By Catherine Niemi, Logistics Coordinator
Work is not who we are, but what we do. We need to stay safe in the workplace so we can go home and be who we are – a mother, father, daughter, son, grandparent, partner.
The Joint Health and Safety Committee (JHSC) is an advisory body that encourages and increases health and safety awareness in the workplace. Workers and management representatives meet regularly to discuss health and safety issues. The advantage of a joint committee like this is workers can bring their in-depth knowledge about specific tasks to management, who is responsible for the
company’s policies and procedures.
The JHSC has experienced amazing growth and change since it came together in 2014 as roles and responsibilities have become more defined and better understood by our members. Now, the task is to ensure that all Noront employees understand how the JHSC duties fit into the company’s Internal Responsibility System (IRS). Everyone in the workplace is responsible for health and safety but an effective JHSC identifies breakdowns in the system and suggests how to correct them.
Health and safety is about both our physical and mental health, which extends beyond the perimeters of our work place. It is only by involving everyone that we will see a culture of safety embraced on the job and also at home.
I have witnessed a growing, company-wide culture of awareness and acceptance, and an understanding that everyone’s concerns and observations matter. It’s not about finding fault but identifying weaknesses and finding solutions. It is about prevention. We are cultivating something that will only get stronger as the company grows. Our team is leading the way for success, and we are all in this together. We have a leadership team that believes in each and every one of us. I believe the JHSC has been instrumental in this process and that it will continue to be as we work closely with management and to advocate on behalf of all workers.