Before you move to another province you should research the different certifying partners in that province and choose one that is very similar to your initial safety program. In all provinces with the exception of British Columbia you are free to choose which ever certifying partner you feel you would like to use. In British Columbia you would consult with WCB and they would tell you which certifying partner that you should join.
The construction of associations across Canada have amalgamated their audits together so they are extremely similar from province to province. Once you decide on a certifying partner you would download the external audit protocol from the certifying partner and compare it with the audit protocol for your current certifying partner in your initial province.
Take note of the small differences in the program and make notes as to the changes you will have to make in order to meet the new criteria. Note that the work safe legislation which is enacted in every province in Canada covers similar topics but has very different section numbers and has numerous differences in the categories that might affect your business.
I would personally take both books and compare them and seek out the definite differences and use those in the new program. The procedure you write for the workers might be exactly the same as the procedure you have in the other province however the reference to legislation would have a different code number and a different agency like the province you’re moving to for example.
I would summarize the differences between the two programs so that I can make any workers instantly aware when they transfer from one province to the other. I would keep as much of the original safety manual intact and possibly just add a version for the new province you are starting business in. One of the main differences will be worker orientations, incident investigations and reporting procedures to WCB and the Occupational Health & Safety division in the new province.
It is important to note that workers transferring from the original province must be fully orientated again as if they were new hires and the same would be said for those workers transferring from the new province to the old province.
Once you have the program all set up, do a mock audit on it to determine any deficiencies that might have been overlooked. Fix the deficiencies that you have discovered and make notes about the corrections in the corrective action log. Supervisors and foremen’s will have to be orientated with the new responsibilities under the new legislation in the new province.
You will need to have an external audit done on your new safety program before it will be accepted by the new certifying partner. You have up to one year to call for an audit once you have set up the program but you can call for an audit in as little as three months if there and are not a lot of changes from the original program to the new program. It should be noted that only documentation from the new province will be able to be used in the audit for certification. You can’t use documentation from the main office as it has no jurisdiction in the new province.
Ensure to follow all the rules of the certifying partner and make sure that all criteria for your safety person is met before you call the audit. Some certifying partners have multiple courses they expect the company representative to have before they will do an audit. I have personally seen audits get cancelled at the last minute when they realize there safety rep does not have one of the required tickets to be a company representative.
One other note to mention about the new province, make sure sales reps and people bidding on projects are fully aware of any legislative requirements in the new province. I have seen companies get sandbagged with a lot of extra expenses because they weren’t aware of certain criteria in a province when they bid on the job. Always have your safety representative research the type of work you do to ensure that it is done the same way in both provinces.