings: required by AB, BC, NB, NS, PEI and YT; and

        Quarterly meetings—that is, at least once every three months: required by MB, NL, NT, NU, ON, QC
         and SK.

JHSCs in workplaces subject to federal OHS law must meet at least nine times a year. And Saskatchewan
actually has a three-tier meeting frequency requirement in which a JHSC must hold:


        Its first meeting within two weeks after being established;

        Three subsequent monthly meetings; and

        Regular quarterly meetings thereafter.

The law merely sets the minimum meeting frequency requirement; JHSCs are, of course, permitted to meet
more often than required. O’Reilly suggests that a JHSC consider meet monthly even if it’s not required by
law to do so. Monthly meetings especially make sense in such jurisdictions where the JHSC is required to
conduct monthly inspections of the workplace, such as Ontario, she says. As a practical matter, the
frequency of JHSC meetings will also depend on the size of the workplace and its hazards, notes O’Reilly.




                  OHS Insider | Bongarde Media Co | 102-501 Main Street, Penticton, BC | V2A 9A6 | Canada | 800.667.9300
                                                                                                              Model Form

Thus, the JHSC at a large workplace with many hazards, such as a factory, would likely have to meet more
frequently than one at a smaller workplace with few hazards, such as an accounting office, she explains.


Some jurisdictions require a JHSC to hold an initial meeting soon after it’s established and then meet
regularly thereafter. For example, in Alberta, a JHSC must meet within 10 days of its establishment and in
Manitoba, it must meet within one month after being established.


Insider Says: In addition to regularly scheduled meetings, the JHSC may also need to hold special meetings,
such as after an incident involving a fatality or critical injury, to address a work refusal or stoppage or to
plan for the following year, says O’Reilly.


When the JHSC Should Meet


The JHSC should meet during regular business hours. But scheduling meetings can be tricky, especially if the
company operates 24/7 or workers work in various shifts. For example, if a company has three shifts (day,
afternoon and night), scheduling the JHSC meeting for first thing in the morning may be convenient for the
night workers (who are just getting off) and the day workers (who are just starting) but not for the
members of the afternoon shift who may not start work until later in the day. Similarly, meetings scheduled
for the end of the day shift won’t be convenient for the night shift workers. Clearly some kind of fair
arrangement has to be worked out to allow the maximize number of members to participate, says O’Reilly.
One option is to alternate when the meetings are held to give everyone a chance to attend at least some of
the meetings.


Note that employers in every jurisdiction are required to pay JHSC members while they’re engaging in
committee business. So if a meeting has to be scheduled outside of normal work hours, the company must
pay the members for that time, says O’Reilly.


The JHSC may need to give advanced notice of its meetings’ schedule to members to ensure that they show
up on time and are adequately prepared. Some jurisdictions designate how much advanced notice is

                OHS Insider | Bongarde Media Co | 102-501 Main Street, Penticton, BC | V2A 9A6 | Canada | 800.667.9300
                                                                                                             Model Form

required. For example, Manitoba requires the JHSC to give members at least three days’ prior notice of a
regularly scheduled meeting. Giving such advanced notice is a good idea even if it isn’t legally required,
advises O’Reilly, because it increases the number of members who are likely to attend and thus makes it
easier to get a quorum. It also gives members time to review the agenda and prepare for the meeting. And
it alerts workers who aren’t committee members to the meetings in case they have issues or concerns
they’d like to present to the JHSC, she adds.


Where the JHSC Should Meet


The JHSC should meet at the workplace. In fact, most jurisdictions require the employer to provide a place
for meetings to be held, such as a conference room, as well as resources for the meeting, such as paper,
pens and perhaps someone to transcribe the minutes. For example, BC requires an employer to provide the
JHSC with the equipment, premises and clerical personnel it needs to carry out its duties and functions.


