FSJ Joint Occupational Health & Safety Committee (JOHSC)

The Fort St John campus JOHSC is comprised of the following people as of October 1, 2020:

The co-chairs are Linda Mueller and Tennille Penner. The remainder of the committee is comprised of Gary Farquharson, Ryan Tutt, David Christie, Mike Dwojak and Jack Ryder. The University of Northern British Columbia non-voting representative is Betty Powers.  Any safety concerns or issues on the Fort St. John campus should be brought forward to any one or all of the members of the committee to review. The committee will make recommendations to the College for the resolution of the issues brought before them as necessary.

Currently, the committee meets the second Thursday of the month. Safety Inspections are conducted the week prior of the meeting.

Fort St. John JOHSC Terms of Reference

Northern Lights College is committed to ensuring there is a healthy and safe working and learning environment. The College will:

  • Remain steadfast in the belief that nothing will impede the maintenance of a safe and healthy environment for all the employees, students, and community users, by meeting or exceeding any current health and safety regulations or legislation.
  • Implement up-to-date health and safety practices and research new health and safety practices, to maintain a leadership role within the community.
The Role of the FSJ JOHS Committee:

The JOHSC’s role shall include but not be limited to:

  • Promoting safe work practices.
  • Collaborating/coordinating with the other JOHSC’s or worker representatives.
  • Assisting the Health, Safety and Environmental Advisor in developing the College’s Health and Safety Program, policies and procedures, and best practices.
  • Recommending actions which will improve the effectiveness of the occupational health and safety program.
  • Promoting health and safety education and awareness.
Role of Guests and Alternates of the FSJ JOHS Committee:

Guests are welcome to attend the JOHSC meetings. They are non-voting participants unless they are acting as an alternate representing committee members.

Alternates for worker members are to be appointed by the union.

Duties and Functions of the FSJ JOHS Committee:

The JOHSC shall:

  • Identify situations that may be unhealthy or unsafe for workers and advise on effective systems for responding to those situations.
  • Consider and expeditiously deal with complaints relating to the health and safety of workers.
  • Consult with workers and the College on issues related to occupational health and safety and occupational environment.
  • Make recommendations to the College and the workers for the improvement of the occupational health and safety and occupational environment of workers.
  • Make recommendations to the College on educational programs promoting the health and safety of workers and compliance with WorkSafe BC regulations and to monitor the effectiveness of implemented programs.
  • Advise the College on programs and policies required under the WorkSafe BC regulations for the workplace and monitor their effectiveness.
  • Advise the College on proposed changes to the workplace, including significant proposed changes to equipment and machinery, or the work processes that may affect the health or safety of workers.
  • Ensure that accident investigations and regular inspections are carried out as required by WorkSafe BC regulations.
  • Participate in inspections, investigations and inquires as provided in WorkSafe BC regulations.
  • Listen to any concerns or issues brought forward specific to safety concerns at the FSJ Campus and respond appropriately.

Carry out any other duties and functions prescribed by WorkSafe BC regulations.

Membership or Composition of the FSJ JOHS Committee:

The JOHSC must be established in accordance with the following:

  • It must have at least 4 members.
  • It must consist of worker representatives and employer representatives.
  • At least half the members must be worker representatives.
  • It must have 2 co-chairs, one selected by the worker representatives and the other selected by the employer representatives.
Attendance at FSJ JOHS Meetings:

Members are required to attend all meetings. If they miss more than 20% of the meetings in a calendar year, the following actions may occur: co-chairs will speak with member and/or work with the member to resolve any issues that may be hindering their attendance, the union representative will speak with the member, the member is removed from the committee.

Meetings of the FSJ JOHS Committee:

Meetings will be held every second Thursday of each month, where practicable. The meeting agenda will be prepared by the co-chairs and circulated one week in advance of the meeting date. In the event of a serious incident, emergency or unusual circumstances, special meetings may be convened at short notice. A quorum shall consist of 4 members, with at least 2 voting members representing the College and 2 voting members representing workers. Once approved, minutes will be posted on the NLC website.

Records of the FSJ JOHS Committee:

The JOHSC will keep accurate records of all matters that come before it. The JOHSC will maintain copies of its minutes for a period of at least two years from the date of the meeting from which they relate.

The College must, when requested by the British Columbia Government and Employees Union (BCGEU), send a copy of the minutes to the BCGEU and ensure that the retained minutes are readily accessible to the JOHSC members and anyone from the College.

