Written by Marcel Vander Wier, Editor of the OH&S Canada magazine
Ontario will reward it safe is employers with an estimated $140 million for excellence in Occupational Health & Safety, as part of a new program unveiled on November 22, 2019.
The program-supporting Ontario’s Safe Employers – will formally recognize employers who successfully implement health and safety programs. The financial rewards will come in the form Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) rebates over a three-year period.
“We know that good health and safety practices save lives,” says Monte McNaughton, Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development. “But they also save money. This program is a reflection of that fact.”
“Our government wants to do everything it can to make workers safer and help businesses save money.”
According to the Ontario government, research has shown that organized, systematic approaches to health and safety increase worker participation in workplace safety practices, encourage ongoing improvement and help reduce workplace injuries and illness.
Similar programs in Europe and Japan have resulted in a decline in workplace accidents, stated a government news release.
The program is open to any employer in Ontario, regardless of size or sector. Led by the office of the Chief Prevention Ofc., this Ministry program was developed based on feedback from labour, employers and other stakeholders.
The WSIB is also building on the program by launching a Health and Safety Excellence program in an effort to promote continual health and safety improvement within workplaces.
While the provincial program recognizes employers, who have already implemented a health and safety management system, the WSIB’s program will encourage employers without an existing program to develop one.
“Our new Health and Safety Excellence program gives them a roadmap to improve health and safety, whether they are just getting started or want to optimize processes they already have in place,” said Elizabeth Witmer, chair of the WSIB in Toronto.
The program offers a comprehensive approach to workplace health and safety meant to streamline improvements for Ontario businesses.
Consisting of 36 topics, businesses can proceed at their own pace, earning rebates and other recognition as they go. Concluding the program makes businesses eligible for the Ontario government’s accreditation program.
“It’s part of an overhaul of our premium rates to give businesses the data they need and incentives to make a clear business case to invest in health and safety improvements,” said Tom Teahen, WSIB’s President and CEO.
The need to change the workplace culture to one of safety has always been there but WSIB numbers do not lie. The cost of poor safety in the workplace is becoming very expensive. Our healthcare system is in greater danger as the growing number of workplace accidents to the equation has put us in dangerous territory.
HRS Group Inc. has a great team that can help you with all your health and safety needs, including the development of a health and safety culture.
Ensure your workplace is a safe place.
Remember – In Ontario, “ALL Accidents are Preventable”
‘Work’ and ‘Play’ safe.
Daniel L. Beal
CHSEP – Advanced Level
VP & Senior Trainer
HRS Group Inc.