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Appendix C: Suggested Topics for Terms of Reference

  • Issued: April 20, 2012
  • Content last reviewed: March 2020

Disclaimer: This resource has been prepared to help the workplace parties understand some of their obligations under the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) and regulations. It is not legal advice. It is not intended to replace the OHSA or the regulations. For further information please see full disclaimer.

Listed below are items the workplace parties should consider for inclusion in the terms of reference for a multi-workplace JHSC. It is not a complete list.

A Multi-workplace Joint Health and Safety Committee Self-Evaluation Checklist has been developed to assist you in the application process. It must be jointly completed and signed by a management representative and a worker representative and accompany your signed terms of reference when submitted to the Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development Regional Director. The completed checklist will be used as a guide when reviewing your request and written terms of reference.

1.  Structure of Committee

  • geographical workplace locations and workplace proximity to each other
  • determination of number of committee members (management and workers)
  • selection and replacement of committee members
  • number and selection of certified members (considering geographical proximity).

2.  Membership

  • list of workplaces
  • number of workers at each workplace
  • unions represented at each workplace

3.  Committee Members

  • co-chairs
  • certified members
  • designated certified members
  • designated workers under subsection 9(3.2).

4.  Activities and Procedures of the Committee Members

  • procedure for the co-chairs to facilitate the operations and actions of the committee
  • procedure for the attendance of resource persons/guests at committee meetings;
  • certified worker and worker member accessibility to workplaces in order to perform their required duties including accident investigations, workplace inspections and work refusal investigations
  • procedure for workers selected under subsection 9(23) to conduct workplace inspections.

5.  Training of JHSC Members and Designated Workers Under Subsection 9(3.2)

  • policy on the training of joint health and safety committee members including certification, workplace inspections and accident investigations
  • training of designated workers under subsection 9(3.2)
  • procedure for JHSC to be consulted regarding health and safety training needs.

6.  JHSC Meetings

  • procedure for attendance at meetings – all members
  • members and a protocol for their attendance at committee meetings
  • meeting schedule for committee meetings setting out the frequency and place for meetings
  • preparation of agenda and notice of meetings
  • minutes of meetings; the responsibility of taking, reviewing, circulating and editing of the minutes
  • determination of a quorum for a committee meeting and a method.

7.  Consensus and Dispute Resolution

  • JHSC members to develop a system for achieving consensus at meetings
  • JHSC members to develop a procedure for dispute resolution.

8.  Workplace Inspections

  • schedule for monthly inspection of the workplaces
  • provisions for conducting inspections including a determination of the accessibility and availability of the participant(s)
  • procedure for the documentation of workplace inspections
  • procedure for how the identified hazards will be communicated and resolved by the JHSC and Management.

9.  JHSC Written Recommendations

  • arrangements with respect to the requirement to identify issues, set out recommendations and the processing of the recommendations
  • procedures for management to respond to JHSC recommendations within 21 calendar days time frame.

10.  JHSC Evaluations/Reviews

  • procedure for the referring of issues or concerns to the JHSC
  • method and system for providing accident statistics and information and other health and safety information to the committee including pre-start health and safety reviews, workplace violence risk assessment, training materials, program development, workplace testing results, accident investigations, workplace inspections
  • method for JHSC to communicate concerns or suggestions regarding evaluations/reviews to management
  • regular review of committee and members' responsibilities including confidentiality and effectiveness.

11.  Accident Investigations

  • procedure for accident investigations, including types and severity of accidents to be investigated
  • method for selecting members to conduct the investigations
  • accessibility and availability of member to conduct investigation
  • method and system for reporting an accident investigation to the committee.

12.  Work Refusal/Work Stoppages

  • procedure for the selection of a member representing workers or a designated worker in the workplace for the purposes of the statutory provisions of OHSA section 43 for participating in a work refusal investigation.
  • procedure for the selection of a member representing workers in the workplace for the purposes of the statutory provisions of OHSA section 45 for participating in a work stoppage investigation.

13.  Workplace Testing

  • procedure for the selection of members to attend the commencement of workplace testing
  • accessibility and availability of member(s) to attend testing
  • procedure for sharing workplace testing results with JHSC.

14.  Ministry of Labour Inspections/Investigations

  • procedure for the selection of members representing workers or designated workers in the workplace to accompany Ministry of Labour inspectors during a physical inspection of the workplaces, or any part or parts thereof and for an accident investigation.

15.  Entitlements of JHSC

  • entitlement of time from work and payment by the employer at proper rate (including travel) for members attending meetings or carrying out duties and responsibilities under the OHSA or the Regulations
  • procedure for the posting of relevant information to other multi-site work locations (names & locations, MLTSD reports, minutes, etc.).

16.  Changes to Terms of Reference

  • how amendments will be completed
  • recognition that changes must, as a general matter, be approved by Minister of Labour (or Regional Director)

17.  Withdrawal of Minister’s Order

  • acknowledgement in the terms of the Minister's right to withdraw the agreement without consultation with the workplace parties.
  • any workplace party may write to the Regional Director to request that an existing order for a multi-workplace JHSC be rescinded.

18.  Other Health and Safety Matters

  • Any other health and safety matter that relates to composition, practice and procedure of the committee that the workplace parties consider appropriate or necessary

19.  Written Request and Agreement

  • Written request and agreement for a multi-site joint health and safety committee must be submitted to the MLTSD Director for the region in which your workplaces reside, along with the signed and dated Terms of Reference.


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Disclaimer: This web resource has been prepared to assist the workplace parties in understanding some of their obligations under the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) and the regulations. It is not intended to replace the OHSA or the regulations and reference should always be made to the official version of the legislation.

It is the responsibility of the workplace parties to ensure compliance with the legislation. This web resource does not constitute legal advice. If you require assistance with respect to the interpretation of the legislation and its potential application in specific circumstances, please contact your legal counsel.

While this web resource will also be available to Ministry of Labour inspectors, they will apply and enforce the OHSA and its regulations based on the facts as they may find them in the workplace. This web resource does not affect their enforcement discretion in any way.