On August 27th, 2015 Paul Casey hosted a webinar with eCompliance in which he answered some of the most common questions about having a Certificate Of Recognition (COR). Here's what we took away from Paul's responses.
What are some of the advantages of having a certificate of recognition?
There are many advantages. COR is a tested and proven system that has been around for over 20 years. The essence of COR is the management system. It requires the business demonstrate there has been communication and training about health and safety with all employees and staff. Not only will it improve safety, which is often neglected, it gives you a structured approach and recognition.
What can be expected in the future in regards to businesses being required to have COR?
As of mid-2015, all Metrolinx contracts, TTC contracts over $5 million and Infrastructures Ontario contracts over $10 million require COR. In 2016, all TTC and Infrastructure Ontario projects will require COR, regardless of the budget. There will be $14.6 billion of value in contracts that will require COR in 2016.
How much work is involved in receiving a COR and how long can we expect it to take from registration to certification?
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This depends on the current state of the company’s health and safety management system in place. The company must prove they have an OH&S management system in place that is up to date and consistently followed. A reactive approach to safety won’t cut it. Even if a good system is in place and up to date, you must have good recordkeeping for auditors to verify it. Paul’s advice is to not wait until going for certification. Begin immediately to review your health and safety management system and recordkeeping.
There needs to be a minimum of a six month presence of a system prior to the auditor coming in to confirm that the system is in place. There are no short cuts. The auditor will review documentation and interview employees and staff. The commitment to safety must be real.
How would you recommend companies simplify the COR process?
Paul encourages you to go to the IHSA website for tools and resources. He suggests that you step back and look at your health and safety management system. Are you consistent with needed activities and can you verify it through sound documentation? You must be able to verify you’re doing, what you say you’re doing in regards to hazard assessments, training, etc..