The Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) is focusing their health and safety audits on high risk businesses. According to a March 8th editorial in the Toronto Star, Tom Bell, Chief Risk Officer at WSIB, stated they will re-focus their resources on business categories that tend to not be in compliance and are at a higher risk of being in breach of health and safety standards.
The current WSIB business audit selection team selects random businesses for audit, and WSIB inspectors find that over half of these business fully comply with the Ministry of Labour health and safety standards. Mr. Bell stated this is not a good use of their audit team resources. The decision to implement a risk-based audit approach will drive a more effective use of these audits and uncover more businesses that are not in line with standards. For example, temporary employment agencies are considered high risk in this area; therefore, WSIB will perform more audits with these businesses.
Ontario businesses need to ensure their employees are protected and kept safe from harm. Should an injury occur, appropriate incident management and reporting procedures need to be followed. Health and Safety compliance is the obligation of all Ontario businesses. A large majority of Ontario business adhere to these standards; however, businesses that struggle and fall short on compliance should contact external consultants or the WSIB for assistance. The Board will gladly educate the company on where their risks are in the operation.
Not only is health and safety an obligation, but many clients include “Safety” as a key business benefit in their mission statement. A workplace that is safe and healthy not only protects the employee from harm and illness, but also lowers company injury and illness costs, reduces absenteeism and increases the corporate retention rate. Having a safe and healthy workplace will also improve productivity, quality of work, morale and ensures that employees go home every night to their families.
There are so many business and more importantly ethical benefits by keeping employees safe!