Health & Safety Committee

This section in particular requires consultation between the employer and the committee with a new method to initiating, developing, promoting, maintaining and reviewing measures to ensure health and safety. If you have only one representative he/she should then report directly to the Chief Executive Officer. Two or more representatives require the establishment of a health and safety committee.

Employer’s duties:

The employer must decide on the number of health and safety committee members; the number of employer nominees (managers) may not exceed the number of health and safety representative. The employer must consult with the committee with a view to initiating, developing, promoting, maintaining and reviewing measures to ensure the health and safety of his employees at work.

The employer needs to appoint committee members in writing for specified period.


Self Evaluating Checklist (13)YesNo
Section 19(1) 
Do you have two or more health and safety representatives appointed?  
Do you have a health and safety committee system in place?  
Have all health and safety committee members been appointed in writing?  
Section 19(2) (c) 
Are the nominated members not exceeding the number of health and safety representatives?  
Section 19(3) 
Are all nominated members of your health and safety committee designated in writing?  
Section 19(4) 
Does your health and safety committee meet at least every three months?  
Section 19(6) (a) 
Do you have any co-opted advisory members on your committee?  


Full consultation with the committee on all aspects of the health and safety programme is very important. All matters referred to the committee from either the employees or the health and safety representatives must be dealt with in a sufficient and formal manner.

The employer must provide a suitable meeting place for committee meetings.

Committee’s duties:

  • They may make and keep records of recommendations to employers and inspectors;
  • Where these recommendations do not lead to solving the matter, the committee may make recommendations to an inspector.
  • Shall discuss, report and keep records of incidents in which someone is killed, injured, or becomes ill
  • Shall discuss incidents, injuries, illness, DEATH AND MAY REPORT ON AN INCIDENT IN WRITING TO INSPECTOR
  • Shall perform functions as prescribed
  • Shall keep records of recommendations (3 years)

Who determines the procedure at the meeting?

The members of the committee elect the chairperson and determine his or her period of office, the meeting times, the place of the meeting, procedures, etc.

May health and safety committees consult experts for advice?

Committees may co-opt people as advisory members for their knowledge and expertise on health and safety matters. However, an advisory member does not have the right to vote.


The committee or a member shall not incur any civil liability if they failed to do anything which they may do or is required to do.

Record keeping:

GAR 5 stipulates that records of meetings needs to be kept for a period of at least 3 years.

Self Evaluating Checklist (14)YesNo
Section 20 
Do you have a constitution?  
Section 20(1) (a) 
Do you have equal or more health and safety representatives on the committee than employer nominees?  
Are the Chief Executive Officer and other legally appointed persons involved in the health and safety committee activities?  
Does your committee have a procedure for reporting recommendations to the employer?  
Section 20(2) 
Does the employer comment and sign the recommendations of all health and safety committee meetings?  
Are written records and recommendations kept for at least three years?  
Does your health and safety committee discuss all reportable and recordable incidents as well as diseases, as a fixed agenda item?  

Source; The South African Labour Guide

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