Over the past decade, the word “change” has been synonymous with health and safety in Ontario. We have seen an overhaul of the health and safety framework resulting in the creation of a Prevention Council and Chief Prevention Officer, mandatory training requirements such as worker and supervisor awareness and we have also seen the creation of training standards for working at heights in construction, and Joint Health and Safety Committees.
One of the recent changes in Ontario comes from the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB). Last month the WSIB launched Compass, an online data portal that now makes workplace safety data accessible to anyone that wishes to look, yes anyone. If you’re an employer and you’ve ever wondered how you stack up to other employer’s in the same industry, the information is now at your fingertips. Any organization with WSIB coverage between 2012 – 2016 is included in the portal.
The search allows you to see the number of WSIB no lost time claims and lost time claims per year, the leading types of lost time injuries broken down into the part of body injured, the nature of the injury, the source of the injury and event. Further information includes the percentage of injured or ill workers continuing to receive loss of earnings benefits 1-year post injury/illness, and the benefit payments received.
I have two daughters that are not yet in the workforce but I’ve always thought about what type of job they will have and the environment that they may work in, will it be safe enough? What is the employer’s safety record like? This online portal can provide some answers to these questions as this data is now readily accessible.
The information provided has numerous benefits to employers. As mentioned, employers can compare themselves to others, up to 5 other employers at a time. This can be used as a benchmarking tool letting the employer know how well they are doing in comparison. The data can also be used by employers to improve health and safety performance through better targeting, planning and prevention initiatives.
Similar to the employer, Joint Health and Safety Committees or Health and Safety Representatives can use the data to have a solid understanding of the nature and source of injuries and target these areas during workplace inspections. Managers or Supervisors can use the data during presentations to pinpoint areas of health and safety success and areas that require improvement.
Change isn’t always easily accepted, especially in the form of health and safety, but this change is a positive step in the right direction.
Written by Jeff Thorne | Manager of Training & Consultant
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