There are no federal requirements for safety committees in private sector workplaces. However, many states require them. In some states, employers may get a discount on their workers' compensation premiums if they have a safety committee in place.
See your state analysis for Safety Committees for more information about the requirements in your state.
Safety committees are a key part of safety in the workplace. They accomplish several things:
- Central focus. Committees which represent all functions or departments allow the organization to take an overall look at safety requirements and to foresee problems that might otherwise cause difficulties.
- Sounding board. The committee is a visible and approachable body for safety or health complaints, suggestions, and the like.
- Central coordination. With management direction, much of the coordination of safety training activities can be accomplished by the safety committee.
Management has the ultimate responsibilities for safety and health. Through its managers and supervisors it establishes the program and enforces safety rules. But the safety committee can have an important role in assisting supervisors with the success of that program.
An effective safety committee encourages safety awareness, gets a large number of employees actively involved in the safety program over time, helps motivate employees to follow sound safety practices. An effective employee safety structure provides a feedback mechanism to identify and correct new safety hazards at the earliest stage. Once the safety committee structure is in place and working well, it is a natural vehicle for employee involvement, preparation and introduction of new safety ...