Safety committees are effective in helping prevent unsafe practices and conditions, reducing the risk of injury and illnesses, and motivating employees and supervisors to become actively involved in the company's injury and illness prevention program.

Illness and injury cost companies a great deal of money in lost productivity and time away from work. The immediate role of the workplace safety committee is to reduce worker illnesses and injuries by identifying health and safety risks and potential hazards, making recommendations and developing strategies to decrease incidents, conducting periodic safety audits, and most important, empowering co-workers to play a role in workplace safety and health. In the long run, this all adds up to savings for the company, which in turn will lower workers' compensation costs. So effective, well-functioning safety committees can truly benefit and have an overall positive money saving impact on the company

At CINTAS Corporation, we know that an effective safety committee is the reason for a locations success in safety, injury reduction, employee engagement and hazard recognition. The company recognized that our partners were lacking the skills, education and empowerment needed to rise to the ‘world class’ level in safety.

The regional Corporate Safety Team was challenged by local leadership to integrate a new and challenging program for our site safety committee team members and to devise a strategy that integrated safety into all facets of CINTAS's safety vision. This could not be a run-of-the-mill program or one incapable of sustainability. It had to be cost-efficient, effective, and embraced by all levels of the organization for years to come. It had to be a true "game changer." Out of many hours of cooperative brainstorming sessions and meetings, the CINTAS Safety Improvement Committee Empowerment initiative was born. This program was to be the method used to create a culture of safety committee engagement 15 regional locations employees.

This paper will focus on the basic elements of the CINTAS Safety Improvement Committee Program; its engagement and program results; and its evolution to what it has become today.

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