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COR – The Bigger Picture

What are the benefits of attaining COR certification?

Here is a typical list of some of the main benefits:

• Incentive payment of up to 10% of the employers base rate
• Pre-qualification to work for certain large employers or prime contractors
• Competitive advantage over non-COR certified employers during bidding
• Lower premium via lower claims costs
• Development, evolution, and refinement of safety program and HSMS
• Improved safety culture at all levels of the organization
• Enhanced reputation within industry
• Evolution to preferred employer status – improved employee retention and uptake

But, are those all benefits? Let’s rearrange that list:
Inputs:

• Development, evolution, and refinement of safety program and HSMS
• Improved safety culture at all levels of the organization

Outcomes:

• Incentive payment of up to 10% of the employers base rate
• Pre-qualification to work for certain large employers or prime contractors
• Competitive advantage over non-COR certified employers during bidding
• Lower premium via lower claims costs
• Enhanced reputation within industry
• Evolution to preferred employer status – improved employee retention and uptake

It could be argued that those two inputs are necessary to achieve the various outcomes. The few result in the many.

One of the interesting things about auditing is an organization will only get out of the process what they choose to get out of the process. I know that sounds like something Forrest Gump would say, but it’s the truth.

For example, sometimes an employer is only interested in achieving the benefit of the incentive payment or the pre-qualification. That tends to act like a set of blinders, and the other benefits are lost.

But, the effort expended on inputs leading up to the audit, and the audit itself come with a price attached. There can be the obvious costs like hiring an external auditor. But there are hidden costs too. An example is work time lost to interviews during the audit. Employees are on the clock while being interviewed and their work isn’t getting done. A double whammy.

To mitigate the overall cost of achieving COR certification, it seems logical that an organization would want to maximize the outcomes for the given inputs. In other words, get everything out of the process that you can. Most of the time, money, and effort have already been spent.

With that in mind, let’s rearrange the Outcomes list:

Short-term gains:

• Incentive payment of up to 10% of the employers base rate
• Pre-qualification to work for certain large employers or prime contractors
• Competitive advantage over non-COR certified employers during bidding

Longer-term gains:

• Lower premium via lower claims costs
• Enhanced reputation within industry
• Evolution to preferred employer status – improved employee retention and uptake

The longer term gains are often overlooked. Some reflection will reveal that two of these three bullets are directly tied to safety culture. The third bullet, “lower premiums via lower claims costs”, should be a long-term focus for every company since it has the most tangible return on investment.

Many employers can reap significant long-term savings from driving down their claims costs. Good safety culture, a robust health and safety management system, and benchmarking via the COR audit all have a role to play in that outcome.

For comments or questions please contact us at cor@safetydriven.ca

Stop and Reflect

Reprinted from 2016



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