Workplace injuries occur every year. The good news is the number of injuries has decreased since creation of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration in 1970. OSHA credits this success to the combined efforts of federal and state programs, safety professionals and employers placing emphasis on workplace health and safety and working together for this cause. Companies know that safety and health programs with functioning safety committees make a difference in injury prevention. As a safety committee member, your role is to focus on efforts that promote a safe workplace.
Job Skills and Training
Before becoming part of a safety committee, members need sufficient knowledge and skills for success. Safety committee members must know the safety rules and regulations that apply to their company and have the necessary skills to carry out their duties. This includes knowing how to conduct safety inspections, hazard analysis and accident investigations. As a committee member, you also need training skills because procedural changes and safety program upgrades require the development and implementation of employee training programs. The skills and know-how to work and function as part of a team are also necessary.
Working as a Team
Working as a team is difficult because members have various ideas about how things should work. Safety committee teams are no different. The key to working together is being clear on the reason for coming together in the first place. A team member must be able to commit to the common goal and mission of the safety committee. As a committee member, you are responsible for understanding your role in making the team a cohesive unit. This means having the skills to communicate and collaborate with others and the skills to resolve differences and conflict in a positive manner.
Safety committees work to promote safety awareness and safe work practices in the workplace. They are responsible for assessing and evaluating compliance with regulations, investigating safety incidents, conducting job hazard analysis and assessing current safety programs. As a committee member, you are responsible for recommending necessary changes to improve safety based on these evaluations and assessments. You are also responsible for working with company employees and the management team to carry out these changes for a safer environment.
Safety committee members work with their team leader and each other to carry out specific tasks aimed at injury and accident prevention. This role requires you to champion safety programs and safe work practices. Specifically, your job duties include holding regular safety meetings to evaluate the effectiveness of safety and health programs; developing and improving procedures for safe work practices; establishing systems for employees to report workplace hazards; and assisting in educating company employees on their roles and responsibilities. These duties will vary depending on the needs of the workplace.