Fatality Notice: IHSA has learned of a construction-related fatality in Sudbury involving a construction worker securing a transport trailer load. One workplace fatality is one too many, regardless of the sector, industry, or occupation. Please take a moment to think about those who have died or been injured on the job and re-establish a commitment to the prevention of injuries, illnesses, and fatalities.

Effort Level

The key to success at the Effort Level is the integration of health and safety into the firm's business plan. Effort will not replace any existing system but will evaluate all systems based on their strength and sustainability. At the Effort Level it is required that the firm implement elements of a managed health and safety system.

The most important component of a managed approach to health and safety is the use of a continuous cycle of planning, implementing, checking, and correcting. In the Effort Level, the planning and implementing aspect of managing a health and safety system will be evaluated. Checking and correcting are not required until the Outcomes Level.

IHSA recommends firms take advantage of the following resources while working through the Effort Level:

Working Groups

IHSA has created several Working Groups throughout the province. Within these groups ZeroQuest® members at the same program level share ideas and best practices as they work together in the continual development of their health and safety systems. Firms interested in joining a working group should contact their IHSA representative.


Entering the Effort Level

The application form requires signatures of both management and worker representatives. The commitment date is a target firms set when they are prepared for a IHSA representative to conduct the evaluation. The evaluation consists of a documentation review and on-site verification interviews.

Preparing for Evaluation

To complete the Effort Level a firm must demonstrate it has planned and implemented a sustainable health and safety system. Firms must perform a risk assessment to identify and prioritize hazards which can then be used in the development of a health and safety business plan.

Below is a list of the health and safety system components that will be assessed. Firms are expected to demonstrate that these components have been implemented and integrated into its business:

  • Evidence of fulfilling the action plan submitted at the Commitment Level
  • Leadership
  • Risk management
  • Health and safety business plan
  • Learning from events
  • Training
  • Controls measures
  • Inspections
  • Emergency planning and response
  • Management of change
  • Credible third-party audit with criteria at least equal to the WSIB Workwell Audit
  • IHSA Internal Responsibility System (IRS) Audit or equivalent
  • IHSA Safety Climate Survey or equivalent

There may be other components that a firm will want to share with IHSA to show its health and safety system is sustainable.


The firm's effort will be verified by a IHSA representative through a documentation review and a series of on-site interviews. Prior to successful completion of the Effort Level, the firm must demonstrate it has addressed the areas of opportunity from the Commitment Level evaluation report and continues to meet the criteria at the Commitment Level.

Using a representative sample, the verification interviews will confirm that a firm's employees have a clear understanding of the health and safety system employed by the company. IHSA will need to interview at least ten per cent of the workforce and one representative from a cross-section of functions within the organization.

Evaluation Report

IHSA will prepare an evaluation report for the firm based on the results of the documentation review and verification interviews. The report will include general observations and a breakdown of the firm's strengths and areas of opportunity.

Award Presentation

After successful completion of the evaluation and the submission of the Outcomes Level application (including payment of any applicable fees) the firm will be presented the Effort Award. This consists of a framed medallion which can be presented during a ceremony at the firm. The award ceremony will be a presentation highlighting the firm's results from the evaluation, presentation of the plaque, and introduction of the Outcomes Level. In addition, a formal group presentation and value-added learning opportunity, will take place as a part of IHSA's Annual General Meeting and Conference in late September.


This section is meant to provide more detail on the key elements of the health and safety system that will be evaluated. At the Effort Level, IHSA wants to learn about the system being used, as well as the firm's health and safety plan for its continual development and improvement.

As each firm is unique, the methods of executing and managing the components within that system will also be unique. It is expected that for each component, at a minimum, legislative requirements will be fulfilled.

Documentation must include input from all levels of the firm as well as the joint health and safety committee or health and safety representative. It is also important that documentation be evaluated to ensure that it is effectively meeting the needs of the firm.


Health and Safety Resources

  • Has the employer designated an individual who has the knowledge and experience to co-ordinate the worksite health and safety activities?
  • Does his/her job description reflect this?
  • Are there management personnel dedicated to ensuring changes in the work environment are reflected in the health and safety system?

Performance Evaluations

  • Are performance evaluations being conducted?
  • Are health and safety performance factors included in the evaluation?

Risk Management

Hazard Identification

  • Have all existing workplace hazards been identified? Has a procedure been established to capture newly identified or newly created hazards from the risk assessment?

