WSIB says health and safety initiative made one million Ontario workers safer
As the calendar flips to a new year, businesses across Ontario are being urged to prioritize workplace health and safety in their goals for 2024. Leading the charge in this endeavor is the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB), through its renowned Health and Safety Excellence program.
This initiative has proven to be a game-changer, with over a million Ontarians enjoying safer workplaces, thanks to the 4,000 businesses that have enrolled since its inception four years ago.
"Of the five million people working for businesses registered with the WSIB, one million of them – one in five – are now working for companies in our Health and Safety Excellence program,” explains Rod Cook, WSIB vice president. “That's a significant achievement, and we can't wait to welcome more businesses into this program."
Creating safer workplaces through collaboration
The Health and Safety Excellence program is a unique initiative that connects Ontario businesses with approved providers in their industry or community. These experts collaborate with businesses to design customized health and safety plans centered around 39 available topics.
Companies participating in the program stand to earn rebates on their WSIB premiums for each completed topic. Since its launch in November 2019, the program has disbursed an impressive $49.8 million in rebates.
"Every business that invests in health and safety means fewer injuries in the long run, so it's important for us to help however we can," says Cook.
Inspiring businesses with "Ins and Outs" for 2024
To encourage businesses to prioritize workplace health and safety, WSIB is sharing a list of "Ins and Outs" for 2024:
- Practicing better workplace health and safety habits.
- Being aware of occupational diseases.
- Taking care of work-related mental stress.
- Focusing on return-to-work responsibilities after a workplace incident.
- Signing up for the WSIB's Health and Safety Excellence Program.
- Not using the WSIB's online services.
- Taking workplace safety for granted.
- Not checking the WSIB's health and safety statistics.
- Not signing up for the latest WSIB news and updates.
- Reporting and paying premiums over the phone when online or CRA options are available.
Support for all businesses
The Health and Safety Excellence program is designed to accommodate businesses of all sizes and experience levels, making it inclusive and accessible. To further motivate smaller businesses (those with up to 99 full-time employees) to prioritize health and safety, extra incentives are being offered through the end of 2024. These businesses can earn double rebates on their annual WSIB premiums and receive an additional $1,000 towards their health and safety plans this year.