Retail Council of Canada ensures implementation of more sensible safety auditing scorecard
BY SEAN C. TARRY
RETAIL Council of Canada boasts a strong and proud tradition of working with industry partners and members to ensure the safety of Canada’s retail workforce and the continued prosperity of the country’s retail businesses from coast-to-coast. For this reason, the association recently completed negotiations with Ontario’s Workplace Safety and Insurance Board ensuring significantly higher returns for retailers involved in RCC’s Ontario Safety Group Program.
Entering its eleventh year, the Program is an innovative, voluntary initiative implemented by the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) that rewards firms with operations in Ontario for implementing effective health and safety management systems.
Benefits of participating in the Program are numerous, including the opportunity to network with retailers on health and safety topics, hear first about Ontario’s health and safety legislative changes and consultations, and decrease administrative costs associated with loss-time injuries and illnesses. In addition, the Program also results in participating retailers receiving up to a five per cent rebate in premiums paid to the WSIB on an annual basis. Aside from helping to ensure the safety of their employees, this is a benefit that has had obvious appeal among members of the Program.
The Program has been a massive success throughout much of its first decade, returning hundreds of thousands of dollars of premiums paid back to participating members. However, due to the nature of the outdated formula involved in scoring participants based on their audits, the amounts of returns in recent years have plateaued, prompting RCC to take action.
“The Safety Group formula that’s been used up until this year has been in place for more than ten years,” explains Sonny Brar, RCC’s Vice President Member Programs & Services. “Because part of the rebates were based on continuous reductions in the severity and frequency of injuries and loss time incidents within the workplace, members of the Program who although passed their audits were losing rebate points, which means that they were actually being penalized for their continued success and not receiving the highest rebate potential possible.”
Brar brought these concerns to WSIB earlier this year and enjoyed positive meetings, negotiating a new and improved formula by which participating Ontario Safety Group Program member rebates will be calculated, ensuring more significant returns.
“This is a huge win for members of the Program, and for the employees of those retailers,” says Brar. “We’ve ensured a more robust Safety Program through the use of a revised formula that makes more sense for our members, incentivizing them to continue focusing on evolving their cultures of safety within their organizations, as well as helping their bottom lines.”