Clock is ticking for getting COR certified in Ontario. Are you ready?

Clock is ticking for getting COR certified in Ontario. Are you ready?

In fact, in Ontario, COR™ has become a pre-requisite for many organizations such as:

  • Metrolinx
  • York Region
  • Infrastructure Ontario
  • City of Toronto, Brampton, and Milton

That’s what started the buzz in the early part of 2016. Going forward, more or less all top buyers will be asking for COR certification for bidding on projects.

Clock's ticking to implement COR in Ontario

Clock’s ticking to implement COR in Ontario

However, in 2017, the York Region made COR™ mandatory for bidding for any project in excess of $150,000. This added to the COR™ impetus, since the Small and Medium Sized companies started joining the race. This was not the case in early 2016. Today, COR™ certification has reached a stage where you just cannot remain registered anymore. The luxury of just remaining registered and bid for projects is soon vanishing. Therefore, it’s time to take quick action.

CLICK HERE to check the latest COR™ requirements of various organizations published by the IHSA.

It’s going to be a highly competitive and well-populated space

COR is going to make the Ontario construction industry a highly competitive and well-populated space.

COR is buzzing in Ontario

More companies started realizing that COR™ audits will help them demonstrate how well they:

  • Evaluate the health and safety risks at their workplace
  • Assess the required measures to control the risks
  • Put in the control measures to mitigate the risks
  • Manage the risks for the health and safety of their workers.

Companies in Ontario have begun seeing COR™ accreditation as a serious competitive edge among peers in the project bidding process.

We came across a situation where a company bid for a project at $750,000. Another company bid for the same project at $450,000. This was the lowest bid for that project. However, the buyer decided to go with the first company that bid $750,000. The reason being the lowest bidding company was not COR certified in Ontario while the highest bidder was. The second company lost the project despite bidding 40% lower.

This clearly explains how buyers are preferring companies that are COR certified in Ontario for assigning projects over those who are just registered. Mind you, this is irrespective of the bid differences. Being COR certified in Ontario ensures that you comply with the legal requirements of the OHS Act. Moreover, one of the biggest advantages of being COR certified in Ontario is that it encourages higher worker participation in occupational health and safety process while enhancing your organizational culture. Further, COR™ boosts your corporate image as a company committed towards creating a strong safety culture by attracting safety-conscious customers.

How does a company become COR certified in Ontario?

How does COR happen in Ontario?

How does COR happen in Ontario?

COR™ is a three-year certification provided by the Infrastructure Health & Safety Association (IHSA). Further, IHSA is the only approved provider (registrar) of COR™ in Ontario. IHSA provides the COR™ certification after the successful completion of internal and external audits, which takes approximately 12-18 months. The COR™ certification will be valid for three years from the date of issue. However, IHSA requires the employer to perform and successfully complete internal maintenance audits in year 2 and 3 while complying with the terms and conditions of the COR™ certification. Further, IHSA must approve all the internal audit results. IHSA issues a Letter of Good Standing for year 2 and 3 certifying that the training elements and audit standards were maintained by the employer.

Further, in year 4, the employer must reapply for the COR™ program and kick-start the process again. Key to COR™ accreditation success lies in an organization’s ability to demonstrate consistent application of its OHS program throughout the organization.

COR™ is a part of your Business Strategy

COR is a part of your Business Strategy

COR is a part of your Business Strategy

COR™ accreditation is a process for consistency throughout the organization. Therefore, you need to start by looking at each element of the COR requirements as setting up a process to capture and maintain that information. That’s where it becomes an integral part of your ‘business strategy’. Thus, you cannot just perceive COR™ as just another ‘business tactic’.

The worst strategy to take for COR™ accreditation is the act of simply collecting information as one would during a bidding process to participate in it. In fact, COR™ looks at a working system and proof of documentation on the activities that happen in an organization.

COR process in Ontario looks at three major aspects:

  • Documentation of your policies, processes, and procedures to meet compliance
  • Performance of internal and external audits to ensure that whatever is being documented is actually happening
  • Building health and safety culture at the workplace through a sustainable health and safety program

6 step implementation of the ‘COR™ Strategy’ with help from a COR™ support partner

Once you have established a process, you must set up resources that you will require to get started with the accreditation. These processes can be divided as follows:

Step 1 – Gap Analysis

COR Gap Analysis

COR Gap Analysis

Gap analysis is a highly recommended starting point for COR™. Performing a COR™ gap analysis helps in identifying:

  • What the company’s is currently doing in terms of its workplace safety
  • What it needs to do to become COR certified in Ontario

It is a good option to use the services of an expert external COR consultant for the gap analysis. Apart from serving as a vital OHS due diligence document, gap analysis by an expert external consultant provides you with an unbiased clear opinion on your program.

In fact, they will also make relevant recommendations if your program has gaps. Further, they will provide you with a clear roadmap of where the organization is and where it needs to go for becoming COR certified in Ontario.

Step 2 – Conduct job hazard analysis

Conduct job hazard analysis for COR

Conduct job hazard analysis for COR

Job hazard analysis (JHA) helps you identify hazards based on activities performed. JHA helps in identification of job function hazards, and the probability and severity of workplace injury and/or illness as it relates to each categorized task.

It helps you identify and develop the SJPs / SWP (Safe Job/Work Procedures) for high risk tasks, which is vital for becoming COR certified in Ontario. Further, JHA increases the overall health and safety awareness in the workplace, making it easier for building a health and safety culture, which is again crucial for becoming COR certified in Ontario.

