On November 22nd the Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development (Honourable Monte McNaughton) and Elizabeth Witmer, WSIB Board Chair made a joint announcement of the new MOLTSD Supporting Ontario’s Safe Employers program (Accreditation and Recognition) and the WSIB’s Health and Safety Excellence Program. (These links do not show up well- can we change the font colour?)
The WSIB Health & Safety Excellence Program is designed to assist all sizes of organizations in implementing a complete health and safety management system. The program has levels (Foundation, Intermediate and Advanced) which are designed to accommodate all businesses no matter what level of management sophistication on a journey from awareness to excellence. A company may join the program at any level commensurate with their current sophistication. All businesses should look at whether there are any topic areas where they can make improvements, as they may be eligible for financial recognition up to a maximum potential rebate of $250,000 per year (max of 5 topics at $50,000 each) over three years.
Interested employers are advised as a first step to attend an information session for the WSIB HSEP – full schedule here. (Font colour?)
Ultimately, once the requirements of this program are met, a business’s H&S program would be eligible for recognition as an accredited H&S management system under the MOLTSD program.
The Ministry’s Supporting Ontario’s Safe Employers program (Font colour?) 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 (currently ISO 45001:2018, CSA Z45001-19, OHSAS 18001:2007, or a Revised CORTM 2020) can apply for recognition. As well a business can apply to have their in-house developed OHSMS accredited by the CPO.
Once a business has an accredited OHSMS in place the steps to Recognition are quite involved – the Criteria (Font colour?) 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.