working toward a safe and healthy environment for work and study”

 1.     Purpose / Function of the Committee

 The goal of the committee is to protect and promote the health and safety of workers and to have a positive effect on the health and safety of the university community.  The committee recognizes that its recommendations to improve the safety conditions in the labs and studios are contributing to the overall health and safety initiative for Lakehead University. 


2.     Principles

 2.1    Commitment to team work

 Members will work together as a team to achieve the goals and objectives for the committee.

2.2    Commitment to training

The committee will promote the on-going education of its members in topics related to the operation of the committee, and to occupational health and safety in general.

 2.3    Confidentiality

 Committee members will respect the confidentiality of personal information in all business which they conduct in relationship to the committee, including reports made to the constituencies they represent.


3.     Powers of the Committee

 3.1    To Identify Dangers and Hazards, Section 9(18)(a)

 The membership of the committee will work together to identify situations which may be/are a source of danger or hazard to workers.

3.2    To Make Recommendations, Section 9(18)(b),(c)

 The committee will make recommendations to the President for the improvement of the health and safety of workers.

The committee will make recommendations to the President and to workers, pertaining to the establishment, maintenance and monitoring of programs, measures and procedures respecting the health and safety of workers.

 3.3    To Obtain information, Section 9(18)(d),(e)

The committee will obtain information from the employer respecting the identification of potential or existing hazards of materials, processes or equipment and the health and safety experience and work practices and standards in similar or other industries of which the employer has knowledge.  The committee will also obtain information from outside sources and will share this information.

 The committee will obtain information from the employer concerning the conducting or taking of tests of any equipment, machine, device, article, thing, material or biological, chemical or physical agent in or about a workplace for the purpose of occupational health and safety.

3.4    To Be Consulted, Section 9(18)(f)

The committee will be consulted about, and have a designated member representing workers be present at the beginning of, testing referred to in clause (e) conducted in or about the workplace if the designated member believes his or her presence is required to ensure that valid testing procedures are used or to ensure that the test results are valid.


4.     Meetings

4.1    Frequency

The Lakehead University Labs & Studios Joint Health and Safety Committee (JHSC) will meet schedule regular meetings, meetings will be held at minimum quarterly.

4.2    Notice of Meetings

Whenever possible, one weeks confirmation will be given to members and alternates prior to the meeting date.  Members will be advised at least one week in advance of a cancellation of a meeting.  Members will be responsible to notify their alternate of all meeting dates and ensure that the alternate attends the meeting when the member cannot attend.  The member shall also notify the co-chair of their inability to attend any meetings.

4.3    Quorum

Recommendations will be made by consensus among the committee members.  Quorum is at least two worker members and one management member present; at least one member must be certified.

4.4    Agenda for meeting

An agenda will be forwarded to all committee members at least one week in advance of each meeting. 

4.5    Minutes of the Meeting

Minutes of each meeting will be recorded and circulated in advance of the following month’s meeting.  Copies of all minutes will be kept on file in Human Resources.

Minutes will be accessible to the University Community on the Health and Safety Website.


5.     Committee Membership

5.1    Committee Size

The Lakehead University Labs & Studios JHSC will be comprised of at least 5 voting members.  Members shall consist of at least 3 worker members and at least 2 management members.

5.2    Worker Members

A minimum of 3 designate worker members and 3 alternate worker members will be selected.  As a minimum, a designate member and an alternate member will be selected by each of the following groups and unions:

  • CUPE
  • Lakehead University Technical Staff
  • LUFA

5.3    Management Members

At least two designate management members will be appointed.

5.4    Terms of Office: Committee Members

The term of office for the Committee members is two years.  Membership is renewable, at the direction of the applicable union or worker group or President.

5.5    Non-voting Members

The Laboratory and Biosafety Specialist will act as an advisor to the Labs & Studios JHSC.

5.6    Confirmation of Members

The Labs & Studios JHSC will contact each union, employee group and president to confirm the names and terms of office of each of the designate members and alternates on an annual basis.

5.7    Call for Selection or Appointment of Members

On notification that a member is no longer able to serve on the committee, or on the expiry of the term of office of a committee member, the Labs & Studios JHSC will request through the Health and Safety Officer that the applicable union, employee group, or President select or appoint a member to replace the retiring member.

5.8    Entitlement of Time off from Work, Section 9(34)

A committee member is entitled to such time as is necessary to prepare for and attend meetings of the committee and to carry out his/her duties as a member or officer of the committee.

5.9    Entitlement to be Paid, Section 9(35)

A committee member shall be deemed to be at work during the times required to prepare for and attend to committee business.  The University shall pay the member for those times at the member’s regular or premium rate as may be proper.

5.10 Duties of Committee Members

5.10.1.   Identify Danger or Hazards

  1. Committee members will consider such reports, or information as are presented to the committee by the individual committee members, designated members or sub-committees.  Based on their review of the reports, or information, committee members will identify those situations, which may be a source of danger or hazard to workers.

5.10.2.   Concern or Complaint Resolution

  1. Committee will facilitate the concern or complaint resolution process, as it pertains to health and safety concerns and complaints made by workers.
  2. Committee members will encourage workers to discuss and resolve their concerns/complaints through the internal responsibility system of the University.
  3. Should a worker feel that his/her concern/complaint has not been adequately addressed through discussion with his/her supervisor; a committee member is authorized to raise the issue for consideration at a meeting of the committee.

