New WSIB Accreditation for Ontario Workplaces:
Well it is finally here; an incentive program recognizing organizations with an exemplary health and safety program. WSIB is initiating an Accreditation Program for Ontario Workplaces which is expected to come into effect in 2009. It will be a voluntary program that sets a specific standard for recognition of superior health and safety management systems and will recognize employers who meet that standard. Accreditation will motivate good workplace programs and practices and embed health and safety “recognition” as a prerequisite for doing business in Ontario . A few of the benefits of the program are: public recognition of a workplace's commitment to health and safety which attracts business and customers and the competitive advantage of reduced premiums and becoming a preferred bidder for contracts. Most of all, your workplace will see a reduction in injuries and illnesses as you maintain your management system for accreditation.
All workplaces operating in Ontario can participate in the voluntary program if they are:
Provincially or federally regulated
Are registered with the WSIB as a Schedule 1 or Schedule 2 firm
For an organization to be accredited the workplace must be operating in Ontario, meet all accreditation program requirements, have a health & safety management system in place for a minimum of 12 months, have not had any traumatic fatalities in the previous 3 years in the firm or any of their contractors while under their care and control, have a good record with WSIB, MOL/HRSDC and not have any Workwell interventions completed at least 12 months prior to the application.
The accreditation process is as follows
- Audit Application (audit must be completed within 12 months from the date of the application)
- Accreditation Audit (if the criteria is not met then you will need to create & implement an action plan to improve the program. They will then re-audit failed elements within 6 months or the whole program after 6 months)
- Accreditation Granted (if you pass)
- Annual Reviews
- Renew Accreditation (36 months after accreditation)
Passing the audit however does not ensure accreditation rewards. You must first meet the qualification standards (under review), pass the audit and then show superior performance to receive accreditation rewards.
All Accredited Firms (ones that pass the audit) receive recognition including:
Certificate for display
Approval to use WSIB Accreditation logo on company letter head
Notation on clearance certificates indicating Accreditation Status
Approval to post a banner/flag
Name posted on WSIB website
Accredited firms with superior performance also receive financial rewards.
To be eligible to receive a financial reward an organization must have:
Achieved Accreditation Status (pass the audit)
Achieved Superior Performance (not defined yet)
Schedule 1 employer
No traumatic fatalities (last 3 years)
No traumatic fatalities for firm's contractors while under their control and care
(last 3 years)
Active payroll for 2 prior years
You may be wondering what the financial reward is going to look like? To date the proposed accreditation reward will be (if approved) a 5% premium reduction applied to your account. The purpose of the premium reduction is to reward exemplary employers that invest in health and safety for prevention of injuries and illnesses and provide incentive to employers to invest in health and safety by offsetting the cost of implementing the accreditation standard. 5% was chosen because it is consistent with other WSIB incentive programs: Safety Group & SCIP and is consistent with other jurisdictions, i.e., Alberta and British Columbia .
Since it is superior performance that makes you eligible for the accreditation reward, you may be wondering what determines superior performance. The WSIB is proposing that firms at the top of their rate group should be eligible for financial reward. Currently the WSIB has proposed the 15th percentile.
This program is not to be confused with Workwell, SCIP or Safety Groups. This program is focused on recognizing advanced safety programs and organizations that have a holistic approach to managing health and safety. I believe this is a step in the right direction. Rather than focusing solely on “low performers”, “high risk” or “targeted intervention firm” or whatever term WSIB wants to call companies that are not controlling hazards in the workplace, they are recognizing and rewarding organizations that are managing health and safety.
This is great news for organizations that have worked with RTS Consulting Inc. in the past. The programs we have established will put you in the perfect position to attain accreditation. Please allow us to assist you in receiving the recognition you deserve for the health and safety management systems you have partnered with us to develop in your organization.
Everything in the accreditation program is in draft stage and subject to change but it is a process that the WSIB is committed to completing. For more information please contact us at RTS Consulting Inc. at (905) 840-1918 or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.