On-Track Safety Solutions

ACSA COR Auditor Requirements

As of May 4, 2017, ACSA has decided to opt out of the pilot program for its members that held COR.  This process used to allow companies to OPT out of maintaining COR status by having a safety auditor on staff. The article below was taken off of the ACSA website.

Are you aware of your COR Auditor Requirements?

In 2014, we introduced a temporary pilot program to our members who held a Certificate of Recognition (COR) with our association. This briefly provided these companies with the option of maintaining their COR status, while not having a certified auditor on staff.

We have now reached the conclusion of one full three year COR cycle since this pilot launch, and have assessed the results of this initiative. We found there was not a great deal of member uptake on this option, and from those who did participate, the results and feedback were not largely positive. Companies have reported struggles in maintaining their Health & Safety Management Systems in the absence of a certified auditor on staff. In addition to the reported challenges in staying on top of updates and changes, we have also received reports from companies feeling the pinch from the additional costs involved in hiring auditors rather than using their own staff for maintenance years. As a result of these and similar findings, we have determined it is in the best interest of our members to discontinue this pilot program.

The health and safety of Albertans remains foremost in our thinking as we evaluate these systems as part of our Partnerships in Injury Reduction programming, and continue to believe we best protect our workers when we have well-trained resources available in each member company.

All companies participating in the COR program will again require a full time staff member to maintain auditor certification. We want to ensure our COR member companies continue to be aware of their requirements in maintaining certification, and that we continue to meet our Certifying Partner standards. We are here to help ensure success for us all. We realize there may be a period of time in which you may require our assistance in returning to pre-2014 standards, and together we will make this transition as seamless as possible.

Your ACSA website fully lists the COR requirements that your company will need to meet in order to maintain its COR. This specific auditor requirement means that you will need to have a full time member of staff certified as an auditor. This simply requires that person complete the three day Auditor Training Program (ATP) and conduct a self-qualification audit. This allows your company to participate in the COR Program and enables your auditor to perform your company’s internal audits—which maintains your COR and their Auditor Status.

We will continue to explore creative COR maintenance options—such as the recent launch of the Action Plan—which proved beneficial for many companies, and has become a permanent option. No matter where you are in your COR cycle, our friendly Client Services team is here to answer any of your inquiries, and rest assured we will work closely with you on a case by case basis to ensure we meet all of your important COR requirements. We’re here to help! Call or email us at 1.800.661.ACSA (2272) or at cor@youracsa.ca.

Opt Out of the ACSA Peer Auditing Process – EDITED

NOTE: As of May 4, 2017, ACSA has decided to remove this program.

Did you know that it is possible to opt out of the peer auditing process with ACSA and use and external consultant auditor for both internal and external audits?  As of January 1, 2015, changes to the SECOR and COR programs through the ACSA stated that a company would no longer be required to staff a full-time employee to complete yearly maintenance audits. This information was published in the ACSA Advisor magazine back in Winter 2014, volume 26, issue 4.   Continue reading “Opt Out of the ACSA Peer Auditing Process – EDITED” »

Safety Program – Build In-house or Buy

If your company has decided to implement, revise, or update a safety system, you are frequently faced with whether it should be created in-house, or by a third party safety consulting company. With this decision a business owners need to look at its organizational and decide if building an in-house system would be better than what’s available in the market.

Building a complete and effective health and safety program for your company can be a complex process. Some key things your company should evaluate when to build vs. buy are; time, price, long-run support, and trial and error.  We look at these a little more in depth below:

  • Time, Price and Resources – What is the timeline that you need a safety program completed in for your company. Building a health and safety program from scratch is a time-consuming You need to ask yourself if you have the manpower and knowledge within the organization to complete a full health and safety program within the allotted time.
  • Will an in-house program grow with your organization and support you in the long run? When an organization grows, it’s important that the safety system grows with it. Even though the program might work well for you today, will it fit your business after future growth? If your company is moving from a SECOR to a COR or switching certifying partners, does your company understand how to make this transition smoothly.
  • Trial and Error – When creating your health and safety program it may be hard to define what works compared to what works well. This trial and error period could take months of trying different techniques to find what fits your company, which in turn means more money out of your pocket. An in-house system may not adhere to legislative requirements and can quickly become a burdensome task. By analyzing your company’s needs, a third party vendor will be able to provide you with a program that’s built solely around your needs and wants. If you are not confident in performing safety analysis on tasks, hazards and controls it if often best to consult with a third party safety consulting company.

