The Ministry’s Supporting Ontario’s Safe Employers program is a voluntary program made up of two parts:
- accreditation of an occupational health and safety management system (OHSMS) and
- recognition of employers who have successfully implemented an accredited OHSMS and meet other criteria set by the CPO (Chief Prevention Officer)
A business with an Occupational Health & Safety Management System that is already accredited by the Chief Prevention Officer can apply for recognition. As well a business can apply to have their in-house developed OHSMS accredited by the CPO.
As of November 2019, the CPO has accredited the following standards:
- ISO 45001:2018: Occupational health and safety management systems — Requirements with guidance for use
- CSA Z45001-19: Occupational health and safety management systems — Requirements with guidance for use
- BS OHSAS 18001: 2007: Occupational health and safety management system — Requirements
- COR™ (2020) updated standard to be available for implementation January 2020
Once a business has an accredited OHSMS in place the steps to Recognition are quite involved – the Criteria includes verification, audits (including a 3rd party certification audit), demonstrated worker participation and Internal Responsibility System, good standing with the MOLTSD and WSIB. On an ongoing basis a 3rd party audit must be conducted every 3 yrs in addition to internal audits, and annual reporting to the CPO must be done.
The financial rewards are Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) rebates, limited to a three-year period after receiving recognition in the program.
Applications for accreditation or for employer recognition are not yet being accepted. Application documents are expected in Winter 2020.
There are criteria for Revocation of recognition status that you should be aware of. Revocation will be revoked for failure to maintain the 3rd Party audit requirements.
In addition it will be revoked for :
- any Part III conviction under the Provincial Offences Act against an employer for a violation under the Occupational Health and Safety Act
- Ontario Labour Relations Board decisions ruling against the employer or a person acting on behalf of an employer for reprising against a worker for exercising their rights under Occupational Health and Safety Act,
- any orders issued against an employer for failing to cause a joint health and safety committee to be established, or failing to cause workers to select a health and safety representative, as required under the Occupational Health and Safety Act,
- any false information, reference, or documents that have been attested or submitted to the Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development by the employer, and
an Annual Report has not been submitted to the CPO by the anniversary date of the employer receiving CPO recognition or where the employer no longer meets all of the Employer Recognition Criteria.