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Commitment Level

The Commitment Level is the first step in ZeroQuest®. This step exemplifies a firm's dedication to completing all steps necessary to create and sustain a successful health and safety system. Although IHSA recognizes the unique qualities of individual companies, there are components in any health and safety system that remain constant. ZeroQuest® helps firms ensure they have all the components necessary to succeed.

At the Commitment Level, a firm must demonstrate that its employees recognize the importance of integrating a health and safety program into the firm's business plan.

The Commitment Level requires firms to plan for a sustainable health and safety system. This includes not only having the basic documentation that meets the needs of the firm, but also ensuring each person within the organization has internalized the critical information to work safely.

IHSA has found that many firms are able to quickly proceed through the Commitment Level and proceed to the Effort Level. Typically, the process takes no more than 90 days.

Commitment is the initial step to eliminating all injuries and illnesses.

Roadmap

Entering the Commitment Level

The first step toward completing the Commitment Level is applying to participate in the program. Prospective participants are asked to fill out and submit a completed application to the Commitment Level (together with any applicable fees). The application form requires signatures from both management and labour representatives. The commitment date is a target firms set when they are prepared for a IHSA representative to conduct the evaluation. This consists of a documentation review and on-site verification interviews.

Preparing for Evaluation

In order to complete the Commitment Level, a firm must demonstrate its commitment to a successful health and safety system. To determine a firm's commitment, IHSA will evaluate the following documents:

  • Health and safety policy statement
  • Organizational chart
  • A representative sampling of detailed job descriptions
  • A representative sampling of meeting agendas and minutes (these can be from various sources – including management meetings, departmental meetings, safety meetings and joint health and safety committee meetings)
  • Orientation program for new/young/temporary/contract workers
  • Early and safe return to work policy
  • Training matrix
  • Job planning procedure

It should be emphasized that the requirements should be integrated. To help firms understand how the documents will be evaluated, refer to the guide section below.

Evaluation

Success at the Commitment Level is verified by a IHSA representative through a documentation review and on-site employee interviews. The documentation review will determine if the firm meets the criteria outlined in the ZeroQuest® Guide and if those documents have been tailored to meet the needs of the firm.

Along with the documentation review, the Commitment Level also requires verification interviews. Using a small sample of employees, the verification interviews will assess whether the firm has internalized its health and safety commitments. The interview questions are based primarily on commitment and culture with lesser emphasis on compliance and procedural issues. Each interview at the Commitment Level will be approximately 20 minutes in length. A firm must work with its IHSA representative to set dates for the interviews and agree on the interview demographics. IHSA must be able to interview at least ten per cent of your workforce and one representative from each functional group in the organization.

Evaluation Report

Based on the results of the documentation review and verification interviews, the IHSA representative will prepare an evaluation report for the firm. This report includes general observations, as well as strengths and areas of opportunity within the company.

NOTE:

Firms must submit an action plan to address areas of opportunity within 90 days of receiving the evaluation report. Some firms may have to fulfill certain areas of opportunity identified in the report before receiving the Commitment Award.

Award Presentation

After successful completion of the evaluation, and the submission of the Effort Level application (including payment of any applicable fees) the firm will be presented with the Commitment Award. This framed medallion can be presented at a ceremony at the firm's location. The award ceremony will be a presentation highlighting the firm's results from the evaluation, presentation of the plaque, and introduction of the Effort Level. In addition, a formal group presentation and value-added learning opportunity, will take place as a part of IHSA's Annual General Meeting and Conference in September.

Guide

At this level, a firm is asked to assess its documentation to determine if it meets basic requirements as outlined below. These are minimum requirements only. The documentation may have to be more comprehensive to meet the needs of the firm. It is important that the documentation reflect the firm and the type of work the firm does.

The verification interviews that are part of the evaluation process will determine whether or not employees have internalized what is stated in the documentation. Training and guidance may be needed if major changes in the documentation are required. Firms may request assistance from IHSA throughout the process.

The following questions outline the requirements needed to achieve this level:

Health and Safety Policy Statement

  • Does the firm's statement include a clause that illustrates the CEO/owner's commitment to continually improve the firm's occupational health and safety performance?
  • Does the statement reflect the true scope of the organization? (e.g. size, remote worksite, multiple locations, visitors, suppliers, etc.)
  • Does it take into consideration what resources need to be allocated to health and safety?
  • Does the statement express the desire to, at a minimum, comply with all current/applicable legislation?
  • In short – is it a comprehensive and realistic demonstration of the firm's commitment to health and safety?

Organizational Chart

  • Have all positions been included?
  • Is it up to date?

Job Descriptions

  • Are job descriptions available for all positions identified in the organizational chart?
  • Are these current? What is the schedule for their review, and whose responsibility is this?
  • Have measurable health and safety responsibilities been clearly outlined for each position?

Management Meetings (agendas/minutes)

  • Are there terms of reference for these meetings?
  • Are action items being tracked and followed up in a timely manner?

Safety Meeting Minutes

  • Are there terms of reference for these meetings?
  • Are action items being tracked and followed up in a timely manner?

Joint Health and Safety Committee Meeting Minutes

  • Are there terms of reference for these meetings?
  • Are action items being tracked and followed-up in a timely manner?

Orientation Program for New/Young/Temporary/Contract Workers

  • Is there an orientation program for new/young/temporary/contract workers?
  • Is this program adequate to ensure that all new employees are made aware of existing documentation, and their rights and duties as outlined in the Occupational Health and Safety Act?

Early and Safe Return to Work Policy

  • Does the firm's early and safe return to work policy meet the legislative requirements set out by the WSIB?
  • Have individual roles and responsibilities been clearly outlined?

Training Matrix

  • Does the firm have a training matrix to track training requirements and training that has been completed for each employee?

Job Planning

  • Is there a documented job planning procedure?
  • Are there clear criteria outlining when a written job plan is required?

This information should be useful in better understanding the documentation requirements at the Commitment Level. Remember that it may not reflect all documents required to meet the needs of a specific firm. It is meant only to assist in focusing on areas of the firm's health and safety system that may need improvement.

Efforts in creating and reviewing the documentation will prove vital at the Effort Level. Remember to include input from all levels of the firm (e.g. employees, supervisors, management) and the Joint Health and Safety Committee (if applicable). It is also important to continually review the documentation to ensure that it is sufficient to meet the needs of the firm and reflects any changes in legislation and/or industry standards and lessons learned through operating experience.

Document list at Commitment Level

Please forward the following documentation to the IHSA office at least one month prior to the scheduled evaluation date:

  • Copy of the firm's health and safety policy statement
  • Organizational chart
  • A representative sampling of detailed job descriptions
  • A representative sampling of meeting agendas and minutes (can be from various sources including management meetings, departmental meetings, safety meetings and joint health and safety committee meetings)
  • Orientation program for new/young/temporary/contract workers
  • Early and safe return to work policy
  • Training matrix
  • Job planning procedure
NOTE:

All submitted documentation will be either returned to the organization upon request, or destroyed upon completion of the evaluation.

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