IHSA and OGCA develop Certificate of Recognition Program (COR) for Ontario construction contractors
By Alyssa Dalton
July 7, 2011 – The Infrastructure Health and Safety Association (IHSA) and the Ontario General Contractors (OGC) have developed a sector-specific audit program which they said was designed to ensure the viability and, in certain circumstances, assist in the implementation of an effective and meaningful workplace health and safety management system.
The issue of workplace safety has received considerable attention in the immediate past. In recent months, the Dean Panel (Review of the Ontario Health and Safety System) Recommendations have been released, as well as the government’s stated intention regarding the implementation of those recommendations. Consequently, the prevention partners said they “anticipate an assessment and review of what have been effective safety prevention programs, in the interest of maintaining their effectiveness, and movement towards graduate programs for those enrolled in the former.”
The development and realization of an accreditation program was a key Panel recommendation, they said, titling it the pilot Certificate of Recognition (COR) program.
Moreover, the IHSA Provincial Labour/Management Section 21 Committee included their “long standing advocacy” for a COR program in its submission, during the consultation process.
“In anticipation of the delivery of an accreditation program and other recommendations, and with the required time lines in mind, we believe it would be most helpful, and ultimately contribute to their maximum effectiveness in this sector, for the construction industry to have experience with piloting and implementing a COR program right away,” said Al Beattie, IHSA’s CEO.
To maintain the integrity and acceptability of the National COR certification program, OGCA said it promoted a partnership with IHSA for the purposes of developing and promoting the program.
“In the event that an accreditation program is offered to all Ontario businesses, the construction industry would be in a position to put forward a tried-and-true industry-specific program that is recognized nationally,” added Beattie.
While the OGCA is supporting IHSA in the promotion and implementation of the pilot program and presently has 21 firms registered to participate, registration is open to all applicable IHSA member firms.