• Safety Basics

  March 28, 2023

Create & Support a Joint Health & Safety Committee (JHSC)

Worker representation and involvement in workplace health and safety is critical to the strength and effectiveness of your overall Health & Safety Program. Employers can accomplish this by creating and supporting a Joint health & safety committee (JHSC) in workplaces with 20 or more employees while also meeting the regulatory requirement. Explore below for more information on JHSC and other worker health and safety representation.

2 min read

What are the benefits of creating and supporting a JHSC?

There are many benefits of a JHSC beyond simply meeting the regulatory requirements. Those benefits can include:

  • promoting worker involvement in workplace health and safety,
  • encouraging worker representation in workplace health and safety decision making,
  • increasing workplace health and safety knowledge across all worker groups,
  • identifying and rectifying hazards to prevent future incidents through workplace inspections, incident investigations, and other committee duties, and
  • enhancing workplace safety culture across all worker groups.

When does your workplace need a JHSC or a worker health & safety representative?

Worker health and safety representation, both committees and individual representatives, are legislated in the Workers Compensation Act as a fundamental part of workplace health and safety programming. This table explains the general requirements, however in some cases, WorkSafeBC may order committees to be established in smaller workplaces.

Number of Workers at a Workplace (full & part time) What’s required?
1-9 Employees No worker representation required
10-19 Employees Worker health & safety representative
20 or More Employees Joint health & safety committee


What are the main duties of a JHSC or worker health & safety representative?

The main function of a JHSC or worker health & safety representative is to facilitate worker and employer collaboration in workplace health and safety. They achieve this through various duties, including:

  • meeting regularly to discuss health and safety matters,
  • conducting workplace inspections to identify potential hazards,
  • participating in incident investigations to prevent reoccurrences,
  • providing recommendations for health and safety improvements,
  • participating in refusals of unsafe work to ensure worker safety, and
  • evaluating the effectiveness of the committee annually.

Note: the JHSC’s Rules of Procedures (also known as the Terms of Reference) will explain the committee’s duties and functions.

How to ensure your committee is effective?

There are various ways that employers can ensure the JHSC at their workplace is operating most effectively, such as:

  • ensuring new committee members receive adequate training,
  • providing annual educational opportunities for existing committee members,
  • encouraging and supporting committee initiatives, and
  • ensuring a committee evaluation is being completed annually.

To ensure committees are worker driven, there are a few required structural elements, including:

  • the committee must have at least 4 members,
  • worker representation must outweigh employer representation on the committee, and
  • the committee must be led by 2 co-chairs; 1 elected by the workers on the committee and the other elected by the employer representatives.

Looking for JHSC templates and sample documents?  

Get in touch with our Health & Safety Team if you have further questions on how to enhance worker involvement in health & safety and for templates and sample documents used by the JHSC, including:

  • Rules of Procedure/Terms of Reference,
  • Meeting Minutes,
  • Workplace Inspection,
  • Formal Recommendations,
  • Refusal of Unsafe Work, and
  • Committee Evaluations.


Looking for more information? 

Connect with our Health & Safety Team

Joint Health & Safety Committees (WorkSafeBC)

Joint Health & Safety Committee Handbook (WorkSafeBC)

JHSC & Worker Health & Safety Representative Training Overview (go2HR)

*new* JHSC Member Training Course (go2HR)


go2HR is the Human Resources and Health & Safety Association for BC’s tourism and hospitality industry. Our role is to drive strong workforces and safe workplaces that deliver world-class tourism and hospitality experiences in British Columbia.