Rate Framework Consultation
In the fall of 2012, the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) announced that they would be engaging all interested stakeholders in a dialogue surrounding the core principles behind employer classification, rate setting, and experience rating. The dialogue is also open to consider options for the modernization of the WSIB Rate Framework as a whole.
In January 2013, a discussion paper was released by consultant Doug Stanley who is now accepting submissions from stakeholders. If you are interested in participating in this dialogue, there are several ways you can engage: online, through written submissions, in direct discussions with stakeholder groups, and at public hearings which will be held across the province. These public consultations commenced earlier this month with the sole purpose of receiving input and ideas from interested stakeholders and using that information to provide informed advice to the WSIB in a final report of findings.
Some of the questions up for consideration include:
Results from this consultation have the potential for significant ramifications to the employer community in this province. Understanding how far reaching the effects could be, Anna Aceto-Guerin, owner and consultant for Clear Path Employer Services, has been participating in the Employers’ Advocacy Council (EAC) and is a member of the policy committee which is representing Employers’ interests in these matters.
Recently, Anna participated with the EAC Policy committee to develop a submission and the committee presented their submission directly to Mr. Stanley on April 16th. The submission addressed all three issues and was developed with the perspective of large and small employers in mind. As part of this committee, Anna is able to share the concerns and challenges from our clients which we see each day.
Looking for more information on how the current initiatives by WSIB will affect you or our company? Feel free to connect with Anna directly at email@example.com
The full discussion paper can be accessed here: http://www.wsib.on.ca/en/community/WSIB/230/ArticleDetail/24338?vgnextoid=cde247bf3864c310VgnVCM100000469c710aRCRD&vgnextchannel=0db70b368d5dd110VgnVCM1000000e18120aRCRD
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Clear Path's HR Assistant and Project Manager Kyle Irwin shares about his recent experience at the Health and Safety Peer Networking Group:
In addition to my duties at Clear Path Employer Services, I co-chair a Health and Safety Peer Networking group sponsored by the Grand Valley Chapter of the HRPA. We meet monthly at various locations to discuss the challenges and successes we are having, learn what’s new in Health and Safety, and receive a tour of our host facility.
This past Wednesday, we met at the Sutherland-Schultz facility in Cambridge and had Zeljko Ilincic from the Ministry of Labour come out to speak about a number of topics. Many thanks go out to Sheri White at Sutherland-Schultz for not backing out when she learned that a MOL inspector was coming out to her workplace. You’re a trooper, Sheri!
Zeljko started off by sharing the 2013-2014 MOL inspection blitz schedule and the industry specific schedules. He then touched on many subjects, including:
One topic I found particularly interesting is the new worker/supervisor training, which may very soon become a mandatory requirement for all workplaces (recommendations 14 and 15 of the Tony Dean report.) While this training is currently a tentative suggestion, it is likely to become mandatory in January 2014. This would provide the basis for a province-wide standard for Health and Safety training. There’s also an opportunity for employers, employees and anyone with an interest in Health and Safety to provide their feedback before May 17, 2013. Zeljko added that the MOL will accept past training as long as it’s documented and meets or exceeds the standards laid out in the new requirements.
If you’re looking to set up a Joint Health and Safety Committee, but not sure where or how to start, Zeljko informed us that the MOL’s website has a list of approved trainers for basic certification, check it out here. We are also always happy to help with development of Health and Safety programs, training and auditing existing programs. Clear Path Employer Services has experts on staff that will get your H&S policies and program up and running in no time.
The Ministry also has its Sector Plans available. Simply click on your sector, specify which sub-section you’re involved in and see the MOL’s plans for that sector, as well as what inspectors would be looking for during a visit.
Zeljko also shared some of the changes that were recently made involving the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities and the Ontario College of Trades and Apprenticeship Act (OCTAA). As of April 8, 2013, the OCTAA will now be responsible for issuing Certificates of Qualification. Something that was pointed out is that tradespeople (electricians, etc.) now have to renew their certificates of qualifications every year as opposed to every three years. Oddly enough, the fee remains the same on a yearly renewal as it was for the three year renewal……making for some very unhappy tradespersons.
