During the audit to obtain COR certification, certain elements and sub-elements that must be effectively managed within the company are taken into account.
Although COR is currently a voluntary certification, many municipalities in Canada contract with companies that have it, creating high demand and, as a result, an improvement in occupational health and safety management.
Within the parameters imposed by the IHSA (Infrastructure Health and Safety Association), meeting a minimum score is required, considering the following elements:
Leadership and Management
At the management level, a genuine commitment to continuous improvement in health and safety must be present. In this regard, the roles and responsibilities of management members and other employees must be defined.
This is done collectively to define and comply with the safety and health policy within the work routine.
Each chosen member, committed to good risk management, must be trained according to IHSA specifications. These trainings allow employees to conduct audit meetings to implement corrective actions and strategies for proper risk management.
Identification and Reduction of Risks
Once at least one employee is trained as an internal auditor, they should start evaluating and analyzing the company’s work routine to create a record of risks, convene internal audits in order to generate efficient strategies to optimize the safety program.
The following sub-elements are taken into account within this element:
Risk identification, assessment, and control. Reporting of unsafe and/or hazardous conditions within the company. Appropriate completion of risk reporting forms. Issuance of new occupational health and safety rules. Establishment of the use of appropriate protective equipment.
Written instructions for safe work procedures
Within this aspect, all necessary changes to pass the external audit must be considered. Therefore, the following elements must be addressed:
First aid assessment sheet. First aid supplies inventory. Appointing specific individuals as first aid assistants. Emergency response plan. Information system on hazardous materials within the workplace.
Physical Inspection of Workplaces and Practices
The external auditor will be responsible for evaluating the daily work routine and analyzing potential risks. For this reason, having a previous audit report is vital to develop a strategy to reduce them.
Safety inspection according to established policy and procedure. Record of corrective actions. Equipment, machinery, and vehicle inspection report. Record of equipment, machinery, and vehicle maintenance. Checklist for inspection verification.
Incident and/or Accident Investigation
It is necessary to know the previous operational history of the company, especially in the construction industry, to understand if there have been worker injuries or the possibility of past accidents, incidents, or near misses.
Policy and procedure for investigating these incidents. Creation and maintenance of an incident investigation and notification form.
For occupational health and safety management to function, policy changes must be understood and followed by all members of the company, which is achievable through a proper implementation system.
Employee training. Orientation checklist on the subject. New employee evaluation checklist. Record of new employee training. Internal policy for contractors, selection, and verification list. Meeting minutes to discuss safety issues.
The program’s effectiveness should be analyzed through safety records and statistics that demonstrate improvements.
Joint Occupational Safety Committee
A committee focused on occupational health and safety should be established, specifying members committed to the topic.
A policy should be defined for handling injuries and remaining at work, as well as a policy for return-to-work.
Additionally, maintaining COR certification requires constant improvement efforts from the company, as well as an annual certification audit where the required audit score must be achieved to renew the certificate.