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Supporting Ontario’s Safe Employers Program: Ontario to reward safe employers

Written by on February 24, 2020 in Employment Law Blog, Employment Law Issues

On November 22, 2019, the government of Ontario introduced Supporting Ontario’s Safe Employers, a voluntary program that recognizes Ontario employers who successfully implement an Occupational Health and Safety Management System (OHSMS) in their workplaces.

An OHSMS is a tool that provides an employer with a systematic approach to managing health and safety in the workplace.

According to the Ministry of Labour, the Program’s intended purpose is to promote health and safety in the workplace and to help reduce work-related injuries and illness. It is open to any employer in Ontario, regardless of size or sector.

The Program is made up of two parts:

  1. Accreditation of an Occupational Health and Safety Management System
  2. Recognition of employers who have successfully implemented an accredited OHSMS and have met other criteria set by the Chief Prevention Officer (CPO) of the Ministry of Labour

Accreditation

There are two ways to have your organization’s OHSMS qualify for accreditation under the Program:

  1. Create your own OHSMS and apply for accreditation.

Your organization may create its own OHSMS that satisfies the requirements of the CPO accreditation standard and then apply to have your OHSMS accredited by the CPO.

  1. Create an OHSMS based on existing standards pre-accredited by the CPO.

As of November 2019, the CPO has pre-accredited the following standards:

  • ISO 45001:2018: Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems;
  • CSA Z45001-19: Occupational Health and Safety Management;
  • BS OHSAS 18001: 2007: Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems; and
  • COR™ (2020) updated standard to be available for implementation in January 2020.

If your organization’s OHSMS is based on one of the above-noted pre-accredited standards, you do not need to apply separately to have it individually accredited.

Recognition

To be eligible for recognition by the Chief Prevention Officer, employers must meet the following criteria:

  • Provide the CPO with verification of successful OHSMS implementation through a third-party audit
  • Demonstrate compliance with the Occupational Health and Safety Act
  • Demonstrate a commitment to worker participation and the internal responsibility system at the workplace.

Employers who have received CPO recognition may be eligible to receive premium rebates from the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board. An estimated $140 million in rebates will be provided by the WSIB to eligible employers over a three-year period. Recognized employers will also be able to brand themselves as CPO-recognized.

Minken Employment Lawyers is your source for expert advice and advocacy on today’s employment law issues. Whether you are an employer or an employee, we can help. Contact us to see how.

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