New legal requirements for Joint Committees in BC come in to effect on April 3, 2017

New legal requirements for Joint Committees in BC come in to effect on April 3, 2017

The Joint Health and Safety Committee supports the employer’s duty to ensure a healthy and safe workplace, and brings together representatives of the employer and the workers, in equal number, to identify and help resolve health and safety issues in the workplace.

On April 3, 2017, three new regulations regarding Joint Committees in British Columbia will come into effect.

Sections 125 – 140 of the Workers Compensation Act (Part 3, Division 4) set out the legal requirements for and duties of Joint Committees. Building on the general provisions set out in the Act, additional provisions in the Occupational Health and Safety Regulation (“OHSR”) further set out employer obligations with respect to Joint Committees and the Joint Committee’s roles and responsibilities in certain circumstances.

Occupational Health and Safety Regulation (OHSR)
Part 3 - Rights and Responsibilities - effective April 3, 2017.


3.26 - Evaluation of joint committees
Requires an annual evaluation to measure the effectiveness of joint health and safety committees. The regulation sets out a prescribed list of items to be evaluated.

Evaluation tools will become available online that can be used by Joint Committees. Any tool can be used so long that they meet or exceed all the requirements for an evaluation in the OHSR, including the requirement for input of the co-chairs or their designates.

3.27 - Minimum training requirements for new joint committee members or worker representatives
Establishes mandatory minimum training and education for joint health and safety committee members and worker health and safety representatives.

New members/worker representatives must receive training within six months of being selected. Joint committee members receive eight (8) hours and worker representatives receive four (4) hours of training. This training is in addition to the annual educational entitlements allowed under the Act.

3.28 - Participation in Investigations
Clarifies the meaning of “participation” in section 174 of the Workers Compensation Act by providing three additional examples of what participation by worker and employer representatives in an employer incident investigation includes.

Participation by worker and employer representatives includes assisting the investigation with gathering and analyzing the information gathered, and identifying corrective actions to prevent recurrence.

FAST has now incorporated the three new additions pertaining to Joint Committees into the Joint Occupational Health & Safety Committee fundamentals training.

We are here to ensure you meet the newly-legislated minimum requirements.