WSIB’s Health and Safety Excellence Program

WSIB’s Health and Safety Excellence Program is here!

WSIB is coming up with its new Health and Safety Excellence Program (H&S Excellence Program). Moreover, the new program promises to change the way businesses perceive Occupational Health and Safety (OHS). Going forward, businesses in Ontario need not perceive workplace health and safety as a cost. In fact, with the new Health and Safety Excellence Program, they can look at workplace health and safety as an investment. Indeed! The new program will provide Ontario employers with rebates on their WSIB premium based on satisfaction of program requirements.

What is WSIB’s Health and Safety Excellence Program?

The Health and Safety Excellence Program integrates the strengths of WSIB’s three previous voluntary programs. These include Small Business, Workwell, and Safety Groups programs. Moreover, it creates a single health and safety program with more service and delivery options. Not to forget, rebates & recognition for workplaces is an integral part of the new program. Furthermore, it connects employers of all sizes with WSIB-approved providers. In fact, this will help businesses develop a health and safety program that is suitable for their business. Further, it will help them build a management system based on best practices in health and safety. Going forward, the new program will reward businesses for behaviors and activities related to health & safety. Only a qualified network of WSIB-approved providers will deliver the program.

What are the benefits of enrolling for the H&S Excellence Program?

By enrolling for the H&S Excellence Program, you will enjoy the support from an experienced WSIB provider. Moreover, they will guide you through your H&S journey. Further, you will get opportunities to network & share industry best practices for H&S. Thus, you can get potential rebates on your WSIB premiums to support your H&S investments. That said, you will get digital badge recognition on WSIB’s Compass (HTML link) to show your H&S commitment. Moreover, you will reduce risks of hazards & contribute towards a sustainable workplace safety culture.

What is the approximate rebate you can expect?

WSIB calculates rebates as a percentage of total premium per validated topic. Moreover, businesses with less ability to impact their premium (<20% predictability), will receive 2% of their total WSIB premiums. Further, WSIB will calculate this per health and safety topic successfully completed and verified by WSIB validation. Furthermore, businesses with more ability to impact their premium (>20% predictability), will receive 1.4% of their total WSIB premiums. WSIB will calculate this just as in case of less predictability.

To determine your predictability percentage level, please visit the WSIB Compass website. You can look up information for your business. Under the “premium rates”,  you will see your predictability in the top right corner.

There is a cap (maximum) of $50,000 per completed topic that you can receive. However, if you have low premiums, you may benefit from the rebate floor (minimum) of $1,000 per completed topic. That said, please note that this will be for up to 75% of your WSIB annual premiums.

Who’s eligible to do the H&S Excellence Program?

All businesses with an active WSIB account number are eligible to participate in the program. However, to participate in the program, employers also need to select a WSIB-approved provider.

Here’s is how the program works:

1) Attending an information session

WSIB hosts FREE information sessions to provide you with key information. This includes information about Ontario’s health and safety system including the WSIB. Moreover, you need to know your legislative requirements and any recent legislative updates. Furthermore, you need to know about the new health and safety program. In fact, one of the best ways is through the business case for health and safety. Further, the case tells you how to calculate your return on investment for participating in the program. Moreover, WSIB does in-person and webinar sessions right through the year. However, WSIB encourages owners and senior managers are encouraged to attend. That said, the sessions are open to everyone.

2)  Join through a WSIB-approved provider

Once you have gathered enough information about the program, you need to select a WSIB-approved provider to work with. Providers are private health and safety companies and health and safety associations. Further, WSIB approves them to deliver the program. Moreover, they will support workplaces in improving health and safety. Although you can join the program anytime throughout the year, some providers may offer services that run on an annual schedule with a specific entry period.

Each provider will offer services based on the industries and regions they serve and may include group workshops, one-to-one services delivered through face-to-face meetings, and online learning. The fees for these services are set by each provider based on the types of services offered. Next, you will need to complete an assessment to help determine your entry point in the program. After that, you need to select one to five health and safety topics and include them in your action plan.