 5.10.3.   Make Recommendations

Based on their evaluation of danger or hazards, committee members will make recommendations which, when implemented, will protect or promote the health and safety of workers.

5.10.4.   Responsibility to Alternates

  1. Committee members, particularly worker members are expected to keep their alternates fully advised of all committee business.  Alternate members shall receive copies of minutes of meetings.
  1. Should a committee member be unable to attend a committee meeting, he/she must advise his/her alternate to attend the meeting and notify the co-chair.


6.     Committee Officers

The Lakehead University Lab & Studios JHSC will operate with three officers: two co-chairs and a secretary.

6.1    Co-Chairs

The Lakehead University Labs & Studios JHSC will be co-chaired by members representing management and workers.

6.2    Election

Elections will be held to choose the co-chairs and the secretary every two years.

The members representing workers will select the worker co-chair.

The management representatives will select the management co-chair.

The secretary will be selected by the general membership of the Labs & Studios JHSC.

6.3    Terms of Office: Committee Officers

The co-chairs and secretary will serve for the period of two years. Co-chairs are eligible to stand for re-election.

6.4    Duties of Co-Chairs

The worker co-chair and the management co-chair will chair the meetings at alternate meetings.  Co-chairs shall request items for the meeting agenda from the members.  Co-chairs will also write and distribute copies of the agenda at least 7 days prior to a meeting.

At least 8 days prior to the meeting, the co-chairs will advise the secretary of:

1              Which reports and correspondence are to be circulated to the membership in advance of the meeting and

2              Any audio/visual equipment which must be booked for the following meeting.


7.     Designated Members

7.1    Accident Investigators

The committee shall establish, and update annually, a roster of designated workers members who will be available to conduct accident investigations of behalf of the Labs & Studios JHSC in the event of a critical injury or fatality.

7.2    Work Place Inspections, Section 9(23),(26),(27)

All areas within the University used as labs, lab offices, lab storage, studios, studio offices and studio storage will be inspected annually.  Monthly inspections will be carried out such that designated areas within the University will be inspected once annually by available members.

7.3    Refusal for Unsafe Work

The committee shall establish, and update annually, a roster of designated worker members who will be available to investigate refusal for unsafe work.

7.4    Duties of the Designate Members

7.4.1. Accident Investigation

  1. Accident investigators will conduct investigations on behalf of the Labs & Studios JHSC in the event of a critical injury or fatality.
  2. Accident investigators will determine, to the best of their abilities, the causes of the accident.
  3. Accident investigators will make recommendations for the prevention and recurrence of similar injuries or fatalities.
  4. Accident investigators are empowered to interview all individuals either directly or indirectly involved in an accident.

7.4.2. Work Place Inspections

  1. Work place inspectors will conduct work place inspections on behalf of the Labs & Studios JHSC.
  2. Inspectors will identify sub-standard conditions, which represent actual or potential likelihood of injury or damage.
  3. Inspectors will recommend remedial action to address the substandard conditions and will also recommend time frames in which the remedial action is undertaken.

7.4.3. Refusal for Unsafe Work

Labs & Studios JHSC members designated to be present when an employee invokes his/her right to refuse unsafe work will:

1)            Attempt to determine, on behalf of the committee, the reason that the right to refuse was invoked.

2)            Advise the worker and the supervisor of their obligations pertaining to the right to refuse, as outlined in the Occupational Health and Safety Act.

3)            Assist the supervisor and the worker in developing a resolution to the issue at the heart of the refusal,

4)            Report to the committee, his/her findings arising out of the refusal and

5)            Make such recommendations to the Labs & Studios JHSC as are pertinent to the circumstances of the refusal.


8.     Certified Members

8.1    Certified Worker Member, Section 9(14)

The worker members of the Labs & Studios JHSC shall select at least one worker member to become a certified worker member of the committee.

8.2    Certified Management Member, Section 9 (12)

The management members of the Labs & Studios JHSC shall select at least one management member to become the certified management member of the committee.

8.3    Duties of Certified Members

A certified member is a worker or management JHSC member who, because of special training, has been certified by law.  Certified members are entitled to exercise certain rights and powers.  These duties include:

1)         To investigate any complaint that a dangerous circumstance exists.

2)         To initiate and assist in the investigation of a bilateral work stoppage.

3)         To initiate a unilateral work stoppage in prescribed circumstances


9.     Secretary and/or Designate

The secretary will take attendance at each meeting.

The secretary will record the minutes of the meeting using the format specified by the committee.

One week prior to the next meeting, the secretary will circulate to all designate and alternate Labs & Studios JHSC members any applicable reports or correspondence.

The secretary will type, duplicate and circulate such material (i.e. minutes) as is required by the co-chairs for the conduct of the committee.

The secretary will maintain the official working documents for the Labs & Studios JHSC, including minutes, reports, correspondence, work place inspection reports, copies of Ministry of Labour reports or orders, committee membership files and such documentation as the JHSC deems necessary.

10.  Subcommittees

10.1 Work Place Injuries

The committee will designate a team to review work place injury trends.  The sub-committee will report to the Labs & Studios JHSC monthly using the format specified by the committee as required.

10.1.1.   Duties of the Work Place Injury Subcommittee

The members of the sub-committee will:

1)            Review the circumstances of the injury or incident.

2)            Make a report to the Committee outlining the current status of the investigation, including any remedial actions that have been taken.