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WSIB to provide $140M in rebates for successful safety programs


November 22, 2019
By Manufacturing AUTOMATION

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Ontario industrial companies that successfully implement health and safety programs in their workplaces may be financially rewarded in a new $140-million program funded by the provincial government.

The Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development’s Prevention Office today launched the “Supporting Ontario’s Safe Employers” program, which offers Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) rebates over a three-year period.

The program is open to any employer in Ontario, regardless of size or sector, and was developed based on feedback from labour, employers and other stakeholders.

Employers may use one of the existing occupational health and safety management system (OHSMS) standards accredited by the Chief Prevention Officer (CPO) or they may develop their own system and apply to have it accredited by the province.

The names of recognized employers will be posted on the ministry’s website. These employers will be able to brand themselves as CPO-recognized.

Organized, systematic approaches to health and safety increase worker participation in health and safety practices, encourage ongoing improvement and help reduce workplace injuries and illness, according to the government. Similar programs in Europe and Japan have resulted in a decline in workplace accidents.

“This is a big step for Ontario’s health and safety community as we continue to move forward in protecting workers,” says Ron Kelusky, Ontario’s chief prevention officer, in a release. “We’re adopting innovative approaches to become a modern regulator. Industry has long asked for rewards for employers who successfully promote health and safety in their workplace.”

The WSIB is also building on the program by launching Health and Safety Excellence, a new program that will promote continual health and safety improvement in Ontario workplaces among employers who don’t have an existing program.

ATS Automation was one of the companies involved in developing the program alongside the ministry. “ATS Automation has valued participating as a stakeholder in consultations with the Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development through the WSPS Executive Advisory Committee to provide feedback on the benefits of engaging with prevention initiatives, and to highlight the positive impact of providing recognition to proactive companies in the manufacturing sector,” says Natalie Edery CRSP, manager, corporate health, safety and environment, Canada for ATS Automation Tooling Systems.