Partners in Injury Reduction (PIR) program is designed to encourage injury prevention and the development of effective health, safety and disability management systems. PIR is a voluntary program that operates through the combined efforts of the Workers’ Compensation Board-Alberta, Alberta Human Resources and Employment, industry partners, safety associations, employers and Labour groups. This initiative is based on the concept that when employers and workers build effective health and safety systems, the human and financial costs of workplace injuries and illness can be reduced.

What are the benefits of enrolling in PIR?

By joining PIR and developing effective workplace health and safety management systems, you can earn up to 20% off your industry rate through:

  1. Achieving or maintaining a Certificate Of Recognition, and
  2. Improving your performance, or
  3. Maintaining industry leadership

PIR offers you an industry rate discount and encourages employers to develop health, safety and disability management systems.

Benefits of succeeding in PIR may include:

  • Minimized accident cost (direct and indirect)
  • Improved worker productivity
  • Improved employee well-being and job satisfaction
  • Lower WCB premiums

What is a certificate of recognition (COR) ?

A Certificate of Recognition (COR) is essential to WCB’s PIR program and a key component of the Alberta Human Resources and Employment’s Partnerships program. The COR is issued to employers who have successfully implemented a basic workplace health and safety management system. The components of a workplace health and safety management system will vary depending on the nature and scope of individual businesses, but to be effective the following elements are considered essential:

  • Company policy and management commitment
  • Worker qualifications, orientation and training
  • Hazard identification
  • Hazard control
  • Preventative Maintenance Program
  • Ongoing inspections
  • Emergency response
  • Incident investigation
  • Program administration

Once an employer has developed and implemented their workplace health and safety management system, it must be independently audited. Audits are coordinated through a Certifying Partner appropriate to their industry. The Certifying Partner than reviews the audit for compliance with quality standards. If the audit meets all of the standards, the Certifying Partner in conjunction with Alberta Human Resources and Employment, will issue a COR to the employer.

Once a COR has been issued, it is valid for a three year period as long as all maintenance requirements are met. The employer is responsible for completing internal audits for each of the next two years. When the COR expires after three years, another external audit must be conducted to renew the COR. There may be a cost associated with an audit. Please check with your Certifying Partner.

What is a certifying partner? 

Alberta Human Resources and Employment enters into formal partnership with organizations who wish to take a leadership role in the promotion and development of workplace health and safety in Alberta. A Certifying Partner is recognized by Alberta Human Resources and Employment as an organization having the ability to assess health and safety audits for quality and to jointly issue Certificates of recognition to employers.

Does it matter which certifying partner you choose?

There are benefits in selecting a Certifying Partner familiar with the industry. In many cases, you are already paying fees toward a safety association through your WCB premiums. As such, your company may receive more cost-effective services through your association. However, you have the option of approaching any Certifying Partner to assist you in achieving or maintaining your COR. Factors to consider may include:

  • Location of the Certifying Partner
  • Training costs
  • Availability of courses
  • Cost of completing audit requirements
  • Industry expertise

How can I reduce my premiums? 

By joining Partners in Injury Reduction, you can reduce your WCB premium in one of three ways:

  • Achieve or maintain a Certificate of recognition (COR)
  • Improving your performance
  • Maintain industry leadership

The WCB will award an industry rate discount based on the highest score obtained among the three incentive opportunities, up to a maximum discount of 20%. However, you must have your COR before any discount can be awarded.

First: 5% for a Certificate of Recognition (COR)

By maintaining or recertifying a COR an employer is eligible for a 5% industry rate discount.

Then: 1-20% for improving your performance

The improving your performance measure compares your current accident performance to your historical performance. Claim costs transacted in the measurement year compared to claim costs transacted in the prior year compared to claim costs transacted in the prior year are used to measure success in both preventing injuries and managing claims that occur. You can earn an industry rate discount of 1% for every 1% improvement up to a maximum of 20%.

Or: 10-20% for maintaining industry leadership

This measures improvements in your claims experience in comparison to the average for your industry’s rate group over the same period. To earn discounts from this measure, you need a COR and claim costs that are at least 50% lower than the industry average for two consecutive years.

What are the advantages of attaining COR?

  • By maintaining a quality health and safety system, you can reduce accidents and improve employee morale.
  • You gain recognition for your health and safety standards from industry experts, other employers and contractors.
  • You qualify for PIR and other WCB premium refunds.