SAFETY SURVEYS APPROVED
December 4, 2007
By Dennis Ryan, CRSP, OHST
Compass Health & Safety Ltd.
Partnership in Injury Reduction participants can rejoice. Alberta Employment and Immigration (AEI) have finally opened the door for companies to benefit from a new safety measurement approach. This is something many companies have been waiting for. For some companies, one more audit isn’t going to tell them anything they don’t already know.
The new standard states that in their first maintenance year, qualifying companies can conduct a safety survey. In addition to the survey they need to develop an action plan based on the findings. In the second maintenance year they need to report on their action plan.
Numerous studies have reported on the benefits of safety perception surveys confirming they are a powerful measurement technique. The safety survey described by AEI in their new standard is more audit than safety perception survey. One can still rejoice however, as the door to this approach is at least open a crack and the process can be improved going forward. Hopefully more flexibility will be introduced into safety surveys standard to allow for the development of company specific surveys that meet specific needs. Here is a summary of the new standard introduced by AEI on December 4, 2007. For full details contact your certifying partner.
1.17 Safety Surveys
The Safety Survey is a maintenance option that allows employers who have held a valid COR for four (4) or more consecutive years to use an approved safety survey and action planning process to meet their maintenance audit requirement over 2 consecutive maintenance years.
The Certifying Partner (CP) has the option to support or opt out of offering the Safety Survey as a maintenance option to their members.
1.17.1 The CP must ensure that the employer meets the eligibility requirements for use of the Safety Survey as a maintenance option.
18.104.22.168 The employer’s current COR must be in good standing and have been active for a minimum of four (4) consecutive years.
22.214.171.124 The employer must have achieved a minimum overall score of 90% on their last external recertification audit.
126.96.36.199 Safety Surveys can only be used by employers in the regular COR program. PASE, SECOR and MECOR holders cannot use this process.
188.8.131.52 The employer must apply to their CP for use of the Safety Survey process within the first quarter of the first maintenance year after their last COR re-certification.
1.17.4 The Safety Survey process must be utilized over 2 successive maintenance years.
184.108.40.206 In the first maintenance year, an employer who has received CP approval to use the Safety Survey as a maintenance option must:
• conduct the survey prior to the end of the second quarter, and ensure an acceptable number of employees from all levels have participated in the process. There must be a minimum 40% response or participation rate from the workforce. If the minimum response/participation date is not met, a 15 day grace period will be granted to the employer. If the minimum rate is still not achieved after this period, the survey cannot be used for COR maintenance, and the employer will have to complete a regular maintenance audit.
• analyze the results to identify employee perceptions about the employer’s health and safety systems
• develop a prioritized action plan based on the results
• deliver the action plan, summary reports, and verification of sampling numbers to the CP within 45 days of the data collection. (An additional 15 day extension may be granted by the CP prior to the expiry of the 45 days) A blank action plan document is not acceptable.
220.127.116.11 In the second maintenance year, the employer must:
actively pursue completion of the action plan items from the previous year’s Safety Survey
• provide an action plan update, or attend “pulse check”
• deliver verification to the CP that at least 80% of the action items have been completed or are in progress. The CP must be in receipt of the final version of the completed action plan by November 30 of the second maintenance year