If your company does not have the adequate support or knowledge to bring an effective health and safety program to life, On-Track Safety Solutions can help you from start to finish with this problem. Call our office at 800-440-6650 or email at info@on-tracksafety.com for more information on safety program development and safety program implementation.

How to Create a Formal Hazard Assessment

There are two levels of hazard assessment:

  • Formal hazard assessment
  • Field-level hazard assessment

Formal Hazard Assessment are the foundation of safety program and involve:

  • identification of all jobs and tasks performed by employees,
  • assessment of each task for hazards,
  • prioritization of the hazards based on the level of risk,
  • implementation of controls for the identified hazards

 

Steps for Conducting a Formal Hazard Assessment

  1. Create an inventory of jobs and tasks – The first step of formal hazard assessment is to create a list of all jobs within the scope of your companies business, and record the number of workers that perform each job. Then, list all the tasks performed as part of each job identified.

 

  1. Identify and assess hazards – Each task needs to be assessed to determine the potential hazards and associated risk.  Workers who perform the tasks should be involved in this process to ensure nothing is overlooked. After the hazards are identified, calculate their risk ratings by asking the following questions:
  • What are the consequences if the hazards are not controlled?
  • What is the probability of an incident occurring?
  • What is the frequency of exposure to the hazard?

 

  1. Prioritize hazards- Using the information created so far, determine the overall risk rating for each task, and rank the tasks in order of priority, based on the level of risk.  Sort the tasks from high risk to low risk, and this will give you a critical task list.

 

  1. Determine controls- Address identified hazards by assigning methods of control to eliminate or reduce the hazard. Elimination, engineering, administrative, PPE or a combination of controls can be used for each identified hazard.

 

  1. Review hazard assessments- Formal hazard assessments should be dated and subject to a regular review schedule to prevent the development of conditions that may put workers at risk. These reviews should take place annually (at a minimum), or anytime a new process is introduced, a change is made to the operation, or a significant addition or alteration is made to a work site.

On-Track Safety can help your company with the creation of a formal hazard assessment that will meet government and partnership requirements.  Call our office at 800-440-6650 for more information.

References:

 

Important Information for ACSA Members

ACSA associate member changes 2015

On March 4th, 2015 ACSA posted an update on their website for all associate members in regards to renewals on their account.  The statement posted by ACSA is as follows:

To further assist our members and clients, ACSA has changed its process for Associate Membership renewals. ACSA will no longer be sending out renewal reminders including invoices to renew Associate Membership. Companies who are seeking services from the ACSA (ie: Training, COR/SECOR) and their Associate Membership has expired will need to purchase an Associate Membership before any services will be provided. If you have any further questions, please contact client services within regular business hours 1-800-661-2272.

Enform SECOR Changes

enform SECOR changes 2015

Enform has launched a new protocol for SECOR submissions this year. Changes include new supporting forms with the submission; a requirement for written notes by the Assessor for the audit questions; the ability to upload/submit the SECOR online to Enform for review; and the necessity to complete the audit by electronic means. For more information regarding these changes, please contact our On-Track Safety office at 1-800-440-6650 or visit the Enform website http://www.enform.ca/safety_audits_certification/secor-protocol.aspx

Alberta FarmSafe Plan

alberta-farm-safeMembers of Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development’s farm safety team have been working with the Canadian Agricultural Safety Association (CASA) to develop the Alberta FarmSafe Plan. The plan is a resource to help farmers develop health and safety systems specific to their individual operations.

The idea behind this program, and what makes it different from other health and safety planning tools, is that it will be adaptable and easily applied to all sectors of the agriculture industry.

In addition to creating a safer work environment, the Alberta FarmSafe Plan complies with criteria for the Alberta Partnerships in Injury Prevention Certificate of Recognition (COR). A completed FarmSafe Plan will provide farmers with all the necessary criteria to obtain their COR if they so choose. With their COR farmers are eligible for rebates through the Workers’ Compensation Board of Alberta. The manual is expected to be available for Alberta farmers later this spring.