The following forms and/or documentation are records the FSJ JOHSC requests:

  • Worksite Inspection Reports
  • First Aid Records
  • Employers’ Form 7
  • Incident/Near Miss Reports
  • Refusal of Unsafe Work
  • Safety Statistics
  • Education and Training

Copies of these records will be maintained by the Health, Safety and Environmental Advisor and a redacted version will be provided to the committee to ensure the College’s privacy guidelines are not violated.

Post Committee Information of the FSJ JOHS Committee:

The Fort St. John campus of Northern Lights College will post:

  • The names and work location of the JOHSC (JOHSC member posters).
  • The reports of the 3 most recent JOHSC meetings.
  • Copies of any applicable WorkSafe BC orders for the preceding twelve months.

The committee recorder will be responsible for posting the committee member posters and reports from the meetings.


Inspections of the Fort St. John Campus are conducted the week of the meeting. Inspections will be carried out by at least one College member and one worker member. Inspections will be done at varied times and without notice. The areas are inspected on a rotating basis. The areas include but are not limited to:

  • Automotive Shop
  • Facilities Building
  • Main Campus
  • Industry Training Center
  • Student Housing
  • Wellsite
  • Grounds
Recommendations to the College from the FSJ JOHS Committee:

Recommendations to the College will meet these guidelines directly related to health and safety:

  • Practicable
  • Comprehensive.

Recommendations are sent to the Supervisor responsible for the area having the issue.

When the JOHSC sends a written recommendation to the College, the College must respond in writing to the JOHSC within 21 days of receiving the recommendation, either indicating acceptance of the recommendation or giving the College’s reason for not accepting that recommendation.

If the College does not accept the JOHSC’s recommendations, a co-chair of the JOHSC may report the matter to WorkSafe BC, which may investigate and attempt to resolve the matter.

If it is not reasonably possible to provide a response before the end of the 21 day period, the College must provide within that time a written explanation for the delay, together with an indication of when the response will be provided.

If the JOHSC is not satisfied that the explanation provided is reasonable in the circumstances, a co-chair of the JOHSC may report this to the WorkSafe BC, which may investigate the matter and may, by order, establish a deadline by which the College must respond.

Assistance in Resolving Disagreements of the FSJ JOHS Committee:

If the JOHSC is unable to reach agreement on a matter relating to the health and safety of everyone at the workplace, a co-chair of the JOHSC may report this to the WorkSafe BC, which may investigate and attempt to resolve the matter.

If WorkSafe BC considers that the committee is unable to reach agreement on the matter relating to the health or safety of workers at the workplace, WorkSafe BC on its own initiative, may investigate the matter and attempt to resolve the matter.

Voting of the FSJ JOHS Committee:

Voting members of the FSJ JOHS Committee will consist of Employer representatives and Appointed Union Committee members. Non-voting representatives and guests will not have a vote unless they are acting as alternates representing committee members.

Mandatory Training of the FSJ JOHS Committee:

All joint committee members must receive eight hours of training and instruction on the following topics:

  • The duties and functions of a joint committee
  • The rules of procedure of the joint committee
  • The requirements around conducting incident investigations
  • The requirements around conducting regular workplace inspections, and how to make regular inspections
  • The requirements around responding to a refusal of unsafe work
  • The requirements for annually evaluating the joint committee

The training can be delivered by the College or by an external training provider. The training should be provided as soon as practicable but no more than 6 months after becoming a member.

Educational Leave of the FSJ JOHS Committee:

Each member of the JOHSC is entitled to an annual educational leave totaling 8 hours, or a longer period if prescribed by regulation, for the purposes of attending occupational health and safety training courses as recognized by WorkSafe BC.

A member of the JOHSC may designate another member as being entitled to take all or part of that member’s educational leave.

The College must provide the educational leave under WorkSafe BC regulations without loss of pay or other benefits and must pay for, or reimburse the worker for, the costs of the training course and the reasonable costs of attending the course.

Annual Review of the FSJ JOHS Committee:

These terms of reference will be reviewed annually by the JOHSC and amended as required.

The evaluation of the committee’s effectiveness needs to be completed once a year. It is to be completed by the co-chairs. They may designate other committee members to assist with the review.

Accepted November 12, 2020

Additional Links of the FSJ JOHS Committee:

-- Created September 2008 | Revised October 2020 | Review Date January 2022