We also discussed the ramifications of the decision of the Court of Appeals regarding the death of a guest at Blue Mountain and their ruling that “There must be a nexus between the hazard giving rise to the critical injury or death and a realistic risk to workers’ safety.” Finally, we briefly discussed the future of the WSIB Workwell program which was under Bill 160 to be moved to the MOL, with the rest of the Prevention Branch of WSIB . Zelko advised that there is no official word on what is the fate of Workwell but the general thought is that its’ continuance is not a sure thing. He did confirm, however that the Health and Safety Association is working with the MOL so if Workwell ceases to exist, there will almost certainly be something to replace it.
As you can see, we covered a great deal of information during Zeljko’s one hour presentation, and I’m sure there’s much more I could write about. However, these sessions are much more fun in person, so why not come out and join us at one? Or, if your facility would like to host/provide a speaker for our meeting, I promise I will do my best not to invite an inspector from the Ministry of Labour.
For more information about the Grand Valley chapter of the HRPA, the Health and Safety Peer Networking Group meetings, or if you would like to be added to our invitation list, please drop a line to firstname.lastname@example.org or myself, email@example.com.
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The Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) has undergone significant developments for 2013, with many more changes still on the horizon. In this blog, we will outline of some of these developments and how they will impact you as an employer dealing with the WSIB.
New mandatory coverage for construction industry
As of January 1, 2013, the WSIB has introduced mandatory coverage under the WSIA for majority of the construction industry. The individuals affected by this change include independent operators, sole proprietors, partners in a partnership, and executive officers of construction corporations. These individuals are now considered “workers” under the WSIA. Deemed employers are now required to register with the WSIB and remit premiums based on their insurable earnings. (Source)
According to CTV News, this development is concerning to small, independent contractors. The cost runs about $9 for every $100 earned up to a maximum of $7500. Many contractors fear that this is going to cost them business because of the subsequent rate increase they must charge to compensate for this cost. Home builders will also face higher administrative costs as part of the change.
Premium rate changes
The WSIB has announced that they will be increasing premium rates by 2.5% for all employer rate groups in 2013. Here is a statement issued by the WSIB in regards to this increase:
“In order to create stable and competitive premium rates for the future and ensure a sustainable workplace safety and insurance system for workers and employers, premium rates will increase by 2.5% for all employer rate groups in 2013. This increased rate is a necessary step to reducing the WSIB’s unfunded liability (UFL), which has grown to $14.2 billion.” (Source)
The 2013 Premium Rates table can be found here: http://www.wsib.on.ca/en/community/WSIB/230/ArticleDetail/24338?vgnextoid=002c768461e8a310VgnVCM100000469c710aRCRD
New changes to eServices
As part of their promise to become more paperless, the WSIB is introducing a new eService for employers at the end of the month. eStatement allows you to access a PDF version of your quarterly NEER statement, and other WSIB-related statements, online at the click of a button. You will also be able to export the data into Excel.
This service should significantly eliminate the delays in receiving NEER and monthly cost statements. Currently employers are waiting approximately 6-8 weeks after the close of the period for the NEER statement and about 4-6 weeks for their monthly cost statements.
eStatement is expected to go live on April 18th, 2013. Statements should be available on this system almost immediately after they are prepared and will be archived for at least 1 year. After April 18th, employers can sign up to start to receive their eStatements. Keep an eye on the WSIB website for further developments in this area! If you have any questions, you can contact Vincent Mirabelli of WSIB Online Services.
Claim cost calculations for deceased workers
Although this is not necessarily new to the WSIB, this is a policy that many employers are not aware of:
If an injured worker dies for reasons unrelated to the workplace injury within the four-year NEER review period, the projected future costs for the claim are eliminated. Employers must apply to have the projected future costs removed from their Claim Cost Statement, and must include a copy of the worker’s death certificate. Applications must be received by the WSIB prior to expiry of the NEER review period.
Clear Path consultant Kelly Auld states that, in situations where the worker has passed away, this will result in significantly reduced limited claims costs and will have a positive and cost-reducing effect on the employers’ rebate/surcharge. In order to have the projected future costs eliminated, the employer must write a letter to the Experience Rating Department requesting the removal. Click here to read the full NEER policy online.
