Quality and Productivity Database

Descriptive Title of Proposal: Certificate of Recognition (COR) – Implementing and Auditing your Health and Safety Management System
Year Submitted 2016
Person(s) Responsible for the Idea
Name Title
Rae Ann Aldridge AVP Risk and the EH&S Department
Name of Institution University of Calgary
Office Address A100 2500 University Drive NW
Calgary, Alberta T2N 1N4
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Telephone: 403-22-3762
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Name (Senior Administrative Office of the Institution) Linda Dalgetty
Title (Senior Administrative Office of the Institution) VP (F&S)
Office Address A100 2500 University Drive NW
Calgary, Alberta T2N 1N4
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Telephone: 403-220-6210
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Abstract

In 2006 the University of Calgary opted to participate in the Alberta Partnerships in Injury Reduction (PIR) program recognizing employers who have developed and implemented an Occupational Health and Safety Management System (OHSMS) that meets established standards of excellence and awards them with a Certificate of Recognition.   The University’s OHSMS was baseline audited by an external auditor in March 2006 and a progress audit was conducted in November 2007.

 

In order to achieve COR two major projects were undertaken:

 

  1. In 2012, the University hosted 113 hazard assessment workshops where technical experts from all 420 departments from across campus were able to provide information to complete (during the workshop) over 1000 formal hazard assessments for the job descriptions, laboratories and workshops as required.  To assist in the completion of these formal hazard assessments, EHS developed standardized HACF templates based on the general types of work at the University.
  2. In 2012 hands on training was provided to laboratory and workshop representative to meet the University of Calgary’s Inspection Procedure that requires regular Laboratory and Workshop inspections with participation from workers using a web-based Inspection tool.  The procedure directs that all approximately 850 Laboratories and 75 Workshops are inspected and the web- based system allows us to track the results to ensure completion.  The system also allows us to track the risk ratings of the deficiencies and the trending of deficiencies to share this information with senior leaders and budget owners.

 

In 2014 the University of Calgary was the first University in Canada to be awarded the Certificate of Recognition (COR) for the entire institution.  COR is awarded to employers who have developed a management system that have met established standards and passes an audit by external auditors (80% overall and not less than 50% in each element). These audits include document review, observations and approximately 200 interviews of all levels of our organization. 

 

COR is a three year certification. In order to maintain this certification, an action plan will be developed and two more internal health and safety audits will be conducted before the next external audit in 2017.

Criteria Please submit one paragraph describing how the proposal fulfills each of the evaluation criteria.
Transferability

Two major aspects of the project can be easily transferable to other institutions. 

  1. The framework of an Occupational Health and Safety Management System is a recognized standard for managing safety demonstrated in both the CSA Z-1000 and BS OHSAS18001:2007 standards.   Following this framework and auditing to a standard allows institutions to demonstrate due diligence.
  2. The concept of using workshops as a mechanism for completion of required health and safety documentation.  Historically the University has pushed out the requirement to faculties and departments with little to no success.  We have discovered though that with senior support and strong coaching we have been able to get the right people engaged in the heavy lifting to complete the management system requirements.
Quality Impact

COR is awarded to employers who have developed a management system that have met established standards and passes.  Passing requires an 80% + overall in the audit and not less than 50% in each of the eight elements an audit by external auditors.  The eight elements audited are:

  1. Policy and Management Commitment
  2. Hazard Identification and Assessment
  3. Hazard Control
  4. Ongoing Inspections
  5. Worker Qualifications, Orientation and Training
  6. Emergency Response
  7. Incident Investigation
  8. Program Administration

These audits include document review, observations and approximately 200 interviews of all levels of our organization. 

In 2014 the University of Calgary scored 82% in the external audit and was awarded the Certificate of Recognition (COR).

 

COR is a three year certification program which means that the University will “internal” audit in 2015 and 2106 and then in order to maintain the certification they will be externally audited and must pass in 2017.

Productivity Impact

In addition to the monetary rebate that will be in excess of $450,000 over the first three year cycle of the COR program (2014-2016) from AB Workers Compensation Board, the University in the first year after the award (2015) of the COR recorded 29% fewer lost time claims for a savings of over $80,000 in total claims costs.

Innovation

This project was innovative in that the University of Calgary is the first University in Canada to obtain COR for the entire institution.  The benefits to the University in achieving COR and having the OHSMS audited annually have been tremendous.  We have been able to measure the level of implementation within the organization and demonstrate quantitatively a level of due diligence, we receive WCB rebates which for the U will total approximately $450,000 over the first three years of the COR cycle but by far the largest impact has been that the auditing process has been significantly shifting the safety culture at the University.  Faculties are engaging in the OHSMS as a consequence of the audit scoring and the required interviews with the auditor.  This level of engagement is unprecedented and is driving a culture shift in safety on campus.