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Introduction to this document

Flow chart - Appointing members to a health & safety committee

If you’re thinking of setting up a health and safety committee, there are various considerations to be taken into account including legislation to comply with. To guide you through the process, follow our flow chart.

When to form a committee

A health and safety committee can be the most effective way of receiving input from staff on the important matters which affect them.

In terms of the legal requirements, it’s a little complicated. All employers have a legal duty to consult with staff on safety issues. This can be carried out with them directly or through their representatives.

If you’re consulting with representatives, the best place to do it is likely to be in a formal meeting, hence the choice to form a committee. There is only one circumstance when this is a specific legal requirement: when a written request has been made by two or more union-appointed safety representatives.

In summary, most employers are not obliged to form a committee but it can be a good idea.

What’s included in our flow chart?

Our Flow Chart - Appointing Members to a Health & Safety Committee begins with the assumption that you’ve decided a committee is needed. It leads you through the roles to be filled and how you should obtain nominees. You can use the process whether or not you have recognised trade unions. It even works if you have a part-unionised workforce as it shows you how to ensure that all departments are represented.