Joint Health and Safety Committees - Project Sites

Joint health and safety committees (JHSCs) are critical in helping employers develop and maintain healthy and safe workplaces. JHSCs are an important communication link between employees and management and can help create and maintain a positive health and safety culture.

When is a committee required?

  • “Medium” project sites on which 30 to 499 employees work at the site, with a project lasting more than 90 days.
  • “Large” project sites with more than 499 employees working at any time.

Project sites - General

JHSCs are required on project sites when the definition of “medium ” and “large ” project sites are met. When the criteria to form a JHSC are met for a project site, a committee must be established within two weeks after the start of the project. When a committee is required on a project site, the committee continues until the work on the project site is complete, even if the number of employees working on the site becomes fewer than the numbers required to form the original committee.

Committees must:

  • Elect employer and employee representatives and select a co-chair from each group.
  • Meet at least once a month.
  • Take and maintain minutes, including the use of the form approved by WorkSafeNB; promptly provide the contractor with a signed copy of the minutes (signed by the co-chairs); and, send a copy of the minutes to WorkSafeNB . While not specified in legislation it is recommended that meeting minutes be retained for two years.
  • Minutes can be easily sent to WorkSafeNB through the following regional email addresses:

* Aroostook, Drummond, Grand Falls, Kedgwick, Perth-Andover, Plaster Rock, St. Quentin
** Atholville, Tide Head

  • Call WorkSafeNB when an issue cannot be resolved.

A contractor must post in a prominent place or places:

  • The committee members' names.
  • The minutes of the most recent committee meeting.

All committee members on project sites must attend the 3-day educational program.  The employer must grant leave with pay to any committee member attending the educational program .

Project sites - Medium-sized

The contractor must ensure the committee:

  • Is made up of both employer and employee representatives, with at least half of the representatives being employees.
  • Has at least two employee representatives selected by employees.
  • Has at least one person chosen by the contractor to represent the contractor.

Individual employers on the project site with more than six employees may designate a person to serve on the committee as an employer representative. As well, the employees must designate a person to serve on the committee as an employee representative. The employees from the individual employer may choose to designate an employee representative from another employer to serve on the committee as an employee representative.

If the number of employees at the project site at any time exceeds 499, the contractor must follow the requirements of a large project site.

Project sites - Large-sized

Committee membership is the same as required for a medium-sized project site. In addition, on large sites where one or more employers are working on the site and the employees are working in the same trade at the site, the employees working in that trade will choose an employee representative to serve on the committee. Trades are defined by regulation . The committee may opt to have other trades (not defined by regulation) also serve on the committee.

Note: Although there are no legal requirements for terms of reference for JHSCs, it is recommended that the committee define the committee's mandate, composition and functions in a written terms of reference or policy.

Health and Safety Representatives for Project Sites

For small project sites , the contractor and the employees must jointly designate a health and safety representative within two weeks after the work has started, or replace a health and safety representative that is no longer in that role. When there are between five and 50 employees on the project site, one health and safety representative must be designated. One additional health and safety representative must be designated for each additional 50 employees working on site.

The health and safety representative remains in the position until that person resigns, is removed, no longer works at the site or the project site meets the requirements of a medium or large site and a committee is established.

General Requirements for Health and Safety Representatives

  • Health and safety representatives must complete the same educational program as JHSC committee members.
  • The employer must grant leave with pay to any designated health and safety representative to attend the training program.
  • The name(s) of the representative(s) must be posted in a prominent place or places.
  • The health and safety representative may do any function that a JHSC may do.

The health and safety representative should regularly consult with their employer, and in the event that a matter cannot be resolved, contact a WorkSafeNB health and safety officer to resolve the issue.

OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH AND SAFETY ACT
A.N.B. 1983, c. O-0.2

JOINT HEALTH AND SAFETY COMMITTEES

Section 14.2 Joint health and safety committees for project site - general

14.2 (1) This section applies to a joint health and safety committee that is established for a project site.

(2) The employer and employee representatives of a committee shall each elect a co-chairman from their respective groups.

(3) A committee, unless it is dissolved under subsection 14.3(6), continues until work on the project site is completed, regardless of the number of employees working on the site.

(4) A committee shall meet at least once a month.