Number of Members Needed for a Quorum


The JHSC can attend to business only if a quorum is present. Some jurisdictions, such as Fed, AB, MB, NL,
QC and SK, specify in their OHS laws what constitutes a quorum. Most require at least half of the members
to be present and that at least half of those present be worker representatives. The remaining jurisdictions
allow the JHSC to set its own quorum requirements in its rules of procedure or terms of reference.


Insider Says: The JHSC meetings should be open to non-members. For example, safety coordinators, if
they’re not members of the JHSC, should regularly attend JHSC meetings as advisors. In addition, the JHSC
may invite guests, such as a safety trainer, consultant, representative from a PPE supply company, union
member, local safety inspector, management representative or a company employee. For example, if the
JHSC has a safety concern involving maintenance procedures, it might ask the maintenance manager to
attend the meeting to discuss this issue, says O’Reilly. Such guests are typically present only for the portion
of the meeting that’s relevant to them and only for that particular meeting, she adds. And, of course,
meetings should be open to workers who have safety concerns but aren’t members of the JHSC.

               OHS Insider | Bongarde Media Co | 102-501 Main Street, Penticton, BC | V2A 9A6 | Canada | 800.667.9300
                                                                                                            Model Form

How Meetings Should Be Run


The JHSC meeting should be run according to an agenda that’s distributed to members before the meeting.
The JHSC co-chairs generally set the agenda and take turns running the meeting. Co-chairs shouldn’t
monopolize the agenda but be willing to add items based on suggestions by other members, management
and workers. The JHSC regular meeting agenda typically includes:


      A review of the minutes of the last meeting;

      A review of old business;

      A discussion of the most recent workplace inspection;

      A discussion of safety concerns raised by the workers;

      A discussion of new business, such as recent safety incidents, new equipment in the workplace or
       government orders;

      A discussion of any seasonal issues, such as heat stress in the summer and cold stress in the winter;
       and

      Decisions on how to address new issues, such as determining if any formal recommendations
       should be made to the employer about safety hazards. (In a future issue of the Insider, we’ll tell you
       more about how a JHSC should make formal recommendations to the employer.)

Insider Says: The most effective and efficient way for a JHSC to run its meetings is by setting “rules of
procedure” (also called “terms of reference”) that specify, among other things, who’ll run the meeting, the
creation of the agenda, the order in which items will be addressed and how conflicts will be resolved. In
fact, some jurisdictions, such as BC, MB, NS, PEI and QC—require the JHSC to set rules of procedures on not
only how meetings will be run but also on how the committee will perform all of its duties under OHS law.
In a future issue of the Insider, we’ll tell you more about the rules of procedure requirement and how those
rules apply to JHSC meetings as well as other committee obligations.


How Meetings Should Be Documented
              OHS Insider | Bongarde Media Co | 102-501 Main Street, Penticton, BC | V2A 9A6 | Canada | 800.667.9300
                                                                                                            Model Form

Every jurisdiction requires the JHSC to keep minutes of its meetings. The minutes should be used not only
to summarize what was discussed and decided in the meeting but also to document the JHSC’s
performance of its functions and compliance with its duties under the OHS laws. The regulators in some
jurisdictions have specific minutes forms that the JHSC is required to use. In other jurisdictions, the JHSC
may use whatever form it wants.




              OHS Insider | Bongarde Media Co | 102-501 Main Street, Penticton, BC | V2A 9A6 | Canada | 800.667.9300
                                                                     [Date]

JHSC Meeting                                                        [Time]
                                                                 [Location]

Meeting called by:       Type of meeting:
Facilitator:             Note taker:
Timekeeper:
Attendees:




Please read:
Please bring:


                     Minutes
Concern:                                    Presenter:
Discussion:




Recommendation:


Action items                                Person responsible   Deadline




Concern:                                    Presenter:
Discussion:




Recommendation:


Action items                                Person responsible   Deadline
Concern:                              Presenter:
Discussion:




Recommendation:


Action items                          Person responsible    Deadline




Concern:                              Presenter:
Discussion:




Recommendation:


Action items                           Person responsible   Deadline




                  Other Information
Observers:




Resources:




Special notes:

				
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