TORONTO — There’s a new way to measure the overall health and safety of Ontario’s workplaces.
The Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) has developed a new tool, the Health and Safety Index, which condenses a wide range of data into a single measure to show how Ontario's workplaces are performing overall from year to year. It measures how safe they are and whether they're getting safer. It is the first index of its kind in North America.
"The Health and Safety Index will give an overall view of Ontario's workplaces so that we know what's working well and what needs to work better," said Tom Teahen, WSIB president and CEO, in a statement.
According to a media release, the index is based on five categories of data in prevention, worker empowerment, workplace culture, enforcement and injuries.
The WSIB will use the data gathered up to April 2017 to set a baseline and will publish new data along with the overall measure annually starting in summer 2018.
"The WSIB's new Health and Safety Index integrates data from various sources into one measure which can be tracked over time," said Matthew Stewart, associate director of the National Forecast with the Conference Board of Canada. "The methodology used by the WSIB to create the Health and Safety Index is robust, and the index will provide a valuable tool which can be used to track Ontario's health and safety performance."
The index is an evidence-based tool that can help the WSIB, employers and other partners in the safety system to identify areas for improvement and track improvements, adds the release. The index was designed so that it can be adapted by other workers' compensation boards across Canada.
"We'd like to see the Health and Safety Index become a truly pan-Canadian effort," said Elizabeth Witmer, chair of the WSIB board of directors. "This is a valuable tool to understand the health and safety system and we'd be happy to share what we've learned in developing it."