Joint occupational health and safety committees (JHSC) are required in Ontario workplaces with more than 20 employees or if designated substances are present. The Campbell Commission investigating SARS in Ontario found that JHSC’s are often sidelined and not utilized during public health crises. This led to a CREOD program of research in JHSC.
An initial survey study assessed functioning of JHSC in Ontario hospitals. This demonstrated general compliance with rules but raised the question of effectiveness.
A next interview and focus group study in Ontario hospitals focused on attributes of a gold standard JHSC.
With this information, a paper tool to assess JHSC functioning was developed and tested in the hospital sector.
The tool was found to be useful and was converted to an electronic tool and with further testing in the education sector, a version for organizations that had multi-site committees was created and tested. These tools were translated into French.
The tool was also tested in the construction sector (publication in press).