Construction industry celebrates safety milestone, work remains with small businesses
In a significant milestone for occupational health and safety in Canada's construction industry, the Canadian Federation of Construction Safety Associations (CFCSA) has more than 10,000 firms that achieved active Certificate of Recognition (COR®) certification.
COR®: A national accreditation standard for safety excellence
The COR® program, promoted and regulated by CFCSA, has long served as the gold standard for occupational safety and health management systems in Canada's construction sector. Through rigorous evaluations encompassing hazard identification, risk assessment, and effective control measures, COR® certification equips Canadian firms to navigate the unique challenges of the construction industry.
"The attainment of over 10,000 active COR® certified firms is a testament to the dedication of our industry to prioritize safety,” says Roy Silliker, current CFCSA chair. “COR® certification not only provides a competitive edge but fosters a culture of safety while reducing workplace incidents."
Empirical evidence: lower injury rates
One of the key findings resulting from the CFCSA's dedication to COR® certification is an 18% reduction in injury rates for certified firms compared to their non-certified counterparts. This data is backed by research papers, accessible on the CFCSA's website, which delve into the effectiveness of COR® certification in enhancing workplace safety and its direct impact on injury rates.
"Our research underscores the tangible benefits of investing in COR® certification,” says Silliker. "Anytime we see a company that starts a safety program and implements the safety program and makes people follow the program, they see a reduction in their lost-time accidents, injuries and deaths."
Still work to do with small businesses
Silliker acknowledges there is still significant work to be done. Most of the progress involves larger firms with high payrolls. But getting smaller businesses to buy in has been a challenge. Silliker says smaller companies can benefit from COR® certification as well, as it serves as a valuable tool for ensuring safety protocols are in place and followed diligently.
While the costs associated with COR® may be tougher to shoulder for small businesses, the implementation of the audit system is easier. "A small company's advantage is it's easier for a small company to incorporate the audit program and the core program than it is for a large company because you have to train all your employees on the policies and procedures of your manual," explains Silliker.
Getting those small businesses on board is the next step towards achieving more milestones.
"This achievement is a testament to the dedication of our industry to prioritize safety. We invite firms in construction and related sectors to explore the benefits of COR® certification and join the ever-growing community of safety-conscious organizations committed to a safer, healthier, and more productive industry," says Silliker.