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The past few decades have brought about an incredible revolution in the workplace. Advances in technology have made the impossible possible and, as a result, many companies have been able to achieve levels of efficiency and productivity that were only dreamed of a few decades ago. From cloud computing to virtualization, there always seems to be a new trend in technology that companies are scrambling to get on board with. Right now that trend is BYOD.
“Bring your own device (BYOD) refers to the trend of employees wanting to use their own smartphones, tablets, and other mobile devices in the workplace. With the consumer mobile market exploding, analysts say that organizations of all sizes must develop BYOD strategies or risk employee dissatisfaction and security vulnerabilities.” – Adam Bender, PC World Journalist
BYOD in action
In a recent article by The Globe and Mail, we learn that Intel Corp. jumped on board to this movement as early as 2009 by launching a pilot program in the workplace. Today more than 23,500 devices representing 19 percent of the Intel staff are on board with the company’s opt-in BYOD program. Yet another testament to how quickly these trends can catch on.
Implications for employers
As the BYOD movement continues to gain traction, employers are faced with the decision of whether this policy is something they want to embrace or not. There happen to be a number of different opinions on this subject. The biggest hindrance for many employers is that they are stepping into uncharted territory. By enabling BYOD in the workplace, companies become responsible for managing and securing devices they don’t own. Although this does have it’s benefits, it also comes with risks that every employer needs to be aware of before jumping on board.
Evaluating the benefits:
Evaluating the risks:
The importance of policy
The risks presented above only emphasize the need for a clearly defined BYOD policy if this is something you’re looking to embrace as an employer. By outlining the rules of engagement for personal devices and stating up-front what your expectations are, you can reduce some of the risk that come with relinquishing full control of which devices are used. PC World states that you could even “mandate company-sanctioned security tools as a condition for allowing personal devices to connect to your company data and network resources.”
Having a clearly defined BYOD policy in place is just one small step towards having an overall effective employee policy manual. What are some of the additional elements you should include in your manual? How can you be sure you are compliant with all required legislation? These questions are all answered in our “Establishing the Rules of the Game” learning session. The session runs on September 18th, 2013 in Cambridge from 9:00am-1:00pm. For more information including a detailed course outline and registration form, check out our website: http://www.clearpathemployer.com/policy-book-session.html
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You never really know when an government occupational health and safety inspector is going to come knocking on your door. The goal of these inspectors is to enforce the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) and ensure that your company is maintaining an effective Internal Responsibility System (IRS).
So what exactly are the OHSA and IRS and what purposes are they looking to accomplish?
An overview of the basics
What to expect during an OH&S inspection
Now that you've know the basics, what else can you do to be prepared for an unexpected ministry OH&S inspector visit? Here is what to expect according to the Ontario Ministry of Labour:
It's important to remember that inspectors will apply and enforce the OHSA and its regulations on the facts as they may find them in the workplace. This means that documentation, preparedness, and diligence are key to a successful ministry inspection.
Need help getting your Health and Safety program up and running in your workplace? Clear Path is offering two different learning sessions in May to help you succeed: Health and Safety 101 and The Secret to Passing a Workwell Audit. If you would like some immediate advice, please contact Anna at (519)-624-0800 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit our website for information on our other services.
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Think workplace safety concerns only impact employees in traditional industries? Think again. Even well-known Hollywood stars can be impacted by a lack of due diligence in their workplaces.
Here are some of the celebrities who have been involved in a serious workplace accident:
Tragic end for Bruce Lee's son Brandon on set of "The Crow"
Brandon Lee’s film career was on the rise when he was cast as the lead in the film “The Crow.” The 28-year-old Lee died of a fatal gunshot wound due to an on-set mishap on March 31, 1993. Weeks prior to filming a scene in which Lee’s character was to be shot repeatedly, another scene had been filmed that showed bullets being loaded into the handgun. Rather than using dummy rounds, inexperienced crew members used real ammunition. Although they removed the real bullets and gun powder, a bullet had inadvertently become lodged in the barrel. Later while filming the fateful scene, the explosive charge of the blank propelled the lodged bullet as if the gun had been loaded with a live round, resulting in the fatal accident. Five hours of surgery were not able to save the young actor. Producers eventually decided to complete the film and release it in 1994. (Source: Wikipedia.org)
Accident on set of "Twilight Zone" movie leads to Three Deaths
One of the most infamous Hollywood tragedies occurred during the making of the 1982 theatrical film version of the classic “Twilight Zone” series.
