EXAMPLES OF EMPLOYEE INVOLVEMENT
A textile manufacturer with more than 50 plants with employee populations of 18 to over 1,200, has established joint safety and health committees on all shifts at its facilities. All members are trained in hazard recognition and conduct monthly inspections of their facilities.
A small chemical plant with 85 workers has involved employees in safety and health activities through an Accident Investigation Team and a Safety and Communications Committee consisting of four hourly and three management employees. The team investigates all accidents and incidents that occur in the facility. The committee conducts routine site inspections, reviews all accident and incident investigations, and advises management on a full range of safety and health matters.
Employee involvement at a farm machinery manufacturer with 675 workers includes active membership on several committees and sub-committees. Members change on a voluntary, rotational basis. These committees conduct routine plant-wide inspections and accident investigations. Employees also are involved in conducting training on a variety of safety and health topics. Maintenance employees are revising the preventive maintenance program.
A large chemical company with 2,300 employees has set up a dynamic safety and health program that encourages 100 percent employee participation. Its safety and health committee is broad and complex, with each department having its own committee structure. Subcommittees deal with specific issues such as off-plant safety, training, contractors, communication, process hazard analysis, management and emergency response. The plant-wide committee, which includes representatives from all departmental committees, is responsible for coordination. All committee members are heavily involved in safety and health investigations. They also act as channels for other employees to express their concerns. Members receive extensive training in accident investigations, area assessments and interpersonal skills.
Employee involvement at a paint manufacturing facility with 72 employees works primarily through the Safety Committee. Three members of the committee are hourly bargaining unit employees selected by the union, and three are salaried non-bargaining unit employees selected by management. Members participate in committee meetings, hold monthly plant inspections, and recommend safety and health related improvements to management.
An oil refinery with almost 400 employees involves its workers in a variety of ways. Employees act as safety and health monitors assigned to preventive maintenance contractors. They develop and revise safe work procedures. They are part of the team that develops and reviews job safety analyses. They serve as work group safety and health auditors.
A chemical company with 1,200 employees has found numerous ways to include its employees in the site’s safety and health program. For example, the safety and health committee, which includes equal labor and management membership, has responsibility for a variety of activities including monthly plant inspections, accident investigations and examination of any unsafe conditions in the plant. Employees also are involved in process and operations review teams, safety inspection teams and quality teams. Two hourly employees work full-time at monitoring the safety and health performance of on-site contractors.
An electronics manufacturer with almost 5,800 employees has established a joint committee consisting of seven management and eight hourly employees. They conduct monthly inspections of preselected areas of facility, maintain records of these inspections and follow up to ensure that any identified hazards are properly corrected. They investigate all accidents that occur in the facility. Committee members have been trained extensively in hazard recognition and accident investigation.
Listing of the following examples of employee participation committees is not intended to imply their lawfulness under Section 8(a)(2) of the National Labor Relations Act. As we have stressed throughout this chapter, obtaining advice from a qualified labor relations professional is imperative.