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Ontario’s new workplace health and safety initiative

Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) will offer rebates to participating bakeries and restaurants, regardless of size.


November 27, 2019
By Bakers Journal


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Monte McNaughton, Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development.

Ontario will reward its safest employers with an estimated $140 million for excellence in occupational health and safety as part of a first-of-its-kind in Canada program.

The program is called, “Supporting Ontario’s Safe Employers,” and will formally recognize employers who successfully implement health and safety programs in their workplaces. The financial rewards will come in the form of Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) rebates over a three-year period. The names of recognized employers will be posted on the Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development’s website. These employers will be able to brand themselves as CPO-recognized.

The program is open to any employer in Ontario, regardless of size or sector. Led by the Office of the CPO, this ministry program was developed based on feedback from labour, employers and other stakeholders.

“We know that good health and safety practices save lives,” said Monte McNaughton, Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development in a press release. “But they also save money. This program is a reflection of that fact. Our government wants to do everything it can to make workers safer and help businesses save money.”

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.

“This is a big step for Ontario’s health and safety community as we continue to move forward in protecting workers,” said Ron Kelusky, Ontario’s Chief Prevention Officer (CPO). “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.

While the provincial 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.

These initiatives are part of the government’s commitment to encouraging a culture of health and safety to protect workers on the job and build a prosperous province. Employers may use one of the existing OHSMS standards accredited by the Chief Prevention Officer or they may develop their own system and apply to have it accredited by the province.

For more information, employers can contact the Ontario Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development’s Prevention Office at SOSE@ontario.ca.