small business compliance Westlake

What is a safety committee?

A group of employees and managers who create and implement safety programs. Good safety committees improve employee engagement with organizational policies. They improve training. They help new employees create good habits. They protect the organization from compliance infractions.

Are you in charge of setting up a safety committee at your company? Not sure where to start? Here is a simple checklist.

The Accurate Data Payroll Processing Guide to Creating a Safety Committee

  1. Appoint a capable leader (or co-leaders)
  2. Write a mission statement
  3. Assemble a diverse team (labor + management)
  4. Set goals and review/readjust regularly
  5. Meet at least once a month
  6. Secure the resources to carry out your purpose

What does a safety committee do?

  • Design training programs
  • Conduct training
  • Build checklists
  • Increase employee safety awareness
  • Encourage employees to bring up safety concerns
  • Investigate events (accidents, close calls)
  • Write safety manuals
  • Conduct inspections
  • Correct conditions that could cause accidents
  • Discuss claims
  • Write policies for dispute resolutions
  • Advocate for employees
  • Solicit employee involvement
  • Improve legal compliance

Let’s discuss the 6 steps.

Assign a Director

The leader can make or break your committee. Your point person needs a combination of attributes. Can he inspire his co-workers? Does she follow through? Is he respected by his peers? Does she understand all the departments/equipment/processes? If you can’t find the ideal chairperson, suggest appointing co-chairs. A confident leader/communicator. And a capable person to execute on the plans.

Write a Mission Statement

This is your guiding principle. It gives you your purpose. It doesn’t need to be lengthy.

Don’t Silence Any Voices

Everyone doesn’t have to agree on how to fulfill the mission. You don’t want a group of like-minded people.  The only thing everyone needs is a commitment to improvement. Don’t count out those who criticize management. A variety of viewpoints is better. You want a no-holds-barred discussion so you can solve tough problems.

Your aim is a safe workplace where employees watch out for each other. A place where management supports the staff members. And the workers trust management. You may not reach the goal of zero accidents and injuries. But when there is a concern, you will handle it better.

Getting Started

Meet regularly, at least every month. Make sure everyone puts it on their calendar. 

Set ground rules for discussion. Model respectful dialog and expect the same in return.

Set goals short-and long-term goals. Prioritize them and develop a timeline for addressing them. If you have recurring issues, with those.

Mix It Up

Rotate membership in and out of the group. Swap roles inside the committee. Stay flexible, though. If you have a star performer who really owns their role, let them go for it. (And thank them for their dedication!)

A safety committee can make a difference:

  • Fewer injuries and accidents
  • Lower worker’s comp premiums
  • Employees taking responsibility for safety
  • Employees making fewer mistakes
  • Improved communication between labor and management
  • Employee participation
  • Improved unity and morale
  • Fewer safety violations and penalties

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