With 2016 on our doorstep we are motivated to bring in the New Year with enthusiasm but before we embrace the future, I would like to take a moment to reflect on all that we accomplished during an incredibly busy, dynamic and successful 2015.
We are always looking for ways to measure our performance and some good news came late in 2015 with WorkSafeBC’s announcement of base rate changes for the coming year. The classification units (CUs) aligned with FIOSA-MIOSA saw a 7.2% reduction in base rate premiums, an impressive statistic when compared to all other sectors that saw either minimal reductions or increases to their base rates. This means lower injury rates, lower claim costs and more money in the pockets of the companies we serve. FIOSA-MIOSA will be expanding by nine CUs in 2016 so we can look forward to helping hundreds more businesses improve their health and safety records.
This past year was especially successful for the Safety Pooling System (SPS) with a third pool of companies coming online. The SPS program has been designed to guide companies through the 2-year Journey to OSSE. The first SPS member company achieved OSSE certification in 2015 in well under two years – a noteworthy achievement. We are anticipating a leap forward in certifications in 2016.
FIOSA-MIOSA saw significant changes in legislation following the Prince George and Burns Lake sawmill tragedies with the passing of Bill 9 in May this year. The amendments to the Workers Compensation Act provide a range of new safety enforcement tools and give WorkSafeBC inspectors more autonomy to intervene in unsafe work environments. Despite being born in tragedy, these changes are a significant step in the efforts to keep BC workers safe.
To reach more of our members, particularly smaller companies that cannot afford to send key personnel on all day training, FIOSA-MIOSA launched the Online Learning Centre, an e-learning platform offering an ever expanding range of health and safety training courses available 24/7. Over 190 users have accessed the courses since the launch at the end of April.
Our Research, Programs and Development department debuted the “5 Steps to MSI Prevention Guidebook”, a resource that will act as a useful guide to reducing musculoskeletal injuries in the workplace, the cause of 69% of the top 5 claims in 2013, according to WorkSafeBC. Other resources developed in 2015 include the OSSE Readiness Self-Assessment Tool (ORSAT) and the Hazard Identification Toolkit.
FIOSA-MIOSA hosted a number of events this year including the OSSE Awards Gala in April. Nine companies received recognition for completing their OSSE certification and an additional 17 companies were presented with the Pinnacle Award, a distinction reserved for those who have completed both their OSSE certification and are BC Safety Charter signatories. The following day we hosted senior business leaders in at the BC Safety Charter Roundtable and had the fortune of welcoming 1-800-GOT-JUNK? Founder and CEO Brian Scudamore. Brian shared his experiences in business and was a source of transformational leadership for our senior business leaders. The annual Make It Safe conference in October was our most successful yet and was highlighted by powerful keynote presentations by Threads of Life Executive Director Shirley Hickman and workplace accident survivor Spencer Beach.
2015 was also a year of changes within the FIOSA-MIOSA organization. Our team has grown with talented and aptly qualified Safety Advisors, including individuals with expertise in occupational hygiene and confined space entry, and a team of accomplished marketing professionals who share the common vision of helping you Make it Safe.
There is much to look forward to in 2016 but everything that lies before us is the result of the support, passion and engagement of our members. We thank you for working with us to ensure a safe and healthy environment for our employees.
Our plans for 2016 include initiating a complete rebranding and name change, expanding our in-person training and e-learning course material, offering specialized ergonomic and occupational hygiene services and continuing the health & safety support services to assist our members to develop and continue to improve their health & safety systems. With a competent and focused team in place we are positioned for a very successful year.
With your support we have proven we can achieve great things. A sincere thank you to everyone who has contributed towards our mission of “engaging, educating and empowering our members through innovative health & safety programs, services and tools to make a difference in their lives.”
A safe and prosperous 2016 for all!
Lisa McGuire CRSP
CEO FIOSA-MIOSA Safety Alliance of BC