a winning COR 2020 safety strategy

Your Complete Guide to Mastering the COR 2020 Safety Program Average Read Time - 10 min

In the realm of occupational health and safety, achieving the COR (Certificate of Recognition) 2020 certification is a significant milestone for organizations, especially in the context of leadership involvement and commitment. This blog provides a comprehensive guide on how to excel in Element 14 of the COR audits, which emphasizes the critical role of senior management in fostering a culture of sustainable safety.

Some of the critical aspects of this element are:

1. Clear Leadership Commitment: It's vital for senior management to articulate a firm commitment to the COR program and sustainable safety practices. A well-defined policy or statement from the top echelons of the organization should underline the importance of health and safety as integral values.
2. Resource Allocation: Successful COR initiatives require the allocation of necessary resources – financial, technological, and human – demonstrating the seriousness with which senior management approaches these endeavors.
3. Strategic Communication: Implementing an effective communication strategy that regularly informs all organizational levels about the significance of COR and sustainable safety is essential. This should encapsulate the commitment of senior management and set clear expectations for all employees.
4. COR Integration in Business Strategy: Aligning the objectives of the COR and sustainable safety programs with the organization’s broader business strategy is crucial. This alignment underscores the notion that safety is not merely about compliance, but a key driver of business success.
5. Leadership Training and Development: Equip middle management with the necessary safety training to foster and maintain a culture of safety. Workshops and sessions should focus on effective communication, leading by example, and understanding the business implications of safety.
6. Active Leadership Involvement: Encouraging active participation of senior management in safety committees or meetings is crucial. Their engagement highlights the importance of safety discussions and boosts employee involvement.
7. Recognition and Reward Systems: Establishing a system to acknowledge and reward leadership and teams contributing significantly to COR and safety objectives reinforces the organizational value placed on safety.
8. Continuous Evaluation and Feedback: Regular assessment of the effectiveness of leadership involvement in COR and sustainable safety initiatives is crucial. Feedback from employees can provide insights into the efficacy of safety communication across the organization.
9. Adaptability: Senior management should remain open to adjusting strategies based on evolving safety standards, new regulations, or best practices in safety management.
10. Setting Long-Term Goals: Establishing long-term objectives and key performance indicators (KPIs) related to COR and sustainable safety creates a roadmap for continuous improvement and allows tracking of progress over time.

Senior management’s commitment is pivotal in shaping a robust safety culture. Their active involvement and dedication to COR and sustainable safety practices ensure compliance and foster a safer work environment, contributing to the organization's long-term success.

Creating SMART Goals and Tracking Key Performance Indicators

A detailed section on setting SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-bound) goals and tracking both leading and lagging indicators in safety will also be included, emphasizing proactive and retrospective measures in safety management. These sections will cover everything from safety training participation and near-miss reporting to lost time injury frequency rates and compliance metrics, offering a comprehensive view of how to effectively manage safety performance and achieve COR 2020 certification.

Key Performance indicators 

Leading indicators

Leading indicators in safety are proactive measures that help predict and prevent potential incidents or accidents before they occur. They focus on identifying and mitigating risks. Here are some examples:
1. Safety Training Participation: The number of employees participating in safety training programs indicates a proactive approach to safety culture. Regular attendance in safety workshops or courses signifies a commitment to learning and practicing safe procedures.
2. Near-Miss Reporting: Tracking the number of reported near-miss incidents can provide insights into potential hazards before they lead to actual accidents. An increase in reported near misses might indicate improved awareness and reporting rather than a deteriorating safety situation.
3. Safety Inspections and Audits: Regular safety inspections and audits conducted across the workplace can indicate a proactive stance toward identifying and rectifying safety hazards. The number and quality of identified issues and their subsequent resolution demonstrate a commitment to proactive risk management.
4. Usage of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE): Monitoring the consistent and correct use of PPE by employees is a leading indicator. It reflects adherence to safety protocols and awareness of personal safety measures.
5. Safety Meetings Attendance: Regular attendance and participation in safety meetings by employees and management demonstrate a commitment to discussing and addressing safety concerns and initiatives.
6. Employee Engagement in Safety Programs: Tracking employee involvement in safety committees or initiatives, such as suggesting safety improvements or actively participating in safety-related campaigns, reflects a proactive approach to safety.
7. Safety Perception Surveys: Regularly conducted surveys to gauge employees' perceptions about safety practices, their comfort in reporting hazards, and their understanding of safety protocols can serve as leading indicators. Improvements in these perceptions over time may indicate a positive safety culture.
8. Workplace Ergonomics Assessments: Regular assessments of ergonomic factors at workstations and subsequent improvements based on these assessments can prevent musculoskeletal injuries and indicate proactive safety measures.
9. Maintenance of Safety Equipment: Regular maintenance schedules and records of safety equipment, machinery, or tools demonstrate a proactive approach to preventing equipment-related accidents.
10. Behaviour-Based Observations: Implementing a system where employees observe and report safe or at-risk behaviours can provide valuable insights into safety trends and areas needing improvement.

