Beginning in March, construction contractors working on projects with the City of Vaughan, Ont. will need to have registered for a Certificate of Recognition (COR) from the Infrastructure Health and Safety Association (IHSA) as part of the procurement process.
COR is an occupational health and safety accreditation program that incorporates a fully implemented safety and health program that meets national standards, indicates a release, adding the IHSA is designated to certify contractors in Ontario’s construction industry who demonstrate their health and safety management system through the structured audit process. In December 2019, City of Vaughan council endorsed the COR program as a component of the City’s bidding process for construction contracts.
Candidates looking to work with the City will be required to provide a copy of a valid certificate or an equivalent Ontario Health and Safety certification as a condition of the bid award.
“Introducing COR as a new component in the City’s construction procurement process and contractor management program will have a positive and significant impact on the delivery of construction activities for the City, the contractors and the well-being of City of Vaughan residents,” a City of Vaughan spokesperson wrote in an email to the Daily Commercial News.
“Benefits of having a COR certified contractor on-site include a higher standard of prerequisites (safety processes and procedures) for those that need access to the site and clear safety-first messaging.”
The purpose of implementing the program is to demonstrate the city’s commitment to health and safety and help reduce risks in the workplace. It also aligns with the city’s 2018-2022 Term of Council Service Excellence Strategic Plan.
“COR is being required by many municipalities and organizations for the contractors that undertake construction projects as a due diligence tool to mitigate construction health and safety risks,” the spokesperson stated.
“The key value of COR is that not only are health and safety programs reviewed to ensure that they are comprehensive, it will also drive the need for integrating safety into the overall business and planning process for contractors conducting business on behalf of the City of Vaughan.”
The city will initiate a multi-staged implementation strategy of COR, based upon contract value.
“The implementation approach was developed with consideration of the broad range of contractors who would be impacted by the rollout and the need to ensure competitive bids on the city’s tenders,” the email indicates.
“The phased-in approach also gives bidders the opportunity to obtain their certification. The process from registration to certification takes approximately one year to complete.”
The evaluation of the COR program for the city was a collaborative effort between the Corporate Services and Infrastructure Development portfolios.
The city’s Insurance and Risk Management Services has also endorsed the program as a valuable risk mitigation tool.
It was also based on consultations with the Ontario Buyers of Construction/Ontario Construction Users Council, the Ontario General Contractors Association and other construction-related associations.
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