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

Workplace inspections are one of the primary functions of the Joint Health and Safety Committee (JHSC). Under the Occupational Health and Safety Act, s.9(23), the JHSC must designate a worker member to inspect the workplace. If possible, the worker should be a certified member of the JHSC (i.e., they’ve completed JHSC Part 1 and Part 2 training, s.9(24)). The worker 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 monitor current work practices to ensure the safety of all workers. Workplace inspections determine:

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

In this four-part series, we will be examining the four stages of a workplace inspection:

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

Part 4: Follow-up

Section 9(30) of the Occupational Health and Safety Act requires that the worker member of the JHSC who conducted the workplace inspection report their findings back to the JHSC. The JHSC then discusses the report and makes recommendations to the employer. But, the JHSC’s job is far from over.  It doesn’t make sense to simply make recommendations and forget about them.

There needs to be a follow-up mechanism in place. Without follow-up, the effectiveness of controls, correct implementation of controls, and other modifications to policies and/or procedures are left unconfirmed, which may result in ineffective controls, or controls that inadvertently create other hazards. To prevent this, follow-up is the final, essential fourth stage of workplace inspections.

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. 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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