March 2011 Newsletter


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It’s been 4 or 5 months since our last Newsletter so this one is long overdue. Like everyone else, time seems to be our enemy. Hopefully everyone has managed to keep warm and sane given what winter has dealt us this year.

Another Level of COR

Some months ago we read that in the future Alberta Employment and Immigration (AEI) may consider offering varying levels of Certificates of Recognition (COR). This would allow PIR participants to participate in the program at a higher or lower level depending on the status of their program and still receive a COR. Apparently they are unaware or perhaps just forgot that this is already in happening. We all know that not all CORs are equal. Recent changes to the Enform audit protocol and quality assurance review process has made the Enform COR significantly harder to achieve than others, resulting in another COR level.

Those companies that have been audited using the new audit protocol are scoring roughly 8% lower than they did with the old Enform instrument. The requirement for auditors to gather more information, respond to more questions and meet the elusive requirements of the Enform quality review process, has considerably added to the cost of performing these audits. Unfortunately the increases have to be passed onto the clients. Many clients are now looking for alternate Certifying Partners to help reduce the additional costs resulting from higher registration, review and auditor fees.

It may be too early to tell how this new COR level will affect the many companies that work with the oil and gas industry that achieved their COR through other CPs. It is important to note however, that we hear there are some companies refusing to do business with another company not holding an Enform COR.

Enter Our Achieving Safety Excellence Contest

Compass is working on some health and safety information that will provide leading edge guidance on how to achieving health and safety excellence. We have all seen or read theoretical books claiming to provide this guidance. While they may have delivered some good improvement theory filled with elaborate models, they have failed to provide specific practical, useful improvement strategies to their readers. Collectively I think we can do much better. We know there are companies out there that have done some things a little differently or have departed from the norm and found that it made a real positive difference in their program. We want to hear from those people. Tell us what you or your company is doing that makes it better than most. For every entrant that provides us with an excellent improvement tip that we can use, we will send out a dinner-for-two gift certificate. To enter, simply e-mail us with your improvement details.

Canadian Occupational Safety (COS) Magazine – Canada’s Safest Employer Award

COS magazine hopes to find the safest employer in the manufacturing industry with their recent launch of the Canada’s Safest Employer award. Entrants will be screened first based on their incident statists. A number of companies will then be selected to conduct a safety perception survey. Compass has been asked to help develop the survey as well as manage all of the data coming in from the contestants. A panel of judges (including myself) has been selected from across the country to assess the survey findings and identify the safest employer. To my knowledge this is the first time another safety metric other than incident statistics has been used to help select a safest company on this scale. It will be interesting to get some feedback from the judges and participating companies on the survey process.

The Future of Workplace Safety in Ontario

Following a rash of fatalities in late 2009 and early 2010 in Ontario, an advisory panel was formed to provide direction for improvement. Here are some of their key recommendations:

  • Develop integrated occupational health and safety strategies across the current health and safety system, which includes safe workplace associations. It seems too many associations are wasting good prevention resources by reinventing programs such as accident investigation, hazard assessment, safety program basics, etc.
  • Require employers to deliver a standard health and safety awareness program for all new workers.
  • For prescribed offences open the door to imposing fixed fines.

Article – Are We Putting The Cart Before The Horse

In our last newsletter we announced that we had written the above article. COS magazine will be publishing it in three parts commencing March 14. The second and third parts will be published on March 21 and March 28. We are not sure how publishing it in pieces is going to work but I guess we will see. Another magazine has also expressed interest in publishing the article. The entire article can be viewed on our website under “Articles”. If nothing else some of you may find the article thought provoking as I make the outrageous claim that the safest company I have ever worked with did not subscribe to one health and safety program element.

Compass Perception Survey Application

We continue to offer our safety perception survey expertise to any company or health and safety association that ask for our help. We’ve recently opened the door for the sale of our application to larger companies/organization. For large companies it may make more sense to purchase a copy of our survey application than employ us to help with their survey every time they want to conduct one. The advantages of owning the application is that you can use it anytime you want. You can use it to conduct a safety survey, environment, quality assurance, safe driving survey, or even combine them. Larger organizations have the resources available to pay the higher upfront cost and purchase the application while saving considerable through multiple uses over time. These companies have the advantage of tapping into employee thoughts anytime they want to through the survey process.

Root Cause Analysis

We run into a lot of people that struggle with root cause analysis. There are programs out there that help. We do some work with CCD Systems who has developed an investigation product that seems to do a pretty good job. The company is very open to incorporating company specific requirements into their software. Until recently the company has been focused on the health care industry. They are now branching out. Demos are available upon request.

Q & A

We decided to dedicate a small section of our newsletter to questions and answers. Readers that would like to post a question or answer should let us know and we will post it here in our next newsletter.

Q – We have a client that feels Global in the south of this province offers a pretty good defensive driving course. He’d like to find a local provider for the few employees he has needing the training in Edmonton. If anyone is aware of a driving course that they would highly recommend that is offered in the Edmonton area, please tell us about it.

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