One of the movie segments had actor Vic Morrow’s character travel back in time to the Vietnam War where he discovers two young Vietnamese children left behind when a U.S. helicopter appears to be shooting at them. Morrow was to take both children under his arms and escape out of the village as the hovering helicopter destroyed the village with multiple explosions.
The helicopter pilot had trouble navigating through the fireballs created by pyrotechnic effects for the sequence. The explosions caused the low-flying helicopter to spin out of control and crash land on top of Morrow and the two children as they were crossing a small pond away from the village mock-up. Morrow (aged 53), Myca Dinh Le (aged 7) and Renee Shin-Yi Chen (aged 6) were killed instantly.
Not so "good" for Kristin Chenoweth on set of "The Good Wife"
Kristin Chenoweth, the petite star of Broadway’s "Wicked" and TV’s "Glee" was seriously injured on the set of "The Good Wife" on July 11, 2012 when a gust of wind caused lighting equipment to hit her in the face and knock her to the pavement during an outdoor shoot. She hit her head on the concrete curb and was knocked unconscious. The actress has recovered but later shared that she has "a skull fracture and a rib issue and a hip issue."
The accident caused the show to cut short her character’s extended arc and create alternate plots for the season. (Source: People.com)
A thoroughly "un-sexy" injury for People's "Sexiest Man Alive"
During filming a scene for the 2011 film “The Eagle” which required its actors to wade into freezing water in a wet suit, Channing Tatum suffered severe burns to his most private parts.
Attempting to keep the actors warm, crew members were pouring a mix of boiling water and the river water down the actors’ suits. Unfortunately, a crew member had forgotten to dilute the kettle water meant for Tatum and poured scalding hot water down on his suit.
He was rushed to the hospital, put on morphine, and eventually healed. Considering that People’s Sexiest Man and his wife are now expecting their first child, we assume all is well in the Tatum household. (Source: Huffington Post)
Ironic injury for "Troy" star Brad Pitt
While filming the 2004 film “Troy,” actor Brad Pitt (who was playing the character of Achilles) tore his Achilles tendon when he landed the wrong way during a fight scene.
The injury delayed filming for three months and also impacted the start of Pitt’s next film, Ocean’s Eleven. (Source: omg-facts.com)
Does Clooney think Oscar-winning role was worthy it?
Movie star George Clooney won his first Academy Award for his role in 2005’s Syriana, however a mishap during the filming a torture scene in the movie caused the actor to suffer a severe back injury.
The pain was so intense that Clooney even considered taking his own life, according to a 2011 interview with Rolling Stone magazine. Luckily, Clooney would eventually undergo successful surgery to fix the injury.
Halle Berry's numerous workplace accidents
Oscar-winning beauty Halle Berry is no stranger to on-set injuries. During the filming of the 2003 film “Gothika” she broke her arm shooting a scene that required her to be restrained by co-star Robert Downey, Jr. "It was in a scene that didn't involve any stunts, Robert twisted my arm the wrong way and it just...broke," she said. "But we're friends. It was an accident." Filming was halted for eight weeks in order for the injury to improve and Berry later finished shooting the movie with a small cast from her elbow to her wrist.
Berry also damaged her eye while shooting an action sequence for the James Bond drama “Die Another Day” in 2002 and was taken to hospital after smashing her head on lights during a night shoot for 2004’s "Catwoman." Source: Netscape
Other unfortunate movie set injuries
Source: Netscape and Huffington Post
Health & Safety is critically important to all workplaces, whether on a Hollywood movie set or a southern Ontario factory.
Are you confident in your company’s Health & Safety program? Why not register for Clear Path’s upcoming “Health & Safety 101 for Business Owners” learning session.
Any questions? Please contact Anna Aceto-Guerin at (519) 624-0800 or email@example.com.
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