Onboarding and Offboarding Joint Health & Safety Committee (JHSC) Members

When JHSC members join the committee, it’s often with little fanfare. When members finish their tenure on the committee, they normally leave without fanfare as well.

Sometimes, JHSC membership term lengths are defined in the “Terms of Reference,” and other times they’re left undetermined. However, members wishing to resign from the JHSC at any time should not be subject to reprisal. Protection from reprisal for leaving the committee is not specifically outlined in the Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act; however, JHSC membership is voluntary and employers should respect a member’s right to resign from the committee. Some employers may make membership for a certain amount of time a condition of paying for certification training, but those employers would need a policy that makes that explicit. The certified member and the employer should agree to such an arrangement in writing prior to committee tenure starting.

Onboarding starts BEFORE joining the JHSC

As with the traditional concept of onboarding, the process of onboarding is thought to start long before a worker joins an organization, or in this case, the committee. When speaking in terms of recruitment, onboarding starts when the potential applicant first has contact with the organization; when they visit the website, when they hand-in their resume, and when they’re called for an interview. In the case of the JHSC, onboarding members should follow the same concept. To start an onboarding program that begins before workers formally join the committee, ensure that you are up-front about the roles, responsibilities, and expectations of committee membership. An active committee that regularly interacts with the workforce and is a part of a strong and positive workplace safety culture will attract members. Make people want to be on the JHSC, as opposed to having to seek out volunteers. For more tips on recruiting JHSC members, click here.

Onboarding Programs for JHSC Members

There are many benefits to onboarding programs for new workers, but rarely do companies explore the concept of onboarding JHSC members. When a worker or manager joins the JHSC, consider an onboarding program that includes the following:

  • Training: best practice suggests that all JHSC members should be certified; however, if the member joining the committee does not legally need certification and the full certification training is not feasible, consider non-certified JHSC training.
  • Documents: give the newest member a copy of all applicable documents, such as the Terms of Reference, the meeting agenda form, the meeting minutes form, and the workplace inspection checklist. Click the links to download free templates!
  • Communication: be sure to communicate the name of the newest member to the workforce, and ensure that their name and applicable contact information is affixed to the safety board.
  • Policies and handbooks: if there are any specific policy books or handbooks that the JHSC uses, ensure that the newest members receive copies.
  • Feedback: timely feedback is an effective motivator, and it is necessary for growth. Be sure to frequently check in with the entire committee, including new members. Find out if they require anything to do the job, and praise jobs well are done. If constructive feedback is required, be sure to deliver in a professional manner so that it might foster growth and learning.

Offboarding Programs for JHSC Members

Exit interviews are typically conducted when an employee chooses to terminate their employment and move on. However, an exit interview if a JHSC member wishes to leave the committee may be a very useful tool. Insight into what motivates members to leave the committee may help you strengthen your onboarding and JHSC programs to ensure that valuable members don’t resign. If a JHSC member does leave the committee, consider holding an exit interview and asking the following questions:

  • Were the roles, responsibilities and performance expectations made clear to you prior to joining the committee?
  • Did you feel that you received the appropriate training required to fulfill your duties?
  • Was the time commitment required to carry out JHSC duties reasonable?
  • Did you feel that you had the tools you required for success?
  • What do you believe would make the JHSC more enjoyable for future incumbents?

Why Implement an Onboarding and Offboarding Program for JHSC Members?

An onboarding program increases motivation and retention, and the same argument can easily be applied to JHSC members. After paying to have JHSC members certified, plus in-house training and onboarding in order to show them the ropes, it’s imperative that JHSC members remain motivated and are retained in order to ensure the committee’s continued effectiveness.

OSG Has Been Certifying JHSC Members For Over 20 Years

If you have questions about creating and implementing an onboarding and offboarding program for JHSC members, OSG can help. We have been successfully training JHSC members for over 20 years, and we are the largest private provider of JHSC committee certification training in Ontario. When it comes to JHSC – we know our stuff! Call 1.800.815.9980 to speak to one of our health and safety experts today or view our JHSC Part 1 or Part 2 training online now.

Written by Jennifer Miller | Curriculum Development Coordinator


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