Health and Safety Committees are responsible for bringing workers and managers together to review the performance of workplace health and safety. They are often the key for workers and managers being able to work collaboratively when meeting for these reviews. This is because they will be able to outline the standards or policies that need to be met, as well as recommending any improvements related to health and safety that both parties could benefit from.
Once the employees and management team agree on any new policies, procedures or standards related to health and safety, the Health and Safety Committee will be responsible for putting these tasks into action.
It is important to note that not all organisations have Health and Safety Committee as they do not feel the need for them. Particularly small to medium sized businesses who can carry out these tasks without the involvement of a committee, will find other ways to make this run smoothly.
Organisations that do benefit from having Health and Safety Committee though, are ones that have various businesses within one sector, such as Universities, or the construction sector.
If you are unsure whether your organisation needs a Health and Safety Committee, a rule of thumb to go by is: If your business is receiving health and safety requests from 5 or more employees or representatives then you may need to look into getting a Health and Safety Committee.
This is not to say you must start using a Health and Safety Committee though. As with many other things in Health and Safety, it is all relative to what industry you are in, and the size of your organisation.
If you feel your organisation does not need a Health and Safety Committee, be sure to have a clear explanation of this choice, which you can relay onto workers and representatives who put in requests.