Today, the Canada West Foundation released, Beyond the Rules: Moving safety from compliance to competence.

Report author Janet Lane, Director of the Human Capital Centre, discusses the report, its findings and what it means for workplace safety.

The report looks at the case study of Waiward Steel, an Alberta company which, after four serious safety incidents on the job, determined to make its workers safer. Since then, it has dramatically improved its workplace safety, benefited employees and improved its bottom line by ensuring people are truly competent to do the tasks they are assigned. They do this by assessing people on-the-job and then provide training when needed. There are many lessons for other workplaces to learn. Safety rules and training certificates do not guarantee competence. On the other hand, truly competent workers work more safely.

The report builds on Human Capital Centre Director Janet Lane’s body of work on how a competency approach can transform Canada’s workplaces, including the recent Matchup: A case for pan-Canadian competency frameworks report.