Safety Committees

posted in: Plan 0

The Montana Safety Culture Act requires companies with more than five employees to have a Safety Committee. Considerately, it spells out exactly what is meant by a Safety Committee and even gives a list of what should be discussed in meetings. They do try to make it easy!

The purpose of the MSCA is to create a safety culture in Montana’s workplaces and reduce workplace injuries, illnesses, and fatalities in the hope that by improving occupational safety and health, workers’ compensation insurance rates for all industries will be reduced. Therefore, all employers with more than five employees are required to have a safety committee (one for each site).

Every Safety Committee shall be composed of employee and employer representatives and hold regularly scheduled meetings, at least once every four months. The safety committee should be of sufficient size to provide for effective representation of the workforce and include in its employee membership volunteers or members elected by their peers.

The Safety Committee should include activities that assist the employer in fact finding.

The Department of Labor & Industry recommends that the committee document its activities, and act as a fact-finding body and report to the employer regarding:

  • • Assessing and controlling hazards
  • • Assessing safety training and awareness topics
  • • Communicating with employees regarding safety committee activities
  • • Developing safety rules, policies and procedures
  • • Educating employees on safety related topics
  • • Evaluating the safety program on a regular basis
  • • Inspecting the workplace
  • • Keeping job-specific training current
  • • Motivating employees to create a safe culture in the workplace
  • • Reviewing workplace incidents, injuries, illnesses and fatalities
Having a set objective for each meeting can assist in making your safety committee more successful. Highlighting a specific topic throughout the company can also increase the safety awareness of everyone. When setting a meeting objective, consider the following topics:
  • • Housekeeping
  • • Slips, Trips and Falls
  • • Proper Lifting
  • • Toxic Gases and Poisons
  • • Combustible Dust
  • • Confined Spaces
  • • Dermatitis
  • • Defensive Driving
  • • Emergency Procedures
  • • Ergonomics
  • • Fire Hazards and Fire Safety
  • • First Aid
  • • Floors, Aisles and Storage of Materials
  • • Horseplay
  • • Industrial Vehicles
  • • Ladders, Stairs and Ramps
  • • Lighting and Ventilation
  • • Lockout/Tagout
  • • Machine Care, Maintenance and Guarding
  • • Machine Hazards
  • • Materials Handling
  • • Occupational Disease and Sanitation
  • • Personal Protective Equipment
  • • Unsafe Work Practices
  • • Accident and Hazard Reporting