Do we have to establish a health and safety committee?
I have been led to believe it is necessary to have a health and safety committee if there are 20 or more workers in a business. Is this correct? If not, are there any specific requirements for establishing a health and safety committee other than those in the WHS Act (section 75)?
Section 75 of the Work Health and Safety Act is the relevant law. Under that section, a business must establish a health and safety committee within 2 months of being requested to do so by:
- a health and safety representative of the workplace; or
- five or more workers of the workplace.
The mandatory requirement for a business with more than 20 workers to have a committee existed under the former law, which has since been repealed.
The size of the health and safety committee will depend on the size of your business, but at least half the committee must be comprised of workers not appointed by the business (see section 76(4)).