Safety Groups Program

The Safety Groups Program is designed to promote health and safety in the workplace. This is accomplished through mentoring, pooling of resources and sharing of best practices between member firms, their sponsor and the Workplace Safety & Insurance Board (WSIB). In addition to improved safety records, member firms can receive financial benefits, in the form of rebates from the WSIB. This program was first implemented in 2000 and has received high approval ratings from participating members.

HOW THE PROGRAM WORKS

At the start of the year, from a list provided by the WSIB, member firms select five (5) safety elements they will initiate or improve upon during that calendar year. Firms attend meetings, share ideas and pool resources; learning from each other how to put these initiatives into place.  At the end of the year, the safety group can receive a rebate, based on the entire group’s success in the program. For example, if the firms collectively implement, on average, 60% of their initiatives, then the group will receive 60% of the monies available to them for potential rebate.

THE ROLE OF THE SPONSOR

To participate in the Safety Groups Program a firm must:

    • Have commitment from the owner or senior management to participate in the program
    • Create and enhance a safety culture in the workplace
    • Be a WSIB “Schedule 1” firm
    • Be in good standing with the WSIB
    • Be committed to participating for at least one full calendar year
    • Be in only one safety group at a time
    • Not be a member of the Safe Communities Incentive Program

      Complete all of the requirements of the Safety Groups Program such as:
    • Participate in at least three safety group meetings throughout the year
    • Complete baseline and year end assessments of the firm’s health and safety program strengths and weaknesses
    • Develop and implement an action plan of health and safety elements
    • Keep sponsor informed of progress, stay in contact throughout program

HOW TO QUALIFY FOR A REBATE

Every firm in the group must complete a workplace assessment. The WSIB provides a generic assessment tool that may be altered to suit the firms in the group. The group decides if the assessments should be self-administered or conducted by a third party. With the results of the assessment, each firm develops an Action Plan for improving their health and safety programs.
The group meets periodically to network, share practical experience and assess progress. One year later, the assessments are repeated.

The sponsor reports the results to the WSIB. If it can be shown that safety and prevention programs have been implemented or improved upon, the WSIB will distribute rebates to the firm. Rebates are not guaranteed, the group must provide evidence that it has made progress in developing health and safety programs. The WSIB will spot-check at least 10% of workplaces in a safety group to verify the level of achievement as reported.

PROGRAM BENEFITS

This program is a rebate only program. There is no penalty if the group as a whole does not succeed; nor is a firm’s individual experience rating affected by its participation in a safety group. Along with its portion of the group’s rebate, a member firm continues to receive refunds or surcharges under its regular experience rating program (NEER, CAD-7, or MAPP), based on individual performance.

In addition to financial gains, safety group members stand to gain:

  • Healthy and Stable Workforce
  • Access to Health & Safety Resources
  • Enhanced Access to WSIB Network
  • Increased Employee Morale
  • Improved Quality
  • Increased Productivity
  • Improved Public Perception

Note: If there is sufficient enough interest within one or more Zones in a geographic area, we (MCAO) will form a “chapter” for the companies in that area, to facilitate their attendance at Safety Group meetings and reduce related travel, time and costs related to those meetings.

GET INVOLVED

If your firm is committed to improving health and safety and interested in joining the MCAO’s Safety Group, please contact our main office:

Email: mcao@mcao.org
Phone: (905) 856-0342