What you need to know about Bill 70

Feb 13, 2017

group meeting If your workplace introduces a recognized management system to prevent injuries and illness, you could receive accreditation for your efforts under new legislation passed in December. The goal is to encourage superior health and safety performance by applying business methods already proven to boost quality and productivity.

This new opportunity appears in Schedule 16 of Bill 70, which defines a health and safety management system as a coordinated system of procedures, processes and other measures designed to promote continuous improvement in workplace health and safety.

Stephen Oakley, WSPS' director, corporate accounts and management systems, describes a management system this way: "Think of it in terms of your laptop's operating system. You can have a very effective joint health and safety committee or a good personal protective equipment program, but to succeed they have to nest within an overarching system, like the operating system on your laptop. This system, in turn, contributes to the organization's overall business planning and management processes."

How your workplace would benefit

Implementing a management system helps you improve organizational effectiveness by aligning health and safety with other business priorities, such as productivity and quality. The system helps you foresee risks and build in processes to address problems before they arise, explains Stephen. Employees will know what to do, when to do it, and how. This will bolster your prevention efforts, decreasing the likelihood of downgrading events such as accidents, injuries and the resulting disruption to your business, and allowing you to focus on improving the overall quality and delivery of your products and services.

But that's not all. Receiving accreditation for conformance with recognized standards can also help improve sales, customer satisfaction, corporate image, and market share. In many supply chains, quality standards have already become a fact of life. "They benefit your business, they don't hold it back," says Stephen.

What's next

Bill 70 authorizes the Ministry of Labour to establish accreditation standards and criteria. "One way to do this," suggests Stephen, "would be for the ministry to propose a basic framework that incorporates the fundamentals of all management systems, so that any established health and safety standard that has these ingredients would meet the ministry's requirements."

Think CSA-Z1000, OHSAS-18001, and the soon to be published ISO-45001. The Standards Council of Canada has already accepted CSA-Z1000 and OHSAS-18001, and will likely accept ISO-45001, which is expected to be published sometime in 2017.

Extensive ministry consultations with employers, organized labour, and other interest groups will also likely take place this year.

We can help

Interested in achieving the benefits of a health and safety management system now?

Begin the process with WSPS' half-day training solution, Starting a H&S Management System - What You Need to Know.

Moving forward, our management system consultants can help you:

  • identify the right standard for your organization,
  • conduct a gap analysis to understand where you are now and where you need to be,
  • implement the requirements of the standard,
  • prepare for an audit to verify that your system has met these requirements.

Still assembling the basic elements of a health and safety program? Consider joining WSPS’ Safety Group, a collaborative, step-by-step approach to building a health and safety program. Participants learn how to implement program elements at local meetings facilitated by WSPS consultants who share their expertise and encourage them to exchange best practices. Participants often achieve dramatic results. For the 2015 program year, participants reduced their lost-time injury frequency by 7.14% and injury severity by 11.08%. In the process, they earned a collective $6.2 million WSIB rebate.

Find out more about WSPS' Safety Group.

Watch for a Q&A on management systems in an upcoming issue of WSPS eNews.