On November 17, the Ontario government introduced amendments to the Workplace Health and Safety Act. The proposed amendments give the Province’s Chief Prevention Officer the power to: (a) accredit health and safety management systems; (b) give recognition to employers who use accredited systems; and (c) establish standards and criteria that must be met by the systems or employers to receive accreditation or recognition.
Over the past several years, as the work on these proposed legislation changes have taken place, the Chemistry Industry Association of Canada (CIAC) and Responsible Distribution Canada (RDC) have been meeting regularly with Ontario’s Chief Prevention Officer and officials in the Ministry of Labour. They have used every meeting opportunity to encourage the Province to introduce programs which are outcome based and flexible enough to recognize the multitude of superior workplace safety management systems already in place in Ontario, such as Responsible Care® and Responsible Distribution®.
“Through its comprehensive safety management system requirements and rigorous triennial external verification process, Responsible Care® has delivered results,” says Bob Masterson, CIAC’s President and CEO. “Over the past 20 years, the number and severity of workplace incidents in the chemistry sector has fallen by nearly 70%, making chemistry facilities among the safest workplaces in Ontario.”
“Responsible Distribution® also has a proven track record of safety, with every site verified by an independent third party auditor,” explains Cathy Campbell, RDC’s President. “It is a risk based program focused on the protection of employees, customers, the public and environment.”
As the new legislation is implemented, CIAC and RDC will undertake joint-advocacy in 2017 to ensure our world-leading initiatives are recognized and rewarded.
For more information, please contact Cathy Campbell, Past President, RDC; or Luc Robitaille, Vice-President, Responsible Care®, CIAC; Don Fusco, Director, Government and Stakeholder Relations – Ontario, CIAC.