Proper Follow-up Procedures for Joint Health & Safety Committee Workplace Inspections

Workplace inspections are one of the most important functions of the Joint Health and Safety Committee (JHSC). Under the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA), s.9(23), the JHSC must designate a non-management member to inspect the workplace. If possible, the employee should be a certified member of the JHSC. To become certified, a member must complete JHSC Part 1 and Part 2 training. The employee member must inspect the physical condition of the workplace at least once a month (s.9(26)).

The purpose of the monthly inspection is to identify hazards and to make sure current work practices are safe. Workplace inspections determine:

  • If a hazard is present
  • Which employees are exposed or likely to be exposed
  • Any employees who have been subject to illness or injury
  • If established health and safety procedures and processes are being followed

There are four stages of a workplace inspection

  1. Preparation
  2. Inspection
  3. Reporting
  4. Follow-up

In this article, we’ll cover key steps JHSC members must take when following up on an inspection.

Part 4: Follow-up

Section 9(30) of the Occupational Health and Safety Act requires that the JHSC member who conducted the workplace inspection report their findings back to the JHSC. The JHSC then discusses the report and makes recommendations to the employer. The final follow-up stage helps to make sure that the JHSC’s recommendations have been carried out.

Without follow-up, the effectiveness of controls and other modifications to policies and/or procedures are left unconfirmed. This could result in ineffective controls, or controls that inadvertently create other hazards. 

Follow-up consists of the following five elements:

  1. Controls

Follow-up ensures that controls are implemented correctly.  

  1. Recommendations

Follow-up may be required if employers do not respond to formal recommendations within 21 days.

  1. Changes

Follow-up may be required due to changes in procedures, a job hazard analysis, sampling, surveys, or feedback. 

  1. External Responsibility System

If the hazard is a violation of the law, and the employer fails to implement any recommendations or controls, the External Responsibility System may need to be considered. 

  1. Action and Resolution Dates:

All follow-ups require a list of necessary action and resolution dates.

OSG Has Been Certifying JHSC Members For Over 20 Years

If you have questions about how the JHSC should conduct inspections or proper follow-up procedures, OSG can help. OSG currently offers all JHSC courses in our virtual classroom for a safe and interactive learning experience. If you are interested in booking JHSC training, you can learn more here, or check out our upcoming courses.