(5) A committee shall

(a) take and maintain minutes of its meeting on a form approved by the Commission,

(b) promptly provide the contractor with a copy of the minutes signed by the co-chairmen of the committee, and

(c) send a copy of the minutes signed by the cochairmen of the committee to the Commission.

(6) Where a committee cannot agree on a matter related to health and safety, the committee shall call an officer to resolve the problem.

(7) Section 15 applies with the necessary modifications to a committee and the contractor on a project site, except as follows:

(a) the reference to "employer" in paragraph (d) shall be read as "employers on the site";

(b) the reference to "employer" in paragraph (g) shall be read as "employers";

(c) subparagraph (k)(ii) shall be read as follows:

(ii) may be assigned to a committee by agreement between the committee and the contractor, or

(8) A contractor who is responsible for a project site for which a committee is established shall ensure that

(a) the names of the members of the committee are posted in a prominent place or places at the project site, and

(b) the minutes of the most recent committee meeting are promptly posted in a prominent place or places at the project site.

[S.N.B. 2007, c. 12, s. 5]

Section 14.3 Joint health and safety committees - medium-sized project site

14.3 (1) This section applies to a project site where

(a) work on the site has continued for more than ninety days, and

(b) thirty or more employees but fewer than five hundred employees work at the site.

(2) A contractor who is responsible for a project site shall ensure that a joint health and safety committee is established within two weeks after the criteria set out in subsection (1) have been met.

(3) A contractor shall ensure that a committee

(a) is constituted of both employer and employee representatives, of which not less than half of the representatives are designated by employees in accordance with this section,

(b) has at least two employee representatives designated by employees in accordance with this section, and

(c) has at least one person designated by the contractor as the representative of the contractor.

(4) Where an employer has six or more employees working at a project site,

(a) the employer may designate a person to serve on the committee as an employer representative, and

(b) the employees shall designate a person to serve on the committee as an employee representative.

(5) Nothing in subsection (4) prevents employees who work for one employer from designating an employee who works for another employer to serve on the committee as an employee representative.

(6) If the number of employees working at the site at any time exceeds four hundred and ninety-nine, the committee established under this section is dissolved, and the contractor shall establish a committee in accordance with section 14.4.

(7) The documents, minutes, records and any other material of the committee that is dissolved become the documents, minutes, records and material of the committee that is subsequently established.

[S.N.B. 2007, c. 12, s. 5]

Section 14.4 Joint health and safety committees - large project site

14.4 (1) In this section, "trade" means a trade prescribed by regulation and includes any trade designated by a committee under subsection (8).

(2) This section applies to a project site that has five hundred or more employees working on the site at any time.

(3) A contractor who is responsible for a project site shall ensure that a joint health and safety committee is established within two weeks after the criterion set out in subsection (2) has been met.

(4) A contractor shall ensure that a committee

(a) is constituted of both employer and employee representatives, of which not less than half of the representatives are designated by employees in accordance with this section,

(b) has at least two employee representatives designated by employees in accordance with this section, and

(c) has at least one person designated by the contractor as the representative of the contractor.

(5) Where there are one or more employers engaged in work on a project site and the employees of those employers are working in the same trade at the site, the employees working in that trade shall designate a person to serve on the committee as an employee representative.

(6) Nothing in subsection (5) prevents employees who work in one trade from designating a person who works in another trade to serve on the committee as an employee representative.

(7) Nothing in this section prevents employers who provide services in one trade from designating a person who is a employer who provides services in another trade to serve on the committee as an employer representative.

(8) Where a committee is of the opinion that it is desirable to have a representative from a trade that has not been prescribed by regulation, the committee may designate the trade for the purposes of the definition "trade" in subsection (1) and shall promptly advise the contractor that the trade has been designated, and the contractor shall ensure that the employers and employees in that trade are advised of the designation.

(9) Subsections (4) to (7), inclusive, apply in respect of a trade designated under subsection (8).

[S.N.B. 2007, c. 12, s. 5]

Section 14.5 Training for committee members - project site

14.5 (1) This section applies to a project site.

(2) On and after the date that is one year after the commencement of this section, no person may be elected to be a co-chairman of a joint health and safety committee unless the person has attended an educational program prescribed by the regulations.

(3) On and after the date that is two years after the commencement of this section, no person may be designated to serve on a committee unless the person has attended an educational program prescribed by the regulations.

