Overview: An important component of a workplace safety program is the implementation of a safety committee. This committee can be a stand-alone committee or part of a crisis management team. The committee should address safety issues before they arise and should keep up with the issues until resolution.
Safety committees should have complete approval from management. They should be able to secure budgeting and have the requisite authority to make necessary decisions. Without this support, they are not likely to be successful.
A safety committee should be made up of legal, technical, management, workers and safety professionals. The more diverse the group, the more equipped it is to create and implement solutions.
If the workplace has a union, a safety committee might have to take this into account. This may mean that a member of the union should serve on the committee.
Author: Melissa Gonzalez Boyce, JD, Legal Editor
Oregon employers seeking to inform employees about safety committees and to demonstrate compliance with Oregon law should consider including this model policy statement in their handbook.