There are many benefits to an effective Joint Health and Safety Committee (JHSC) in the workplace. An active JHSC can:
- Increase safety culture in your workplace
- Enhance safety communication
- Provide a way to empower employees
- Ensure your organization remains compliant with current health and safety legislation
Did you know that diversifying your JHSC can increase the benefits your organization enjoys, above and beyond the benefits it reaps from having a well-supported JHSC? A diverse workforce boasts many benefits but ensuring that the JHSC itself is varied can further enhance the efficacy of that unit.
What is Diversity?
Age, race, gender, ability, and culture are generally associated with the term diversity. However, diversity is not just what is seen at the surface level. Diversity can also include differences in opinions, skills, knowledge, and abilities. It can mean differences in ethics, beliefs, and values. When considering diversifying the JHSC in your organization, go beyond surface differences to include diversity at a deeper level.
How can Diversifying the JHSC Benefit the Organization?
Bringing together a JHSC with great diversity can foster innovation. Working alongside people of different backgrounds, creative styles, abilities, and work experience can inspire creative ideas. A diverse JHSC uses the individual strengths of its members to build collaboration.
2. Skills & Experiences
Individuals with and without disabilities from diverse backgrounds offer a selection of different skills and experiences that can benefit the JHSC. A variety of skills and experiences can also lend itself to having JHSC members learn important skills from one another.
3. Language Barriers
If the workforce is primarily English as a Second Language (ESL), having one or more members on the JHSC who speaks the primary language would increase the JHSC’s effectiveness ten-fold. It would increase safety communication, and ensure that the whole organization receives important safety communication in a manner that they can understand.
4. Problem Solving
The old saying two heads are better than one certainly applies to a diverse JHSC. When faced with a problem, a JHSC with members from all departments, levels of experience, generations, abilities, and/or work experiences may be able to more easily identify solutions than a JHSC that is relatively uniform.
5. Role Satisfaction
A JHSC that accurately represents all members of the workforce operates productively and effectively. Employees who feel appropriately represented by the JHSC buy into safety culture and experience more role satisfaction. JHSC members will also experience satisfaction with their role in the organization’s safety culture when they believe that inclusivity is a priority.