How to have an effective safety committee

Another article by the late George Robotham. You can find more of his work at here: SAFETY RELECTIONS

How to have an effective safety committee


Safety committees are much maligned and often ineffective. They can easily denigrate to a whinge-fest and end up covering topics that should be dealt with on a routine, every day basis. There is a tendency Depositphotos_12276211_xsto save issues up to a committee meeting rather than action straightaway. There is also a tendency to deal with minor issues.

1 Have a well developed charter for the committee, searching educational institutions and government department’s web sites will find some good examples.

2 Train members in their roles and responsibilities.

3 Deal mainly with substantive issues, give the committee a meaty job to do.

4 Carrying out a force field analysis  with the committee can be very valuable.

5 A good way to use the committee is to have them do the leg work to recommend major change to senior management.

6 Produce succinct minutes.

7 Ensure people are given the necessary time to attend meetings and carry out necessary tasks, this is a common failure with committees.

8The OHS professional often ends up being the chairperson, much better to have someone with management horsepower so decisions can be made on the spot.

9 An occasional guest speaker will liven the show up.

10 Substantive discussion and decisions must be feedback to the workforce.

11 Do not take yourself too seriously.

12 Celebrate success.

13 Require members to do their homework

14 Be conscious of Group-Think (Look the term up on Google if you are not familiar with it)


Remember that management must respond positively to well researched recommendations from the committee

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