Before Engaging with a workplace Compliance Safety Company:
The 8 Questions You Need To Ask
We commend you for taking a proactive health and safety solutions approach, however there are potential pitfalls you need to know about. Although professional certification standards exist, such as a CRSP (Canadian Registered Safety Professional), they are not mandatory in Ontario. With no standards governing safety consulting organizations, you need to do your due diligence.
Below are specific questions to help you make a well-educated assessment. If you would like clarification about this document or would like to inquire about our services please CONTACT US.
1) Will They Provide The Scope Of Work, Timelines And Deliverables In Writing?
You would expect this to be standard practice but not everybody does it. Even so, you need to be wary of anyone that throws a price at you without a detailed assessment of your situation.
We do an initial audit to establish a benchmark of your current situation. Next we’ll work with you to assess your risks and uncover your priorities. This enables us to create a “prioritized action plan”. You may not be able to become compliant all at once due to budget constraints, lack of resources or other factors. We get that, so we’ll develop a scope of work for you that can be rolled out in stages. Based on the prioritized action plan we’ll begin with your biggest gaps in legislative compliance and any areas presenting the greatest risk for you.
2) What Experience Do They Have In Occupational Safety And Health Management And Training?
It is paramount safety consulting and training be provided by someone that has competence and experience in the field. Ask if they have work experience in your industry? Do they have experience training adults on the subject matter? When it comes to training on workplace safety, group dynamics can be enhanced by expert trainers. Do they have advanced consulting and training experience in the specific training you need? Core Training? Working At Heights? First Aid? Lift Truck Training? (Just to name a few)
3) Do They Carry E & O Insurance And Also Liability Insurance And WSIB?
A consultant or organization must protect you and themselves with adequate insurance. They must carry Errors and Omissions insurance to protect you in the event that their work may be flawed. They also need to have liability insurance and WSIB, in the event of a mishap on your premises. Don’t be shy about asking to see a copy of the insurance certificates. Do not trust an organization that cannot provide them.
4) What Education, Experience And Credentials Do They Have?
As we mentioned, the CRSP designation is not mandatory in Ontario. You should ask about relevant experience and training their people have received. Look for a company that has experience in Compliance Management, Corporate Risk Assessment & Mitigation and comprehensive Policy, Program & Procedure Development. They should also have practical field experience in construction safety management, industrial engineering and hygiene, industrial safety coordination and safety auditing. Many of our safety consultants are former Ministry of Labour Inspectors and most are accredited Canadian Registered Safety Professionals, Canadian Health & Safety Professionals (CHSP). They mentor safety consultants and help them through the process of attaining accreditation.
5) What References Can They Provide?
The best way to get unbiased information is from references. These should be from prominent, well-known organizations. If the safety consulting firm you are evaluating has a good reputation and rapport with their clients, they will proudly offer references without being asked.
Here are a few of the industry-leading organizations that we have had the pleasure of serving:
ABB, Belfor Restoration, CNE, Orlando Corporation, Live Nation, The Brick Warehouse, EDF Renewable Energy
If you are considering engaging our services, we will be pleased to furnish contact information for the organizations of your choice.
6) Do They Have A Professional Engineer On Staff?
If they don’t you may find yourself footing the bill to hire a third party P-Eng to approve and complete appropriate engineering reports. The Professional Engineers of Ontario “Certificate of Authorization” is a mandatory requirement in order to provide engineering services to the public. Without it they cannot sign off on certain reports.
We are members of the CSSE – Canadian Society of Safety Engineering. With a POE Certificate of Authorization we adhere to the professional liability insurance regulations required by the Professional Engineers Act. This allows us to recommend a solution and also provide an engineer from our staff to sign-off and complete the appropriate engineering reports. Beware that many safety consultants do not have a Professional Engineer on staff.
7) How Do They Determine Success?
The short answer should be “When you don’t need me anymore.” It may seem counter intuitive but their goal should be to work themselves out of a job. We fully expect our relationship with you to be temporary. Our job is to develop, implement and service your Health and Safety Programs with the goal of turning it over to you for internal management upon completion. After we hand it off to you we can return to provide training as required and to perform periodic audits to ensure consistent standards are being kept.
8) How Do They Keep Up With Changing Legislation And Industry Practices?
Professional organizations that are passionate about their services will update their knowledge regularly. They will enroll in ongoing education and training, refresher courses and certification to maintain an up-to-date status. Those that do can provide you with regular news feeds and corporate releases detailing industry trends, legislative changes and inspection blitzes.
You should be able to easily receive satisfactory answers and evidence for these questions. If you feel comfortable with their level of competency and transparency you could go ahead and engage with the organization. If, on the other hand, you uncover red flags that raise doubt about their honesty or abilities, look elsewhere.
If you have questions about any of the items discussed here or would like to talk to us about our services please call us at (905) 821-8928 or use our contact us form.