Looking to get COR certified? We dive into what a Certificate of Recognition is. Why companies across Canada are moving their health and safety program to a COR Certified and where to start when you want to become certified.
At Safety Evolution, we get many people contacting us about becoming COR certified. The typical phone call we receive sounds a lot like this: “I’ve got an opportunity for a contract, but the organization asked if we had COR. I’ve done some reading on it, but I don’t quite understand how I get it. Can you give me COR?”.
Let’s look at what a Certificate Of Recognition is and how your company can get COR certified.
If you are looking for information on what is SECOR? Check out our blog post on What is a Small Employer Certificate of Recognition?
What Is a Certificate Of Recognition (COR)?
Each province has established a Partners in Injury Reduction Program, a voluntary program in which employer and worker representatives work collaboratively with the government to build effective health and safety management systems.
Industry Partners, associations that participate in the program, offer guidance and support for businesses (like yours!) who are moving forward in the COR process. These partners offer ongoing support, auditors and training to ensure that your company can successfully maintain your certification.
The Partnerships in Injury Reduction program awards Certificates of Recognition to employers that have developed a health and safety management system and met established standards.
To qualify for COR, you must have more than 10 employees in the workplace. COR is awarded to employers who successfully implement a health and safety program that meets the specific provincial standards. That’s right…implemented is the keyword here. You can have an outstanding health and safety manual but if you never use it, or do not follow the program you will not achieve and maintain COR.
Do I Need COR For My Business?
There are many reasons why employers want to get their company COR certified, but typically what we hear is:
- We are expanding and want to improve our programs and lower our WCB rates.
- I am required to have COR to bid on a project.
- I have been offered a contract, but I am required to have COR.
Larger organizations are looking to see if you have COR. This is their way of determining if your company takes the health and safety of your workers seriously.
What Are The Benefits Of Achieving & Maintaining COR?
- Employee Satisfaction
- Developing Your Safety Culture
- Reduction in Incident Rates In the Workplace
- Improved Worker Productivity
- Lower WCB Premiums
Show potential employees that you take their health and safety seriously. Your company wants to put the systems in place and provide employees with the tools to go home safe every day from the worksite.
Developing Your Safety Culture
Whether your company is brand new or has been operating for some time, it will have its own unique “Safety Culture”. This is the way management and workers view safety in the workplace. The requirements and standards of COR will impact and change your safety culture in a positive way. Your industry partner has a wealth of resources available. If you are wanting to “get it right” in a brand new business or if you are experiencing “push back” in a long-established company, your industry partner is there to help.
Reduction In Incident Rates In The Workplace
With a complete health and safety management system in place, you will have the tools to ensure your employees are properly trained to conduct their tasks safely. By implementing your safety program to the specifications of your provincial Partnership in Industry Prevention Program, your company and your workers will become more “safety-focused”.
Improved Worker Productivity
A safe and happy employee that has the tools and training to complete their work safely means jobs get done on time and right the first time without having to worry about rework. When workers know that company management is committed to their safety in the workplace, everything works better!
Lower WCB Premiums
As you grow your business, Workers’ Compensation Board premiums can be quite expensive. By becoming a member of an industry partner and holder of your Certificate of Recognition, you can qualify for up to a 40% discount on your WCB premiums. (dependent on the province. ie Alberta, Ontario, British Columbia, etc.) Although you can not change past performance, what you do from this point forward can have a significant impact on your WCB premium rates in the future.
How Do I Become COR Certified?
Achieving your Certificate of Recognition can seem overwhelming!
The most important step is getting management's commitment to health and safety. COR can’t be about just reducing WCB premiums. Learn the legal obligations for workplace safety in your province. Appoint someone to see the process through. This will greatly increase your chance of success!
Achieving COR can really be simplified by following these easy steps:
- Having a WCB account for your company and determining your Industry Partner in the Reduction of Injury program. (You determine your industry partner by adding your classification unit number in the area provided on your provincial WCB website.)
- Becoming a member of an injury reduction group or certifying partner. (If you choose not to become a member, most provinces will associate your company with a partner.)
- Have a health and safety program. Your provincial Industry Partner will have a list of the required components for your program.
- Implement the health and safety program including:
- Vehicle inspections, site inspections, office inspections
- Fire extinguisher inspections
- Employee training and competency verification
- Completion of hazard assessments recognition and control for your work
- Having and testing an emergency response plan
- Incident investigations and corrections of areas where improvements are required
- Safety Meetings
- Management taking part in all aspects of the health and safety program
- This list is not inclusive of all items required
- Apply for your COR for your organization.
- Follow the steps outlined in the application to achieve your COR
- Complete the application
- Complete the necessary training
- Submit the required documents or set up the audit when applicable
If you find the process of achieving COR daunting, we are here to help!
How Long Will It Take To Get COR Certified?
Once you have decided to work toward your Certificate of Recognition, in most provinces, it will take about a year from the time you apply until you get your certification.
You will find your COR application on your Industry Partner’s website. The association staff is there to help you move through the application process, so don't hesitate to contact them.
There will need to be time set aside for the training required by our Industry Partner. One or more employees may need to attend. This training can include courses in:
- Internal Auditing
- Leadership in Safety
Your company will need to have records showing that you have implemented your program by conducting and documenting the items from the list we provided in the previous section. You will require six to nine months of documentation, depending on the provincial requirements.
Your industry partner requires an audit of your current safety management system ( a baseline audit) and will make recommendations. The process for the audit will vary with the number of employees. Don’t let “AUDIT” be a scary word! Remember, you and your industry partner are working together! The audit process will ensure that your company’s mission to provide a safe workplace is realized.
How Can Safety Software Make Getting Your Certificate Of Recognition (COR) Simple?
At Safety Evolution, we are not only a safety software but are a group of industry professionals always here to help! Our website provides many resources to help you improve your Safety Program.
These blogs give great suggestions:
- 5 Elements of the Perfect Safety Meeting
- Download Free Toolbox Talks for Safety Meetings
- 5 Expert Tips for Creating your Onboarding & Orientation
- How to Develop Equipment Inspections in 5 Easy Steps
Safety Evolution Software uncomplicates every component of your safety program. Getting COR and maintaining it has never been easier than with safety software! By taking a look at the process for COR certification, you have become aware of the documentation requirements and the importance of having them readily available.
How are you going to manage going through to ensure that all the safety paperwork is there and not in someone's truck, job trailer, coveralls, or desk? Tracking down safety documents such as bbo's, field level hazard assessments, and equipment inspections can often take a month or more!
This is only one of the challenges of meeting COR requirements with a paper-based system. The big question is "what can you do to make your life easier?" The answer is pretty simple, move to a safety software like Safety Evolution.
In this week's blog, David Brennan, Co-founder of Safety Evolution talks about COR. He highlights how safety software can make many of the challenges of securing and maintaining it disappear.
We talk with Safety Professionals every day who all struggle with the administrative workload that is required to meet the COR requirements. They feel like they are not able to do all the proactive aspects of their job because they are stuck ensuring compliance. They want to be out mentoring and working with their teams to get ahead of the problems and Incidents that are part of daily operations.
Imagine having the time and information to determine what the best proactive initiatives are to implement throughout the year.
Watch our Demo On Demand, to learn more about how your company can get the tools you need to change the way you implement, monitor, and understand your safety program.
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