Safety committees are a key element in promoting safety and health in a workplace. Romania has a law requiring employers to establish safety committees with specific rules around training and meetings.
The world is full of environment, health and safety regulations, with new ones being added every day. Most of these requirements focus on manufacturing operations, but a surprising number of regulations apply to offices and other non-manufacturing, lower-risk operations! Check out our blog series: EHS Global Moments, where we highlight a country-specific EHS regulation applicable to non-manufacturing operations, organized by place, topic, or theme.
Safety committees are a key element in promoting safety and health in a workplace. They bring employees and employers together to discuss what is best for the company by coming up with ideas and plans to promote safe work practices and programs.
In Romania, Law 319/2006 was put in place to establish measures that promote improvements in the safety and health of workers. This law applies to all sectors, including office operations, and Article 19 within this law requires employers to set up committees on safety and health in the workplace.
When are they required?
Safety committees are required when there are more than 12 employees. This applies to all companies, industries, and operations. There are additional regulatory requirements for an establishment that has 50 or more employees.
With 50 or more employees, the committee must consist of:
- Two manager representatives
- Two employee representatives that must be elected to serve on the committee
- One person with health and safety (H&S) responsibilities who has administrative authority to sign off on documents on behalf of the company. Note, in Romania, many companies outsource H&S responsibilities to a certified external H&S provider if all H&S activities cannot be organized within the company.
- If the company outsources H&S to a certified external service provider, a representative from that company must be invited to the meeting. Additionally, someone from the medical center must be invited but is not required to attend.
- The labor authority must be invited or sent the meeting agenda at least five days in advance to the meeting but are not required to attend.
Training requirements for the individuals chosen to be part of the safety committee are also defined in Law 319/2006. They are as follows:
- The two elected employee representatives must go through an external certified 40-hour H&S training so that they are able to verify compliance and be aware of health and safety issues.
- The person with administrative authority to sign off on H&S records is also required to attend the certified training to be able to verify H&S compliance, including H&S training records/books.
- The training consists of lecture time and several hours dedicated to a related research project. The training may be completed over a period of several weeks.
Meetings must occur on a quarterly basis. Meeting agendas can be customized to fit each company’s operations and committee members’ concerns. As a good practice, meeting minutes should be maintained that include meeting attendees, topics discussed, meeting decisions and outcomes, and action items.
Romania is not the only place that has these types of regulations. Do you know if your country, state, or place of work has laws, rules, or just general “best practices” on safety committees?
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