The CSA Group is consulting with industry stakeholders to explore the feasibility of developing a national standard on work disability prevention.
On Oct. 3, 2014, a group of 27 health and safety experts met in Toronto to discuss the concept of a standards solution for this very complex area, and CSA recently released the report of that meeting.
“There was general agreement among the group that this subject was a very important area which could benefit from the development of a national best practice framework which would provide for a more consistent and systematic approach to this workplace and societal issue,” the report said.
Several key themes emerged from the meeting, including the fact that prevention and management of workplace disabilities is a significant challenge across workplaces. The report noted work disabilities are far reaching — affecting not just the workplace but individuals, families and the economy.
The group also noted the need for a shift in existing return-to-work programs and disability prevention.
“It will be important to not simply enshrine the existing medical model and practices through a national standard. There is a need to pull from best practices, experience in other jurisdictions and the most current research to develop a new approach focused on prevention of work disability,” the report said.
Participants agreed any standard developed to address this issue would need to provide practical guidance around implementation — addressing prevention, response and follow up and support. They also said other supplementary tools, such as a standardized doctor’s reporting tool, should also be considered.