Lagging indicators

Lagging indicators in health and safety are retrospective measures that assess the impact and outcomes of past safety performance within an organization. They often reflect incidents, injuries, or accidents that have occurred. These indicators provide insight into the effectiveness of safety measures after the fact. Here are some examples:
1. Lost Time Injury Frequency Rate: measures the number of lost time injuries per number of hours worked. It indicates the frequency of injuries severe enough to cause employees to miss work.
2. Total Recordable Incident Rate: calculates the total number of work-related incidents resulting in medical treatment, restricted work, or days away from work per hours worked. It includes more than just lost time incidents.
3. Severity Rate: This indicator measures the severity of injuries by calculating the number of lost workdays per incident or by assessing the severity of injuries based on medical treatment required (e.g., minor first aid, medical treatment beyond first aid, hospitalization).
4. Fatality Rate: The number of workplace-related fatalities within a specific period compared to the total number of employees or hours worked provides a clear indicator of the most severe safety failures.
5. Days Away, Restricted, or Transferred Rate: represents the number of cases per 100 full-time employees that involve days away from work, restricted work, or job transfer. It considers the impact of incidents on employees' ability to work.
6. Workdays Lost: Tracking the total number of workdays lost due to injuries or accidents provides an understanding of the overall impact on productivity.
7. Incident Investigation Metrics: Analysis of incident investigations, including the number completed, quality of investigations, and subsequent corrective actions taken, can indicate the effectiveness of safety response and prevention measures.
8. Claims and Insurance Data: Reviewing the number and cost of workers' compensation claims, insurance premiums, and settlements can give an overview of the financial impact of safety incidents.
9. Compliance Metrics: Assessing safety compliance rates, including adherence to safety protocols, completion of safety training, and following safety procedures, helps understand the effectiveness of safety policies.
10. Recurring Patterns of Incidents: Identifying recurring incidents, their causes, and trends provides insights into underlying safety issues that need addressing.

Lagging indicators in health and safety provide retrospective insights into past incidents and their impact, helping organizations identify areas for improvement and refine safety measures to prevent future occurrences. However, relying solely on lagging indicators might not be sufficient; balancing them with leading indicators (proactive measures) offers a more comprehensive approach to safety management.

In conclusion, the COR 2020 Safety Program represents more than a compliance milestone; it embodies a holistic approach to cultivating a Sustainable Safety Culture in the workplace. This program, with its emphasis on leadership commitment and active management involvement, plays a pivotal role in shaping a proactive safety environment. The integration of COR principles into an organization’s ethos, coupled with consistent communication, resource allocation, and strategic alignment with business goals, demonstrates an unwavering commitment to workplace safety and employee well-being.
The incorporation of SMART goals and a balanced focus on both leading and lagging indicators provides a comprehensive framework for continuous improvement in safety performance. It allows organizations to pre-emptively address potential risks and retrospectively analyze safety outcomes, thereby ensuring a dynamic and responsive safety management system. Through initiatives like safety training participation, near-miss reporting, and regular safety audits, organizations can foster a culture where every employee is engaged and invested in maintaining a safe work environment.
Ultimately, the successful implementation of the COR 2020 Safety Program signifies more than just achieving a certificate; it represents a deep-seated commitment to nurturing a safe, healthy, and productive workplace. It is a testament to an organization's dedication to going beyond mere regulatory compliance, prioritizing the safety and well-being of its workforce, and setting a standard for excellence in occupational health and safety management.

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