Safety Group 2016: earn a WSIB rebate while building your health and safety program

Sep 04, 2015

Safety Group check inYear after year, members of WSPS' Safety Group earn workers compensation premium rebates by improving their health and safety performance. So could you. In the most recent reported year, WSPS Safety Group members earned a collective 5.17% premium rebate - worth $6,763,820 - by reducing their lost-time injury frequency rate by 12.86% and their injury severity rate by 16.35%.

The Safety Groups program was developed by the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) as a way to help Ontario businesses build and sustain their own comprehensive health and safety program. WSPS's Safety Group is one of the longest running and most successful. Firms join one of roughly 30 chapters that are active across the province each year.

At the beginning of each year, members select five elements of a health and safety program that will help them improve their performance. They learn how to implement these elements at meetings where they can tap into WSPS expertise and resources, and the hands-on experience of other members. WSPS health and safety consultants facilitate the meetings and are available to members between meetings. It's an established approach with proven results.

Just ask Gord Jennings, environmental supervisor for Bonduelle North America's Strathroy, ON plant. The facility has 120 full-time employees and 60 seasonal employees who pack and freeze fresh Ontario produce, such as peas, beans and carrots. "We joined because we felt our health and safety efforts were unfocused. Now we have a really effective system."

Jennings was so pleased with his WSPS Safety Group experience that after five years he signed the plant up for a "post-graduate" opportunity: WSPS’ Safety Groups Advantage Program (SGAP). The WSIB created SGAP in response to members like Jennings who wanted to continue benefiting from the program after the five-year mark. The Strathroy plant is now completing its 11th year, and looking forward to a 12th.

What keeps bringing him back? "The resources. Case in point: we're currently working on job task analyses. We went back and forth for a couple months on how to do it without creating a 30-page doorstopper. Last year our chapter lead (WSPS health and safety consultant Lois Weeks) had invited one of the member companies to share how they did theirs. Their process fits us perfectly, so we asked if we could adapt it and away we went."

Having access to a ready-made solution saved Jennings and his team hours of unnecessary work. He's also found other ways to leverage the Safety Group learnings. "For instance," says Jennings, "in advance of a Ministry of Labour warehouse safety blitz, I used WSPS resources to develop a short information brief about what inspectors would be looking for and sent it out to our warehouse manager and lead hands. Two days later, an inspector appeared at one of our warehouses. Our people were ready. No contraventions or orders."

Find out how you can benefit from WSPS’ Safety Group

Registration for WSPS' 2016 Safety Group program is now open.

  1. Learn more about the group online. While on site, watch an 8-minute information webinar.
  2. Read what others have to say about WSPS' Safety Group and how it helped them improve their performance: