This paper presents preliminary findings from a case study of two aged care facilities in New Zealand. The case studies were undertaken towards Ravenswood’s doctoral thesis investigating the links between employee wellbeing, participation and productivity, which itself contributes to an international comparative research project on the impact of representative employee participation on the work environment and business outcomes in multiple industries in Denmark and New Zealand. This paper focuses on the effectiveness of the health and safety committees as a form of representative employee participation in the two organisations with particular reference to Gaffney’s measures of effectiveness (Gaffney 2002). It finds that the effectiveness of the health and safety committees is strongly influenced by the ideology of managers, and limited in scope accordingly. Legislation for health and safety committees was only introduced in New Zealand as recently as 2002, and there is as yet little research into their effectiveness as a form of representative employee participation.