Proposed Certificate of Recognition (COR) Changes for your comment by September 15, 2018

WorkSafeBC released proposed changes to the COR program for 60-day public consultation, ending September 15, 2018. Please read the full documents for a complete picture at: https://www.worksafebc.com/en/law-policy/public-hearings-consultations/current-public-hearings-and-consultations/proposed-policy-amendments-practice-materials-regarding-cor-program.

BCFSC Summary and Survey

Below is a summary of the major changes the BC Forest Safety Council (BCFSC) believes will affect forestry employers. The changes are extensive, so we are only focusing on the material highlights.

The summary is based on our best estimate based on the practice documents released. WorkSafeBC will release further details such as the actual audit tool questions for different sized companies later. Those details may significantly affect how the draft practices may impact companies.

WorkSafeBC, however, asked for feedback at this point in the process.

The BCFSC made a summary submission of feedback from the forest industry to WorkSafeBC based on the results of a short survey which was available to industry until August 31st, 2018

Summary of changes

External Certification Audits for all companies, regardless of size

Current requirement: Only BASE size companies (20 or more workers) require an external certification audit every three years.

Proposed new requirement: All sizes of companies would now require an external audit every three years to increase the confidence that certified companies meet all requirements. This means all companies will require an external auditor for certification and recertification audits.

The effect: Would be similar to expanding the successful verification audit program to all SAFE Companies. There would be a process allowing companies needing SAFE Certification to work before an auditor could be arranged.

Focused Maintenance Audits

Current requirement: Every audit, every year is essentially the same.

Proposed new option: Companies would be given the choice to audit only their Corrective Action Log from the previous external audit.

The effect: Would significantly reduce the effort required for a maintenance audit, allowing the company to focus on improving safety.

External Auditors provided and paid for by the certifying partner, the BCFSC

Current requirement: External auditors are paid by the company they are auditing, in a free-market system.

Proposed new requirement: External auditors would be selected and paid by the BCFSC to reduce the perceived potential conflict of interest caused by auditors being paid by the employers they are auditing. There may be user fees for larger audits, but it is understood that that to be feasible there would be a zero user-cost increase to any employer (compared to the current system.)

The effect: Would reduce the perception of conflict of interest of auditors being paid to give favorable reports.

Single COR audit standard for all size companies

Current requirement: For forestry companies, there are four distinct audit tools depending on the size of a company.

Proposed new requirement: There would be one audit tool. To remove the issue of a step between SEBASE and BASE Companies, there would be a single audit tool with a spectrum of interpretation depending on the size, risk and complexity of the employer’s work activities.

The effect: This is expected to particularly benefit the companies that are at the smaller end of the current BASE spectrum. It will also remove a barrier to a company successfully growing above 19 people.

Certificate Date changes from audit date to the date QA is completed

Current requirement: The date of a COR certificate is the date the auditor finishes collecting data (BASE) or the date that the company submits the audit package (non-BASE).

Proposed new requirement: The date of a COR certificate would be the date that Quality Assurance (QA) is completed by the BCFSC, to standardize certification information for all employers.

The effect: This will result in audits performed in November and December NOT being eligible for the COR incentive in the year they were performed, but delayed a year.

For further information, comments or questions please contact:

Martin Ridgway/ SAFE Companies, toll-free at 1-877-741-1060 or email CORchanges@bcforestsafe.org

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