Ontario Employers Moving to Excellence

Recently, a total of 50 employers received over $1.2 million in rebates, as part of a provincial program that rewards safer employers.

Just over a year ago, the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) announced it had earmarked an estimated $140 million for its Health and Safety Excellence program, which recognizes employers who successfully implement health and safety programs in their workplaces.

The innovative program – the first program of its kind in Canada – connects businesses of all sizes with WSIB-approved service providers, such as Tickner and Associates, to assist in developing a suitable program for them.

The excellence program is open to employers in Ontario, regardless of size or sector.

How does the Excellence program work?

Businesses must complete an assessment to help determine where they should start in their health and safety journey. Tickner & Associates will work with you, to develop an action plan tailored to your needs, choose topics, and help you put them into action.

The program offers 36 health and safety topics. In addition, five topics were added to address the immediate COVID-19 pandemic-related priorities that can assist businesses in safely resuming daily operations and remaining open.

Once a topic has been completed, businesses submit evidence of their “living and breathing” systems for review by a WSIB validator.

Businesses receive a rebate on their WSIB premiums and recognition for investing in a healthier and safer workplace, such as digital achievement badges.  These badges can be used on your websites, email signatures and advertisements, showing your commitment to workplace health and safety.  The  badges will also appear on business profiles on employers’ websites when people search for safety stats.

For smaller businesses, the program offers a minimum rebate of $1,000 per completed topic.

The financial rewards are part of the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) commitment to encouraging a culture of health and safety to protect workers on the job and build a prosperous province.   

“Our government wants to do everything it can to make workers safer and help businesses save money,” Ontario’s Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development Monte McNaughton, said during the program’s unveiling.

The announcement was met with great fanfare during its unveiling, as industry leaders had long asked for rewards for those who successfully promote health and safety in their workplace.

While the program recognizes employers, who have already implemented a health and safety management system, the WSIB’s program will encourage employers without an existing program to develop one.

Research has shown that 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. Similar programs in Europe and Japan have resulted in a decline in workplace accidents.