Has anyone ever asked you to do something and then finished their sentence with “I know it’s not going to be easy!” I’m not going to lie, preparing for a WSIB WorkWell audit is one of those cases. For any company that has employees working on off site locations, your job has just doubled. The auditor will be asking for job descriptions, orientation information and training document based on the work your employees are doing at your customer’s sites, as well as the hazards analysis of those jobs, (the documentation of each possible hazard of each job, how to prevent those hazards and proof of training in regards to preventing those hazards). Most employers fail their first WSIB audit by 80% or more with an average first time score of only 15- 20%. The fine for not passing after a second audit is [75 – (your evaluation score x 0.8678) x your base WSIB assessment amount]. This can calculate into thousands of dollars, up to $500,000.
You might say “That’s not fair”; I don’t have any control over what my customer does”. Now’s not the time to argue about what’s fair. They are your employees and you are responsible for their health and safety. Here are some tips I can share with you that got me through my audit.
• First and foremost, DON’T WAIT UNTIL YOU ARE CHOSEN FOR AN AUDIT, START PREPARING NOW.
• Go on line and print off the WorkWell core Health and Safety Audit Tool: http://www.wsib.on.ca/en/community/WSIB – type in the search WorkWell, click on WorkWell and scroll down to the link for the “WorkWell Core Health and Safety Audit Tool”. You can also go on the WSIB home page and type in “Safety Groups Program” and look for the link for the “Employer’s Guidelines” and print the booklet. With these two resources you will get a good understanding of what is expected of you.
• You can also call WSIB and get the audit tool CD from them. This CD has the WorkWell Audit Tool information as well as templates you can utilize.
• Read the audit over generally to see what is expected of you. I know it’s easy to say but, don’t become overwhelmed, break it down into small sections to complete. It’s pretty much broken down for you already. Just work on one part of each section at a time.
• Using the procedure temple on the CD, create a general “Procedure” template that you can use to begin each procedure you need to create.
• Block off a certain amount of time each week to work strictly on the audit. 30 minutes or 1 hour is probably not enough. You really need uninterrupted time to get your procedures down on paper. How much time you will need will depend on how familiar you are with your company’s current health and safety program and your understanding of what is expected.
• Here is a good tip: add directly to your procedure template the Who, What, Where, When, and Why questions. It doesn’t matter how many times you create a procedure, by having these questions right in front of you, you will be more likely to cover the points an auditor will ask. Look at a procedure template on the CD and create your own with the following:
o A table on the top table for information such as, Creation by, Created Date, Approved By, Approved Date, Location and Review/Revise Date, followed by these heading below the table: Purpose: WHY is the procedure required; Scope: WHO is involved in this procedure; Standard: WHAT is to be done, what records to keep and WHERE it is done? WHEN is it done? HOW often it is to be done? ; Roles and Responsibilities: WHO is responsible and for WHAT; Communication: to WHO and HOW; Training: to WHO and HOW/WHERE/WHEN – records kept, WHERE; Evaluation of the Policy: WHEN/HOW OFTEN
• Make sure all your forms required for each procedure have a revised date on them to ensure everyone is using current forms as you make changes along the way.
Don’t get overwhelmed. Just work on one procedure at a time. If you already have a procedure, start with that and put it into the procedure template format as above and fill in any missing blanks asking yourself the WHO, WHAT, WERE, WHY, and HOW questions. Once you have completed a procedure have someone else read it over to see if they understand exactly what needs to be done if you were not there. Ask them to use the WHO, WHAT, WERE, WHY, and HOW questions. Make sure all the forms needed for this procedure are documented in the procedure itself along with the description of who is responsible for filling them out and where they are stored once completed. Once you have a couple of procedure completed call the WSPS and have a representative come out and review them. They will let you know if you are on the right track. Don’t wait to do this until you have all your procedure complete as you might discover something that applies to all our procedures and you would have to go back and fix them all. And once again, make use of the three resources mentioned above. They have all the templates and information in it you will need.
Once you have all the nice looking procedure down in writing, don’t forget to utilize them. When you get an audit, the auditor will look at your procedures then want proof that you are following them. Be as organized with the paper work and documentation that comes from the procedures as you were in creating them. Where to find all this information should be laid out in your procedures.
One more thing, remember a program is never perfect, you will have your regular scheduled review dates for each procedure ( I would recommend spacing this out, don’t plan on reviewing them all on the same date.) Use the creation date as the year review for most policies and procedures. Also, as you begin to utilize these procedure and as laws change you will see the need for revisions.
Brenda Haesler, Operations Manager