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College receives Certificate of Recognition

Government of Alberta incentive program recognizes MHC’s safety efforts

March 8, 2011

Medicine Hat College recently received the Certificate of Recognition (COR) under the Government of Alberta’s Partnerships in Injury Reduction program. The award recognizes best practices in safety management and ensures employers are meeting the established standards for health and safety programs.

Medicine Hat College underwent an eight-point audit, with the external agency evaluating performance aspects such as hazard control, emergency response and ongoing inspections.

"The largest part of the audit was interviewing staff and determining their view of our safety measures," said Rodger Sloan, environment, health and safety manager. "It’s not just about what safety procedures we have in place, it’s about how the staff and management perceive them. The issue is: Do they feel safe? Do they know about the Emergency Response Plan? Do they know how to use their personal protective equipment?"

As a result of receiving the COR, the college will receive a significant reduction in Workers’ Compensation Board costs, which currently costs approximately $100,000 a year, and other incentives.

Sloan also believes the COR adds credibility to the college’s Occupational Health and Safety Certificate Program offered through Continuing Studies. The college already requires all contractors to have a COR and now as the college educates students in this field, instructors can point to the college program as an example of what a health and safety program should be, he said.

Medicine Hat College partners with the University of Alberta to provide students with the opportunity to complete a Certificate in Occupational Health and Safety on a part-time basis. This program can also help to prepare a candidate for registration as a Canadian Registered Safety Professional (CRSP).

"We’re the only college in southern Alberta to offer this certificate," said Sloan, who is also one of the course instructors. "It’s an in-demand profession as we can see from the recent announcement by the province to hire additional inspectors, and the course offers students a high level of professional credibility."

MHC has become only the third educational institute in Alberta to be awarded its Certificate of Recognition (COR). This is a milestone in the cultural development of MHC. The COR recognizes that senior management, and indeed all employees, consider the health and safety implications of any task they take on.

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