COR, or the Certificate of Recognition, is a certification for companies to try and standardize the way workplaces deal with health and safety. In Ontario, this accreditation process is just coming into effect, which means many companies are not aware of the difficulties in receiving certification, as well as holding onto it once received. This is where the focus of COR comes into play – it is all about hazards. The main aspect of COR is recognizing the hazards workers face as well as implementing policies and procedures to try and reduce or eliminate those hazards. This can be a difficult process. Identifying and assessing hazards is not easy, especially in large workplaces and there are many factors that make this the case.
Difficulty Recognizing Hazards
It can be very hard to recognize all the hazards in a workplace. This makes the process of assessment a fair bit more difficult. The problem is not only that each task a worker has will have its own hazards, but also the fact that similar tasks may have different hazards based on several factors. Some of these factors that can affect the types of hazards a worker faces include weather, location, surroundings, and even the time of day.
Difficulty Assessing Hazards
Once hazards have been recognized the assessment process can also be quite difficult. To properly assess a hazard for a task you must try to identify:
- How often an injury may occur – daily, weekly, monthly, yearly, etc
- How much damage an injury could cause to the worker performing the task
- How much damage an injury could cause to surrounding workers
- How much damage could be caused to equipment, tools, utilities, etc
Trying to identify all this information for a task can be very time consuming. The big problem is that many workers become complacent to the small hazards they deal with daily. This complacency could lead to the workers not even realizing how often they deal with hazards. This is the same for small injuries like cuts and scrapes. Many workers ignore these small injuries which can make it difficult for a supervisor or other worker to identify the actual risks the worker faces every day.
Timeframe and Cost
Recognizing and assessing hazards are only the start of the difficulties many companies face when attempting to get COR certified. The other big factor that can make it hard for a company to make it through the COR process is cost. As mentioned, before it can be difficult to assess and even recognize hazards. This difficult will lead to many hours being spent to complete the COR certification process, especially if the workers performing said inspections and assessments have never gone through the COR process. This time leads to additional costs for companies, and while in the long run it may be beneficial, in the short term it can be hard for a company to justify such cost increases.
Lack of Experience.
A lack of experience with COR is essentially what leads companies to all the difficulties mentioned before. This could be easily rectified if COR was a bit more established in Ontario, with more companies and individuals having gone through the process already. Unfortunately, this is not the case and it can be very difficult to find workers with experience going through the COR certification process. Not only that, but a single worker is not enough. COR requires a commitment from management and workers for a company to be successful.
To find out more about COR the IHSA has a Frequently Asked Questions page