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Responding to JHSC Recommendations

One of the JHSC’s key functions is making recommendations to the employer as to health and safety issues. For example, the committee may recommend the implementation of a specific safety measure, provision of new safety training or creation of new safe work procedures for certain jobs. Employers aren’t required to implement a JHSC’s recommendations—but the OHS laws do generally require them to at least respond to such recommendations. Here’s a look at the requirements under each jurisdiction’s OHS laws for employers as to responding to JHSC recommendations. Note that in most jurisdictions, these requirements also apply to recommendations made by health and safety representatives. (For more information on recommendations and other JHSC functions, go to the JHSC Compliance Centre, which contains a model JHSC recommendation form.)

REQUIREMENTS FOR RESPONDING TO JHSC RECOMMENDATIONS

FED Canada Labour Code:

Employers must respond in writing to recommendations made by the policy and work place committees or the health and safety representative within 30 days after receiving them, indicating what, if any, action will be taken and when it’ll be taken [Sec. 125(1)(z.10)].

AB The OHS laws don’t include requirements for responding to JHSC recommendations.
BC Workers Compensation Act:

If a joint committee sends a written recommendation to an employer with a written request for a response from the employer:

1. The employer must respond in writing to the committee within 21 days of receiving the request, either

a. indicating acceptance of the recommendation; or

b. giving the employer’s reasons for not accepting the recommendation [Sec. 133(2)].

2. If it isn’t reasonably possible to provide a response before the end of the 21 day period, the employer must provide within that time a written explanation for the delay, together with an indication of when the response will be provided [Sec. 133(4)].

MB Workplace Safety and Health Act:

1. Within 30 days of receiving a recommendation from a representative, committee or committee co-chairperson that identifies anything that may pose a danger to the safety or health of any person, the employer must respond in writing to the representative, committee or co-chairperson who made the recommendation [Sec. 41.1(2)].

2. The employer’s response must:

a. contain a timetable for implementing the recommendations that the employer accepts;

b. contain any interim control measures that the employer will implement to address the danger posed to the safety or health of a person; and

c. give reasons why the employer disagrees with any recommendations that it doesn’t accept [Sec. 41.1(3)].

NB The OHS laws don’t include requirements for responding to JHSC recommendations.
NL OHS Regs. 2012:

1. Employers must respond in writing within 30 days to a recommendation of the JHSC, worker health and safety representative or workplace health and safety designate indicating that the recommendation has been accepted or that it has been rejected, with a reason for the rejection [Sec. 5(f.1)].

2. Employers must provide periodic written updates to the JHSC, worker health and safety representative or workplace health and safety designate on the implementation of a recommendation accepted by the employer until the implementation is complete [Sec. 5(f.2)].

NT/

NU

The OHS laws don’t include requirements for responding to JHSC recommendations.
NS OHS Act:

1. An employer who receives written recommendations from a committee or representative and a request in writing to respond to the recommendations must respond in writing to the committee or representative within 21 days, and the response must:

a. indicate acceptance of the recommendations; or

b. give reasons for the disagreement with any recommendations that the employer doesn’t accept [Sec. 34(1)].

2. Where it isn’t reasonably possible to provide a response before the expiry of the 21 day period, the employer must provide within that time a reasonable explanation for the delay, indicate to the committee or representative when the response will be forthcoming and provide the response as soon as it’s available [Sec. 34(1)].

ON OHS Act:

1. A constructor or employer who receives written recommendations from a committee or co-chair must respond in writing within 21 days [Sec.9(20)].

2. The above response must contain a timetable for implementing the recommendations the constructor or employer agrees with and give reasons why the constructor or employer disagrees with any recommendations that it doesn’t accept [Sec. 9(21)].

PE OHS Act:

1. An employer who receives written recommendations from a committee or a representative, if any, together with a request for a response to the recommendations must respond in writing to the committee or representative within 30 days of the request [Sec. 27(1)].

2. The employer’s response must:

a. indicate acceptance of the recommendations;

b. give reasons for the disagreement with recommendations that the employer doesn’t accept; or

c. where it isn’t reasonably practicable to provide a response before the expiry of the 30-day period, provide within that time a reasonable explanation for the delay, indicating to the committee or a representative, if any, when the response will be coming and provide the response as soon as it’s available [Sec. 27(2)].

QC The OHS laws don’t include requirements for responding to JHSC recommendations.
SK The Saskatchewan Employment Act:

If an employer doesn’t resolve an issue or address a concern raised by an occupational health committee or occupational health and safety representative with respect to the health, safety and welfare of the workers at a place of employment, the employer must provide written reasons for not resolving the issue or addressing the concern to the committee or to the representative [Sec. 3-29(2)].

YT The OHS laws don’t include requirements for responding to JHSC recommendations.