Risk Assessment

  • Does the risk assessment take into account the inherent risk, prior to managing it (i.e. the probability and consequence), control measures that are currently in place, the legislative requirements, and previous non-conformances for all identified hazards?

Risk Control

  • Once hazards have been prioritized, have engineering, administrative and personal protection controls been considered for each hazard?

Re-evaluation of Risk

  • Is there a regular review of the risk assessment to evaluate new hazards resulting from changes in the work environment, work methods or controls established to address previous hazards?


  • Are purchasing guidelines available?
  • Is hazard analysis a requirement prior to purchasing?

Health and Safety Business Plan

A health and safety business plan is the overall strategy for the planning and implementation of a health and safety system. It should include:

  • Long and short-term health and safety targets and objectives
  • Assignment of responsibilities
  • Target dates for completion
  • Anticipated financial resources
  • A set of metrics to track performance

Learning from Events

  • Is there a written procedure and form in place for reporting incidents?
  • Does the procedure include the processes to be followed for the investigation of incidents?


  • Has a training needs assessment been conducted to determine training requirements for all levels of the organization?
  • Has this assessment taken into account legal requirements, in addition to training to improve job performance?
  • Are all employees aware of their roles and responsibilities in conforming to the health and safety policy and procedures, and the requirements of your health and safety system?
  • Does the training program address new/young/temporary/contract workers and highlight their responsibilities and duties within the Internal Responsibility System and under the Occupational Health and Safety Act?

Control Measures

  • What control measures are in place to eliminate or reduce health and safety risks at the source? (i.e. design modifications, procedures, personal protective equipment)
  • Do your procedures outline personal protective equipment requirements, including proper inspection and maintenance?
  • Are inspection and maintenance records kept and reviewed?

Job Planning Program

  • Is there a written job planning procedure?
  • Are work procedures available for routine jobs? Have job safety analyses been incorporated into these procedures?

Contractor Management

  • Do written job contracts explicitly state the firm's health and safety expectations?
  • Have regular meetings and inspections been written into the terms of the contract? Are these meetings and inspections documented?
  • Has the firm established a contractor orientation program?
  • Are procedures in place to ensure that contractors are made aware of the hazards present in the workplace, and the controls (e.g. engineering controls, work practices) that are in place to protect employees?

Preventive Maintenance Program

  • Is there a preventive maintenance program in place?
  • How is it ensured that schedules are being met? Has someone been assigned the duty of reviewing the schedules to ensure they are kept up to date?
  • Are records kept for all maintenance performed?

Inspections and Site Visits

  • Are workplace inspections and job site visits being conducted regularly by various members of the organization (e.g. managers, supervisors, employees and joint health and safety committee members)?

Emergency Planning and Response

  • Has a plan been established that specifies procedures for handling unexpected situations?
  • Does the plan include detailed lists of personnel including telephone numbers and each person's duties and responsibilities?
  • Does the plan include a schedule for performing rescue practices and drills?
  • Is the plan co-ordinated with local fire, police and emergency personnel?

Management of Change

  • Are procedures in place to ensure that changes in legislation are reflected in the documentation?
  • Is there a process that deals with succession plans for integrating key personnel's responsibility when they leave the position?
  • Are measures in place to ensure documentation is current, obsolete documents are removed from the system, and new procedures/policies are communicated to all appropriate employees?
  • Are procedures in place to support an early and safe return to work policy?

Program Assessment

  • Are plans in place for a credible third party to conduct an audit of the system?
  • Are plans in place for IHSA's IRS Audit or equivalent?
  • Are plans in place for IHSA's Safety Climate Survey or equivalent?

Document list at Effort Level

Please forward the following documentation to the IHSA office at least one month prior to the scheduled evaluation date:

  • Risk assessment
  • Training needs assessment
  • Training matrix
  • Health and safety business plan
  • Procedure for the ongoing identification of hazards
  • Purchasing guidelines
  • Blank performance evaluation form
  • Hazard reporting procedure and form
  • Incident reporting procedure and form
  • Inspection and maintenance records for personal protective equipment (e.g. rubber gloves or fall protection)
  • Job planning procedure
  • Sample job plan
  • Sample job contract (personal information can be deleted if preferred)
  • Records from the firm's preventive maintenance program
  • Emergency plan
  • Workplace inspection form
  • Job site visit form
  • Early and Safe Return To Work program

All submitted documentation will be either returned to the organization upon request, or destroyed upon completion of the evaluation.

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