UPEI has a tiered Committee structure for health and safety management. The UPEI Joint Occupational Health and Safety Committee (JOHSC) reports to the President through the Vice-President, Administration and Finance. JOHSC is guided by their Terms of Reference.
Its general mission statement is to guide the development of an effective Health, Safety, and Environment Management System. Since this is such a diverse workplace, it is imperative to ensure there is representation on a committee for all the organizational members. Hence, four local Health and Safety Working Groups have been developed:
- AVC Health and Safety Working Group
- Faculty of Science Health and Safety Working Group
- Main Campus Health and Safety Working Group
- Faculty of Sustainable Design and Engineering Health and Safety Working Group
The main mission of the local Health and Safety Working Groups is to deal with the day-to-day health and safety issues that arise in their areas of responsibility. Staff should familiarize themselves with their respective Health and Safety Working Group members.
Each local Working Group shall establish its own terms of reference. This outlines the membership, meeting frequency, quorum, etc. Staff should familiarize themselves with their respective Health and Safety Working Group members.
The composition of the local Health and Safety Working Group should, where possible, allow for the provision of equal representation of faculty and staff. When selecting Working Group members, or soliciting volunteers, the following should be considered:
- Health and Safety Working Groups should be comprised of members who have direct and personal knowledge of, and a prime interest in, the work activity.
- Working Group members should be capable of taking direct, positive, and immediate action on all those items that are within their own competencies.
- For items that are beyond their competencies, Working Group members should be authorized to seek advice from appropriate experts, as discussed and approved by the Working Group.
Clear and concise minutes must be kept of every meeting; the subjects discussed should be outlined and the decisions, recommendations, or actions should be indicated. Copies must, therefore, be distributed to all applicable Area Leaders to ensure faculty and staff can be kept informed.
As invited guests to JOHSC, Health and Safety Working Groups will bring forward any Health and Safety issue that the Working Group is unable to address with the competent workplace parties (i.e. Deans, Chairs, Supervisors, workers, etc.) within their areas of responsibilities to the JOHSC. Once the JOHSC receives this information, they will review all relevant information and documentation and then will attempt to work with the appropriate stakeholders to find a reasonable resolution. If necessary, the JOHSC will submit a Recommendation to the Employer Form seeking reasonable actions from the Senior Executive Team to resolve the issue as per the OHS Act section 27.”
Health, Safety, and Environment Management System roles
All UPEI Health and Safety Working Groups must participate in the development and implementation of the UPEI Health, Safety, and Environment Management System to ensure it is effective throughout all areas, departments, disciplines, facilities, buildings, etc. This involvement will ensure that the UPEI Internal Responsibility System (IRS) is functioning as expected in the OHS legislation. Working Group members can contribute to the hazard identification system, development of work procedures, discipline process, training, orientation, inspection, and incident investigation. Working Group members are invaluable in maintaining and monitoring the effectiveness of the program and contributing to modifications. These Working Groups are an essential link to all campus stakeholders to assist the UPEI JOHSC in meeting their legislative responsibilities as per section 25 of the OHS Act of PEI. However, these Working Groups are not bound by the OHS Act or Regulations of PEI. The UPEI JOHSC has the complete responsibility to comply with prescribed legislative requirements.
Other committees that deal with specific hazards or programs include the Laboratory Safety Committee, Radiation Safety Committee, and the Biosafety Committee. These committees shall report to the Senior Executive Team through the UPEI Joint Occupational Health and Safety Committee.