Seeking help from an expert COR support partner with regards to conducting a JHA is a good idea. In fact, a COR™ support partner can help you integrate your JHA with your business.

Step 3 – Implement an online system

4SafeCom Online Management System for COR

4SafeCom Online Management System for COR

Next, you are recommended to implement an online safety training and management system to capture and store records largely for documentation. An online safety training and management system will make it much easier to maintain information, communicate with your workers, and keep your health and safety program alive.

You can map your JHA that with an online system, which is an important feature. Apart from helping you with due diligence, online systems make it easier to track the progress of your health and safety initiatives, which is vital for COR certified in Ontario.

Step 4 – Training frontline supervisors

Training frontline supervisors for COR

Training frontline supervisors for COR

The next step is to get all your frontline supervisors and managers trained on understanding their responsibilities and the change in processes along with its requirements as the implementation takes place. This is crucial for COR™ certification since employee engagement is one of the major pillars on which the success of building a health and safety culture hinges. COR™ is all about creating and sustaining a health and safety culture.

One cannot just undermine the role of middle-management in COR™ certification. In fact, it is often the middle-management that often tends to resist change the most. Training middle-management is crucial simply because COR™ involves a major strategic change that needs to be executed across all levels of the organization. Often, it is your middle-management that will communicate your COR™ strategy across the organization.

With the Occupational Health and Safety Act constantly increasing the emphasis on the role of supervisors within an organization in terms of health and safety, training your supervisors for COR™ becomes even more important.

Step 5 – Provide comprehensive training for all employees

Training for all employees required for COR

Training for all employees for COR

It’s good to ensure that all your employees undergo all the mandatory training and hazard-specific training. Moreover, it’s also important to ensure that you train them in all the new ways of carrying out their daily activities as well as filling in the required forms and checklists.

Regular training conducted by you constantly reinforces your company’s message in the minds of the employees, slowly making it a part of your organizational culture. Further, technology plays a big role in making the training process seamless, user-friendly, measurable, and efficiently manageable.

You can use online systems to train employees, manage their records, and monitor their performance easily and effectively. In fact, regular training of employees is one of the best engagement strategies that you can adopt.

Interactive training goes a long way in terms of creating the right atmosphere to build a workplace safety culture within your organization. Moreover, COR™ is all about creating a health and safety culture within your organization over a long term. One that is not dependent on individuals. Employee training will help you in this regard.

Step 6 – Thorough monitoring

Thorough monitoring for achieving COR

Thorough monitoring for achieving COR

The last step you are recommended to follow is to conduct thorough monitoring on an ongoing basis. It’s very important for you to ensure that what is being said in your program is being communicated, understood, and followed correctly by employees at all levels of your organization.

Why have 4S Consulting as your COR™ Support Partner?

Small businesses, are you ready for COR?

Small businesses, are you ready for COR?

4S is an occupational health and safety advisory firm that ensures OHS compliance. Further, it protects companies such as you and its employees with a “live” occupational and safety management program.

We can help you achieve COR in Ontario in the following ways:

  • COR™ gap analysis: We can perform a detailed based on the 19 elements for COR in Ontario. We will be making recommendations for gaps in your program, if any. Further, we will be providing you with a roadmap for achieving COR in Ontario.
  • 4SafeCom™ Safety Training and Management System: We can support you in achieving COR in Ontario through our online training and management system. 4SafeCom™ system will not only make your H&S program come alive, it will also provide with a robust platform to manage your OHS documentation for achieving COR in Ontario. The system allows to manage employees’ training records, conduct online workplace inspections, track progress on action items, record toolbox meetings/safety talks, get employees to review & acknowledge your policies & procedures. It will bring your H&S program alive.
  • Full COR™ support partner: As a start-to-finish support partner for achieving COR in Ontario, 4S will be there with you right through your journey for COR in Ontario. Our full support package includes COR™ consulting, site inspections, 4SafeCom™ Safety Training and Management System, team mentoring, developing H&S program, and everything you require to achieve COR in Ontario. As your COR™ support partner, we will help you in building a health and safety culture, which is not dependent on individuals. In fact, it will be one that will enable you to not only be in compliance, but also remain in compliance.

This will include:

We provide you with all the tools that you would require to make and manage your program in a manner that it is not dependent on individuals.

Why do you need to come a 4S COR™ breakfast seminar?

We conduct breakfast seminars on preparing for COR™ audit in Ontario. CLICK HERE to register for the next seminar to know more about COR™. These seminars are a good way to know each other and for understanding your COR™ requirements.

Here’s how we’ll help you maintain your COR™ momentum through our COR™ Breakfast Seminar:

  • COR™ seminar will be a good place for you to network with industry peers.
  • Get vital tips on simplifying what looks like a complex process to achieve COR™ in Ontario.
  • Discuss key developments such as the York Region and other organizations making COR™ mandatory, going forward. Further, you can discuss key aspects of Occupational Health and Safety, and much more.
  • Evaluate where you are in terms of achieving the IHSA COR™ certification.
  • Get to know about online tools for managing your organization’s health and safety, which will help you become COR certified in Ontario.
  • Know more about mandatory training compliance as per the Occupational Health and Safety Act and other helpful advisory services, which will make the COR™ certification process easier.



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