Workplace Safety North has new Risk Management Awards

Ontario resource companies recognized for managing sector-specific risks

Workplace Safety North has new Risk Management Awards

Workplace Safety North (WSN) announced a new awards program to recognize Ontario mining and forest products companies.

The WSN Risk Management Awards build on the provincial risk-based analysis program by using the industry’s own research to focus on the most effective ways to protect workers.  It leverages evidence-based research from the WSN Internal Responsibility System Climate Assessment and Audit Tool.

“The Risk Management Awards focus on how high-risk hazards are managed,” says Cindy Schiewek, WSN Director of Health and Safety Services, “and rewards companies that can demonstrate they have key practices in place to keep workers safe and healthy.”

Health and safety research from each specific sector is used to determine award recipients. Industry workers and managers have been meeting in risk assessment and root-cause analysis workshops to talk about and rate the workplace hazards that worry them the most.

“It’s important to recognize all the research industry has done,” says Schiewek, “and spotlight how they are tackling the top health and safety risks in their sector.”

 WSN has created a database of the top ten risks of all sectors in the mining, forestry, paper, printing, and converting sectors in the province.  It also lists control activities to minimize these risks and keep workers safe and healthy.

The Risk Management Awards recognize employers who are following the control activities.

This year, the top mining risk targets pedestrian and mobile equipment interaction. The forest products sector is focused on lockout and tagout of machines and equipment to address stored energy hazards.

“The really nice thing about this award is that it focuses on the specific top risks identified by workers and managers in the industry. Plus, workers take part in the awards process by helping complete and submit the entry,” adds Schiewek.

Applications are due April 30 and, once approved, companies submit an assessment by June 15th. WSN staff conduct field visits to verify submissions by July 31st. Award winners will be recognized at the WSN annual general meeting held in North Bay and virtually in September.