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April 29, 2024

Safety Committees: Make them work for your organization

Mike Music

Protect your employees from injury and your organization from avoidable costs by organizing or re-energizing your safety committee.

A safety committee can help:

  • Save time and money by improving everyday work activities
  • Decrease Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) citations or other state penalties
  • Increase awareness of production or operational safety issues
  • Increase workers’ safety knowledge
  • Allow employees to identify and address safety issues directly affecting them
  • Make workplace safety a part of your organization’s culture

Who is required to have a safety committee?

Employers are not required to have a safety committee in states not regulated by state OSHA. However, it is a good idea.

In states regulated by state OSHA, the law requires employers with more than 25 employees to administer a safety committee.

Employers regulated by state OSHA with 25 employees or fewer may still be required to have a committee, depending on the industry and organizational safety record.

Your safety committee should include employees and management, with representatives from both production and administration.

If your company has multiple locations that all do essentially the same thing, one committee is adequate. If you have multiple locations of 50 or more employees, you should have a safety committee at each location.

The functions of your safety committee

Your safety committee should:

  • Conduct walkthrough surveys and inspections of the workplace to identify safety and health concerns on a regular basis
  • Conduct regularly scheduled meetings to discuss accident prevention methods, safety and health awareness efforts, hazards noted on inspections, and other subjects as needed
  • Review accidents resulting in injuries and “near misses” that didn’t
  • Develop recommendations and corrective actions based on findings from walkthroughs and inspections
  • Promote safety and first aid training for all employees

Some benefits of a safety committee include:

  • A positive safety culture promoted among the entire company
  • An environment created for problem-solving
  • Firsthand knowledge of workplace processes via walkthroughs and inspections
  • Employees working together for a safer workplace
  • Involving more people in the company’s safety and health management 
  • Giving employees a broader base of safety knowledge

Contact your local Marsh McLennan Agency Safety Consultant to learn more about the best practices around safety committees today.