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WHSS Saving Kingston's Small Businesses Thousands of Dollars

Wilkens Health and Safety Solutions: Saving Kingston's Small Businesses Thousands of Dollars

by Mary Steer, Women in Business, Kingston Whig Standard

Wiebke Wilkens has been in the health and safety field for over 25 years. She set up her own business: Wilkens Health and Safety Solutions in 2001. From a career that began with the Ministry of Labour in 1986, Wiebke moved to Queen's University in 1996, to become the Director of Environmental Health and Safety; it was there she got the idea for her own business. In 2001 she founded Wilkens Health & Safety Solutions.

"During that time I started a project called Kingston: Partners for a Safe Community," she notes. "The project has two prongs. There's a youth component, in which we teach young people to do things safely - use bicycle helmets, be aware of workplace safety and the duties of employers and so on. There's also a small-business component, and over the last seven years we've trained over 150 company owners and managers on their roles and responsibilities under the Occupational Health and Safety Act."

Wiebke's involvement with Kingston Partners helped her to realize that small businesses needed help. "There was no one like myself in Kingston to help them manage their health and safety programs," she recalls. "I do whatever a company needs. It could be starting from scratch, putting all their health and safety solutions in place; or it could be managing health and safety claims they have with the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board; or it could be conducting training programs."

In November 2011, 39  local firms were rewarded for their participation in the Kingston: Partners for a Safe Community sponsored Safety Group.

The group received $134,751.50 in the form of a rebate from the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board.

"By completing five components to formalize and improve their individual firm’s safety program and reducing the  number and severity of WSIB claims by at least 7% the group qualified for their maximum rebate," Wiebke explains, "the group as a whole reduced the number of claims and as well as their individual WSIB claims costs, so not only did they get individual rebates, but also shared in the group rebate”

With this year’s result, the total rebates paid back to Kingston area businesses over the past 10 year totals just over $1.1 Million!

Wilkens Health and Safety Solutions and Kingston Partners continue to sponsor a local multi sector safety group.

For more information, call Wiebke at 613-546-9814 ext. 21 or Toll Free at 1-855-546-9814 ext. 21.