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DHHS POLICIES AND PROCEDURES

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Section V:

Human Resources

Title:

Safety and Benefits

Chapter:

Designation and Responsibilities of Safety and Health Committees

Current Effective Date:

4/1/04

Revision History:

7/1/03

Original Effective Date:

10/1/02

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Purpose

To establish a multi-tiered, management/employee balanced safety and health committee structure within the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), in order to fully address safety and health issues through both employee and management input and through the most efficient use of resources and expertise within the department.

Policy

  1. The department shall establish and empower a Central Safety and Health Committee to oversee the development, implementation, and maintenance of the Safety and Health Program, by:
    1. Establishing the annual goals of the Safety and Health Program and objectives for the Safety Program Manager, and auditing the success of the program and manager in accomplishing them.


    2. Auditing the effectiveness of the Safety and Health Program and recommending to the Safety Program Manager and/or department management changes to address identified weaknesses and/or areas of potential improvement.


    3. Reviewing Safety and Health policies and general procedures at least once each three (3) years, and incorporating necessary changes into each document.


    4. Reviewing hazards likely to affect multiple divisions/facilities/schools, and developing and recommending abatement means.


    5. Reviewing department-wide accident trends identified by the Safety Program Manager and developing recommendations for abatement, control, and prevention of future accidents.


    6. Reviewing and acting on recommendations made by division/facility/school Safety and Health Directors and/or committees delineating policy needs and concerns, assistance requests, and safety and health issues that may be of department-wide concern.


    7. Developing and implementing means to increase employee awareness of, and participation in, the Safety and Health Program.
  2. Each Division/Facility/School shall establish a Safety and Health Committee to oversee and assist with the implementation of the Safety and Health Program at the division/facility/school.
    1. The division/facility/school committee shall perform the following functions:
      1. Establishing annual goals and objectives for the division/facility/school Safety and Health Program to reduce workplace accidents and associated costs and to implement the department's Safety and Health Program's goals.


      2. Reviewing division/facility/school Safety and Health Procedures, and incorporating necessary changes for submittal to the division/facility/school director:
        1. Upon issuance of Safety and Health Policy/General Procedures revisions.
        2. Upon determination of need or request by management or employees.
        3. At least every three (3) years.
      3. Auditing the effectiveness of the Safety and Health Program within the division/facility/school, and making recommendations to the Central Safety and Health Committee that address identified weaknesses.


      4. Overseeing periodic inspections of the building(s) under the committee's jurisdiction, and notifying the affected supervisor, division/facility/school safety director, and division/facility/school director of identified hazards.


      5. Reviewing, investigating, and responding to suggestions and complaints from division/facility/school employees.


      6. Reviewing accident reports of division/facility/school employees, and developing and recommending strategies and abatements to prevent recurrence.


      7. Assessing safety and health training and information needs among division/facility/school employees, and assisting the safety director as needed in the development and presentation of such training.


      8. Developing emergency evacuation plans for all buildings, providing training on evacuation and fire extinguisher usage to employees annually , and holding fire exit drills of the building


      9. Providing information and recommendations to the Central Safety and Health Committee on accident trends, hazards, training, and other safety and health needs and concerns which may be department-wide in scope.


      10. Assisting the division/facility/school safety director in implementing the Safety and Health Program.


      11. Accompanying representatives from regulatory Units (i.e. Department of Insurance, Fire Marshall, and Division of Environmental Management) during safety and health related inspections of the division/facility/school.


      12. Developing and implementing means to increase the awareness and participation of employees in the Employee Safety and Health Program.
    2. Each division/facility/school shall determine the membership number, makeup, length of term, and selection process of its committee, but shall meet at a minimum the following requirements:
      1. The division/facility/school safety director shall be a perpetual member with full voting rights.


      2. At least one (1) and no more than one-half the membership of the committee shall be a management representative


      3. There shall be at least one (1) employee representative per every 100 employees of the division/facility/school, up to a maximum of six (6) representatives.


      4. Divisions/facilities/schools with field staff shall have at least one (1) field staff representative on at the Division/Institution committee.


      5. The Workers' Compensation Representative shall be a perpetual member with full voting rights.


      6. Terms of office shall be staggered to ensure continuity of the committee.
  3. The Safety Program Manager, any division/facility/school safety director, or any committee chair may establish and empower Special Issue Committees or Task Forces to address specific issues which require special knowledge and/or time involvement.


  4. Each committee shall:
    1. Actively address the stated concerns and issues of the employees it represents.


    2. Make available to represented employees its methods of conducting business, including frequency of meetings, through published bylaws.


    3. Conduct open meetings at least quarterly.


    4. Make available to represented employees and the Safety Program Manager minutes of each meeting.
  5. The department recognizes service on a safety and health committee as an integral function of each member's job duties, and shall make time available for each member to attend meetings and carry out committee functions, including but not limited to:
    1. Attendance at scheduled meetings of the committee.


    2. Active communication with the employees and management officials the member represents, informing them of the activities of the committee and informing the committee of employee and/or managerial safety and health concerns, issues, and complaints.


    3. Successful execution and completion of the duties and tasks assigned by the committee at large or by the officers.

Each employee shall have free access to any committee representing him/her, including access to agendas, minutes of previous meetings, and contact with his/her employee representative. Any employee may attend any meeting of any committee representing him/her with prior permission from the supervisor but without prior notification to the committee.

Definitions (also see Safety and Health Policy 1 Definitions Section)

  1. Employee Representative - a member of a safety and health committee who has no supervisory responsibilities over any other employee.


  2. Management Representative - a member of a safety and health committee who has supervisory responsibilities over one (1) or more employees.

Implementation

  1. The Safety Program Manager shall develop general procedures for the consistent operation of Division/Facility/School Safety and Health Committees, and specific operating procedures for the creation and maintenance of the Central Safety and Health Committee.


  2. Any division/facility/school may develop specific procedures for the operation of their committees, but such procedures must incorporate at a minimum the general procedures.


  3. Each committee shall document the implementation of the guiding procedures within their bylaws.


  4. Each supervisor shall provide committee members under their supervision with the time and resources necessary to perform his/her duties and responsibilities to the committee, and shall consult with committee officers and documentation to evaluate the member's performance during the job performance evaluation process.


  5. Each committee member shall follow the requirements of this policy, associated procedures, and committee bylaws, and shall execute the tasks and responsibilities assigned by the committee and/or committee officers.

References

  1. North Carolina General Statutes:


  2. Chapter 95, Occupational Safety and Health Act of North Carolina: 95-148(3)


  3. Chapter 143, Article 63: State Employees Workplace Requirements Program for Safety and Health: 143-582(2) and 143-584


  4. North Carolina Administrative Code: 25 NCAC 1N.0105 and .0106


  5. State Employees' Workplace Requirements Program for Safety and Health: Section 2
    1. Policy 2.2: Requirements 1.h., 2.b., and 2.e.


    2. Policy 2.3

For questions or clarification on any of the information contained in this policy, please contact Human Resources. For general questions about department-wide policies and procedures, contact the DHHS Policy Coordinator.

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