Resources - Human Resource Issues

Getting Employee Involvement Started

Meet with employees

  • Meet with employees in one large group (if not unwieldy) or in groups by shift or craft, depending on the nature of your worksite.
  • Explain the safety and health policy of your worksite and the objectives that you hope to achieve.
  • Explain that you want employees to help with the safety and health program. Ask for their suggestions.
  • Try to use as many of the reasonable suggestions as possible in some visible way.

Form a committee

  • Form a joint committee.  It should be large enough to represent different parts of your worksite without becoming unwieldy.
  • Try to have equal numbers of management and non-supervisory employees on the committee.
  • Choose management members who have enough "clout" to get things done.
  • Ensure that the safety and health staff serves as staff for the committee.
  • If your worksite has collective bargaining agent allow that organization to decide the method for choosing non-supervisory members.
  • If your worksite is not unionized, consult with a qualified labor relations professional on the best way to obtain employee participation if you decide to use a committee.

How to use involved employees

  • Employers most commonly involve their employees in the workplace safety and health program by having them conduct regularly scheduled, routine physical inspections.  Employees work from a checklist.
  • Employees will need adequate and appropriate training.
  • They should be expected to help with decisions about hazard correction as well as hazard identification.
  • You also may choose to ask the committee to study one or two difficult safety and/or health problems that management has been unable to resolve. If so, you must demand serious work and, in return, give the committee's;suggestions serious consideration.
  • Once the committee is well established and functioning successfully it will be in a position to suggest other ways to involve your workforce usefully in the safety and health program.
  • Always remember that it is the employer who has ultimate legal responsibility for ensuring workplace safety and health.

Source: Missouri Department of Labor and Industrial Relations

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