Alberni Valley News

Agreement gives employees access to NIDMAR programs

The National Institute for Disability Management and Research has signed a memorandum of agreement with the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety that will help both agencies expand the educational opportunities for each organization’s respective customers.

Under the agreement, CCOHS will acquire access to the NIDMAR Disability  Management Self Assessment program, while components of CCOHS’ educational delivery system in Occupational Health and Safety will be made available to NIMDAR customers who principally represent the Disability Management/Return to Work spectrum.

“The Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety is pleased to enter into this agreement with NIDMAR,” said Steve Horvath, President and CEO, CCOHS.

“As an organization committed to the advancement of workplace health and safety, it is our hope that this collaboration will help lower disabling incidence rates, increase workplace job retention for individuals who have suffered a disabling impairment, and ultimately, lead to increased acceptance of persons with disabilities in Canadian workplaces.”

CCOHS, which is a federal government agency based in Hamilton, Ontario, promotes the total well-being – physical, psychosocial and mental health – of working Canadians by providing information,  training, education, management systems and solutions that support health and safety programs and the prevention of injury and illness.

The DMSA tool will allow CCOHS clients who uncover shortcomings in their DM programs to be referred to NIDMAR for information and for certification programs in DM and return to work (RTW).

NIDMAR executive director Wolfgang Zimmermann said in recent discussions with federal Labour Minister Lisa Raitt, that there was a consensus that effective RTW programs ultimately lead to better prevention programs.

“For workplaces this is about bringing RTW and OHS together under one umbrella, rather than in individual silos,” Zimmermann said.

The agreement will allow both NIDMAR and its scholastic arm, Pacific Coast  University for Workplace Health Sciences, based in Port Alberni, to expand into the field of OHS.

“Certified Disability Management Professionals are required to take 40 hours of training every two years, and their continuing education must be relevant to one of the nine domain areas which comprise the Occupational Standards in RTW/DM,” Zimmermann explained. “OHS falls under Domain No. 7: Health, Psychosocial, Prevention and Functional Aspects of Disability. Up until now, we have not had a whole lot of educational programming in this area.”

PCU-WHS will soon offer a bachelors degree program in workplace health science, with a specialty in DM, in September 2013, subject to approval by the B.C. Ministry of Advanced Education, Innovation and Technology.

NIDMAR ‘s program is used by 17 countries worldwide.

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