WorkSafeBC release COR review with temporary freeze on IM/RTW certifications - January 1, 2013

SAFE CertifiedWorkSafeBC release COR review with temporary freeze on IM/RTW certifications

As a direct result of the Certificate of Recognition (COR) program review, WorkSafeBC has announced that effective January 1, 2013, there is a temporary freeze on any new Injury Management (IM) / Return to Work (RTW) COR certifications. This does not affect Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) COR certifications or SAFE certifications. Employers already IM/RTW certified will be allowed to continue doing maintenance audits in 2013 and 2014, if applicable. Recertifying employers will be allowed to recertify using the existing IM/RTW tool in 2013, but will have to transition to the new tool/process once it is available. Employers interested in obtaining a new IM/RTW certification have until June 30th, 2013 to do their IM/RTW audit. Employers (BASE, SEBASE and ISEBASE) committed to obtaining their first IM/RTW certification, and doing their audit, by June 30th, 2013 must submit written notice to the Council by February 20, 2013. WorkSafeBC has not set any timeline for an “unfreeze”.

The Certificate of Recognition Program is a foundational program for many Health and Safety Associations in B.C. and across Canada. COR has been an industry tool for improving safety management systems and has been a cornerstone in building a safety culture across B.C. Earlier this year WorkSafeBC undertook a complete review of the Certificate of Recognition Program. At the conclusion of the review, it was determined that COR is positively associated with injury rate reduction, but further evidence is required on RTW outcomes.

The Certifying Partners of COR, including the BC Forest Safety Council, have formed a working group to collaborate with WorkSafeBC to revise and renew the IM/RTW system; we are meeting monthly starting in January. In the meantime, the best way for an organization to have a positive impact on the lives of their workers, and the bottom line on their Experience Rating Assessment, is to have a fully functioning Health and Safety Management and Injury Management/Return to Work System. We believe our SAFE Companies Audits are providing an effective and appropriate review, assessing components of safety systems on three levels: 1) does it exist, 2) is it good, and 3) is it followed. We know from verification audits that the organizations that have become SAFE and COR certified do, in fact, have a strong commitment to injury reduction and worker health and safety.

The Council will continue to work with other Certifying Partners and WorkSafeBC to re-establish the Injury Management/Return to Work Certificate of Recognition Program. We will continue to communicate with industry and naturally aligned organizations as further information is available.

The BC Forest Safety Council is BC’s provincial forestry safety association working for and with industry to eliminate fatalities and serious injuries and improve safety for over 4,200 forestry employers and their workers in British Columbia. The BCFSC provides a range of safety programs, training and services to both employers and workers that focus on injury prevention and promoting cultural change to ensure that safety is treated as an over-riding priority and a shared responsibility in the industry.

File attachments
Temporary Freeze IMv2.pdf
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