Anyone interested in participating in the second phase Alberta FarmSafe Plan pilot can visit www.agriculture.alberta.ca/farmsafety

WHMIS 2015 – What you need to know

whmis-2015

The WHMIS system is being updated to match with the Globally Harmonized System for Classifying and Labeling Chemicals. Countries are moving towards an international standard to create a worldwide system for labeling and chemical classification.

Changes to the federal WHMIS legislation include:

  • “Controlled Products” will be called “Hazardous Products”
  • Different hazard classes and more of them.
  • Different classification criteria
  • New supplier labels
  • New pictograms
  • New 16-section product safety data sheets (SDSs)
  • No requirement to update SDSs every three years

 

Old vs. New Label Content

WHMIS 1988 WHMIS 2015
Product Identifier Product Identifier
Supplier Identifier Supplier Identifier
Pictogram Pictogram
Risk Phrases Hazard Statement
N/A Signal Word
Precautionary Measures Precautionary Statements
First Aid Statement Part of Precautionary Statement
Hatched Border No

 

Links for more information:

2014 Alberta OH&S Handi-Guide

Workplace fines have become the new reality in Alberta and any workers or employers that are caught violating the Alberta OH&S Act legislation could face steep fines. Ensure that your company and employees are protected with the Handi-Guide to Alberta’s OH&S Act, Regulation and Code – 2014 Edition

New in This Edition

  • As of October 1, 2013, OHS officials can issue administrative penalties for OHS violations, up to a maximum of $10,000 per contravention per day
  • As of January 1, 2014, OHS officials can issue tickets to workers or employers for more than 60 different contraventions. Ticket amounts range from $100 to $500
  • In addition to the administrative penalties amendments, other amendments to the OH&S Act made by Bill 6 (S.A. 2012, c. 7) (in force December 10, 2012)
  • Addition of Administrative Penalty (Occupational Health and Safety Act) Regulation, AR 165/2013 (in force October 1, 2013)
  • Amendments to the Occupational Health and Safety Regulation made by AR 182/13 (in force October 1, 2013)

This practical guide includes the current version of the act and regulation as well as the Occupational Health and Safety Code plus 5 interpretative chapters that will help you understand and interpret the law. Also includes a handy chart listing all the new oh&s ticketable contraventions.

A powerful safety tool for worker training, and for increasing worker and supervisor awareness of their responsibilities under workplace safety law.

For more information visit: http://www.otsafetyproducts.com/products/alberta-workplace-health-and-safety-legislation-2014-edition

Staying Healthy at Work

With the start of a New Year there are often new years’ resolutions that accompany. The most common resolution for many people is a commitment to achieve a healthier and more active lifestyle. However, there is always the struggle on how to incorporate this into the workplace.

Simple changes about how you move around your worksite can have a great impact. Some suggestions would be:

  • Walking over to a co-worker to talk instead of sending an email
  • Taking the stairs
  • Parking your vehicle in the furthest corner of the parking lot
  • Hold your safety meetings with everyone standing
  • When you are filling out documentation at the worksite- stand instead of sit
  • In an office setting- utilize an exercise ball for a chair
  • When taking a break, take a quick walk around the building or worksite

For those that work in urban areas, it is often convenient to eat out or grab something for lunch. Consciously making a lunch at home to bring can encourage you to select items that follow the Canada Food Guide and eliminate impulse purchases that may not offer healthy selections. Also consider walking instead of driving to an establishment for your break- depending on the distance, it will often take less time than manoeuvering through traffic.

As part of a commitment to live a healthier and more active lifestyle, ensure that you are taking adequate breaks from your workstation. Regular stretching can go a long way to help eliminate muscle tension and muscoskeletical injuries. For those that spend long hours driving or in equipment- ensure that you take appropriate breaks to get out and move about.

Ultimately the most important way to stay healthy at work is to know yourself and your limitations. Know when you need to take a break, whether it be a vacation to “recharge your batteries” or a micro-break.

A Word From The Owner

At On-Track Safety Solutions Ltd. we are committed to a safe and healthy workplace for everyone – our employees, customers, and subcontractors. Our success is directly related to our dedication to safety and quality.

We continually train our workforce to ensure safe and successful projects. We take pride in the fact that our zero injury goal continues to be met, providing our customers with confidence in our safety and services.

Diana Rude
President/Owner
On-Track Safety Solutions Ltd.

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(403) 986-3811

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