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The VIP Step: The Very Important Policy Step


Hello everyone and happy September! This month we wanted to discuss the very first step of implementation – the Policy Step. As the very first step of implementation, the WSIB will be looking to see how your organization developed a written policy (or SWP or standard of some sort) for each of your selected topics.


At minimum, the policy should contain the purpose of the policy, key definitions, roles, and responsibilities for each workplace party (Employer, Supervisor/Manager, Worker, etc.), training requirements as well as the procedure that outlines how the program is to be followed in the workplace. A strong policy also answers the “5 W’s (who, what, where, when, why)” and “how”.


The WSIB will review each policy submitted to ensure it meets all of the topic requirements found in the HSEP - Health and Safety Topics Guide. We highly recommend you review your policy to ensure its conformity with the Guide prior to your Communication step. As a reminder, we have developed policy samples for each topic in accordance with the topic requirements. You can find these policy samples under each topic page in the Dunk Excellence Portal.


If the implementation of your topic is dependent on a policy that doesn’t meet the topic requirements, there is a chance that the topic will be marked as incomplete, or the topic may need to be deferred. This is because the WSIB may mark the topic as “Additional Evidence Required” and request that the policy be redeveloped and that the 5 steps of implementation be reapplied to the new policy. Unfortunately, you will only have 60 days to apply the 5 steps and as we know, there is a minimum of 60 days that must pass for the Evaluation step alone. As a result, this error may force you to defer the topic, or it may be marked as incomplete.


It is important to emphasize that no matter what topic you select, a written policy (or SWP or standard) must be developed for your workplace exclusively for that topic. In the event that you are taking topics that are closely related to one another, for example, the three Return-to-Work topics, you may develop one written policy that incorporates all three. If you do decide to go this route, you will still need to ensure that the written policy incorporates all of the requirements from all of the topics.

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