The Sustainability Level is the next step in ZeroQuest®. Here, the firm must continue to evaluate its health and safety system, and work to plan and implement new safety initiatives based on the risk assessment and the results of the evaluations. Throughout the Sustainability Level the firm must continue to incorporate the aspects of planning, implementing, checking and correcting into its health and safety system.
NOTE: Completing the Sustainability Level requires successfully re-earning the Outcomes Level for five consecutive years. A customized evaluation of the firm's health and safety system will be conducted by IHSA each year. At the end of five years, the firm will have earned the Sustainability Award.
Entering the Sustainability Level
The application process at the level is the same as for the Commitment, Effort and Outcomes Levels. The application form requires signatures of both management and worker representatives. The commitment date is a target firms set when they are prepared for a IHSA representative to conduct the evaluation. The customized evaluation consists of a documentation review and a series of on-site verification interviews.
Preparing for the Evaluation
Once the application has been received by IHSA, the firm will be invited to a pre-evaluation meeting to discuss plans for re-earning the Outcomes Level and to determine the areas of focus for the evaluation. Upon completion of this meeting, the firm will be expected to submit a proposal stating plans to maintain the firm's status in the Outcomes Level and the criteria for the evaluation (as agreed upon by IHSA and the firm at the pre-evaluation meeting) to ensure expectations are clearly understood. This proposal should also include a target date for evaluation by IHSA.
Once the evaluation proposal is approved, IHSA will create a customized evaluation plan for the firm.
Similar to evaluations at previous levels, the firm's effort at this stage will be verified by a IHSA representative through four separate evaluations which include a review of documentation and a series of on-site interviews. Prior to successfully re-earning the Outcomes Level, the firm must demonstrate it has addressed the areas of opportunity outlined in the previous Outcomes Level evaluation report and continues to meet the criteria of the Effort and Commitment Levels.
Using a representative sample of employees, the verification interviews will confirm that the firm's employees have a clear understanding of the health and safety system employed by the company. The makeup of the interviewees will be dependent upon the evaluation criteria. The firm and IHSA will collaborate on the dates for the interviews as well as the interview demographics.
Based on the results of the documentation review and verification interviews, the IHSA representative will prepare an evaluation report for the firm after each evaluation. This report includes general observations and a list of strengths within the firm and areas of opportunity for the firm to examine.
As the Sustainability Level is similar to the Outcomes Level, firms may have to fulfill certain areas of opportunity before receiving a certificate indicating they have re-earned the Outcomes Level. After successfully re-earning the Outcomes Level for four more consecutive years, the firm will have earned the Sustainability Award.
After successful completion of the four evaluations, the firm will be presented the Sustainability Award. This consists of an award ceremony at your firm. The ceremony will be a presentation highlighting the firm's results from the evaluation and presentation of the plaque. In addition, a formal group presentation and value-added learning opportunity, will take place as part of IHSA's Annual General Meeting and Conference in late May/early June.