3) Develop

At this stage, you will learn how to complete your health and safety topics. Moreover, you will do this with the help of a provider. A well-developed occupational health and safety program is a written plan that can help you identify and control hazards, define safety responsibilities, and respond to issues and emergencies. Moreover, safety shouldn’t be an after-thought. In fact, your program should build health and safety into all of your workplace practices and activities.

A health and safety topic is a chapter in that plan. It focuses on a single specific hazard, or on a process, such as training or worker participation. Moreover, each topic is focused on eliminating or controlling a hazard or developing a process. Therefore, it identifies in detail the particular standards, equipment, and procedures required. In fact, the Health and Safety program uses a risk based approach to identify health and safety topics.

Topics in the health and safety program

Topics are based on health and safety best practices. Moreover, they include building blocks of a health and safety management system, which establishes roles, responsibilities and relationships across the company. In fact, the topics are built on the strengths of former WSIB programs. Moreover, WSIB also uses recognized health and safety standards such as ISO 45001, CSA Z1000, COR, and Supporting Ontario’s Safe Employers occupational health and safety management system accreditation standard.

Every business deals with different risks. Hence, their health and safety programs will also need to be different. This is crucial to address the needs and hazards of their operation. Now, you have selected your topics for your action plan. Therefore, it’s time to get to work with the help of your provider. Hence, it’s time to bring the health and safety topics to life in your workplace. For this, you can use WSIB’s ‘five steps to managing health and safety’ or another model approved by your provider. This will follow the plan-do-check-act (PDCA) cycle to implement your topics. Moreover, the plan-do-check-act cycle incorporates health and safety management into everyday workplace activities. In fact, it does not treat the management system as a standalone system. Further, you will be using this to achieve continuous improvement.

4)  Demonstrate

Now, it’s time to submit your evidence of topic completion with the help of your provider for validation by the WSIB. Moreover, all program participants will receive a desk validation by a WSIB validator on the evidence package they submit for each topic. Further, the results of the desk validation are conditional upon a successful onsite validation, if one is required. Furthermore, a small number of participants will receive an onsite validation. Moreover, this will be based on certain factors such as WSIB considers such a topic or industries of focus, years of program participation, discrepancies in information, etc.

The onsite validation builds on the results of the desk validation. Therefore, it is a verification of the evidence package you already submitted for each topic. Hence, all employers should be prepared and ready for an onsite validation. Moreover, you are required to submit evidence for each topic completed on your action plan. Further, this should demonstrate that it is fully implemented, “living and breathing” so to speak, at your workplace.

5) Achieve rebates and recognition

You’ve worked hard to implement your health and safety topics. Now, you deserve to be rewarded! Therefore, rebates and recognition are key components of the continued development of your health and safety program. Moreover, you can receive rebates and recognition upon successful completion of the validation process. Please note, this holds true even if you received notification that a topic was incomplete. Provided, within the 60 calendar day window, you have successfully addressed the gaps, which is also verified by WSIB validation.

Under the 2020 rate framework, all employers fall into one of two categories. Moreover, this is based on their ability to influence their premium rate and predictability. Please note, your businesses’ predictability is a measure of how much your past claims experience and insurable earnings can be used to predict your future outcomes. Therefore, low predictability means your businesses’ insurable earnings and the number of allowed claims are quite low. In this case, your claims experience would not have a significant impact on your rate.

Instead, the rates of your class will have more influence on your premium rate to protect against volatility and the dramatic effect one claim could have on your rate. Therefore, businesses with a higher number of allowed claims and larger insurable earnings, have a higher predictability. In this case, volatility is not as high. This is because each single claim likely will not have a significant impact on your rate.

WSIB’s H&S Excellence Program – Introductory Seminar

4S Consulting is conducting a major seminar at Markham on Oct 24, 2019 to introduce WSIB’s H&S Excellence Program. The speaker panel includes:

  • WSIB
  • Chief Prevention Officer
  • Mayor of Markham

CLICK HERE to register

For more information about the H&S Excellence Program, please fill out the form below and submit. Our Safety Compliance Expert will contact you within 48 hours:

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