Ski resort happy and healthy
Mount Washington is one of two B.C. ski resorts to become certified under go2’s new “Partners in Injury and Disability Prevention” Certificate of Recognition (COR) program. go2 is British Columbia’s tourism industry’s human resources association that works with employers, educators and government to make B.C. a world leader in tourism HR best practices.
The much-anticipated WorkSafeBC program was expanded to include tourism and hospitality businesses in October 2010. Certified companies can earn a rebate of up to 15 per cent on their WorkSafeBC premiums by demonstrating that their health and safety programs go beyond the legal requirements by taking a best practice approach.
Mount Washington was one of the first ski resorts in B.C. to successfully complete the COR program and become certified.
“One of the most important aspects for us in going through the program was entrenching the safety culture throughout our entire resort operations – from entry level first timers to senior management,” says Kate Dodd, director of finance and HR at Mount Washington Alpine Resort.
“We had been working on developing this safety culture already when COR came along. It was a great fit. Our staff took ownership and there was a lot of good training to get ourselves ready for the audit.”
Dodd said that while creating a strong safety culture at Mount Washington was the primary goal, the financial rewards are an important bonus.
“There is a small upfront investment, but the long-term payback is there. It’s truly a no-brainer, especially in the current tough economic climate the industry is facing. The COR program is one way tourism businesses can be a leader in employee safety and customer service, while strengthening their bottom line at the same time,” says Arlene Keis, CEO of go2. Similar to Dodd, Keis also believes that as the number of COR-certified tourism businesses increase, WorkSafeBC base premium rates for all industry categories will also drop.
“We worked closely with industry operators to create the audit tool used for the Certificate of Recognition evaluation and certification. The program needed to meet very high safety standards, while still being reachable for businesses to achieve,” says Keis.
In addition to the financial incentives, tourism businesses that embrace a culture of workplace health and safety are seeing significant financial and human resource upsides, including fewer employee injuries, returning injured employees back to work sooner, and greater success in retaining and attracting the best talent.
– Mount Washington