(4) Subsections (2) and (3) do not apply if the person designated to serve on a committee was a member of a committee or a health and safety representative on a project site at any time within the twelve months previous to the commencement of this section.

(5) A person referred to in subsection (4) may attend an educational program prescribed by the regulations if the committee of which the person is a member recommends to the employer that the person attend, and the employer grants leave to the person.

(6) Where an employer does not grant leave under subsection (5), the Commission may order the employer to grant the person leave to attend the educational program.

(7) Each member of a committee shall, for the periods during which the member is taking any educational program required under this Act that relates to the member's service on the committee or during which the member is attending any committee meetings, receive pay at his or her rate and other benefits to which he or she would otherwise be entitled.

[S.N.B. 2007, c. 12, s. 5]

HEALTH AND SAFETY REPRESENTATIVES

Section 17 Health and safety representatives

17. (0.1) This section does not apply to a project site.

(1) Subject to subsection (2), every employer with not fewer than five and not more than nineteen employees regularly employed at a place of employment shall establish a safety policy in respect of that place of employment which may include provision for a health and safety representative.

(2) Where the nature of employment at a place of employment presents a high risk to the health and safety of employees or where the accident record of a place of employment is higher than is normal for that place of employment or for similar places of employment, the Commission may require an employer to establish and file with the Commission a safety policy that includes provision for a health and safety representative.

(3) Where a safety policy established under subsection (1) or (2) includes provision for a health and safety representative, the employees shall elect a health and safety representative.

(4) The employer shall post the name of the elected health and safety representative in a prominent place or places at the place of employment.

[S.N.B. 2007, c. 12, s. 6]

Section 17.1 Health and safety representatives - project site

17.1 (1) This section applies to a project site

(a) with more than five but fewer than thirty employees working on the site, regardless of the length of time work is carried out on the site, or

(b) where work carried out on the site has not exceeded ninety days, and thirty or more but fewer than five hundred employees work on the site.

(2) On and after the date that is one year after the commencement of this section, no person may be designated as a health and safety representative unless the person

(a) has attended an educational program prescribed by the regulations, or

(b) has served as a health and safety representative or as a member of a joint health and safety committee on a project site within the twelve months preceding the commencement of this section.

(3) Subject to subsection (4), the contractor and the employees working on a project site shall jointly designate a health and safety representative within two weeks

(a) after work on the project site has commenced,

(b) after a person designated as a health and safety representative resigns, is removed or ceases to work at the site, and

(c) after any increase in the number of employees working on the site warrants another designation.

(4) Subject to subsection (5), health and safety representatives shall be designated as follows:

(a) for five to fifty employees working at the site - one representative; and

(b) for every fifty employees thereafter working at the site, or any portion in excess of a multiple of fifty - one representative.

(5) Where the contractor and the employees working at the site are unable to agree on a joint designation under subsection (3), the employees shall designate a health and safety representative within one week after the applicable period set out in subsection (3), and the contractor may designate a health and safety representative within the same period, and subsequent health and safety representatives shall be designated by the employees and may be designated by the contractor in accordance with subsection (4).

(6) A person who is designated as a health and safety representative remains in the position until he resigns, is removed, no longer works at the site or a committee is established under section 14.3 or 14.4.

(7) Section 18 applies with the necessary modifications to health and safety representatives and a contractor on a project site.

(8) Each health and safety representative shall, for the periods during which he or she is taking any educational program required under this Act that relates to his or her service as a health and safety representative, receive pay at his or her rate and other benefits to which he or she would otherwise be entitled.

(9) A person referred to in paragraph (2)(b) may attend an educational program prescribed by the regulations if the person requests the training and the employer grants leave to the person.

(10) Where an employer does not grant leave under subsection (9), the Commission may order the employer to grant the person leave to attend the educational program.

(11) The contractor shall post the name of the health and safety representatives in a prominent place or places at the project site.

[S.N.B. 2007, c. 12, s. 7]

Section 18 Function of health and safety representatives

18. (1) A health and safety representative may do anything that a committee may do under section 15.

(2) A health and safety representative shall consult regularly with his employer in the course of his activities.

(3) Where the employer and a health and safety representative cannot agree on a matter related to health or safety, the health and safety representative shall call an officer to resolve the problem.