Overview of the MICCS Certification Program
Introduction: What is the Program and Will YOUR Company be "Certified"?
The Certification Program serves multiple purposes but at its heart, it is a web-based database that is used by construction consumers ("owners") as well as by contractors who safety prequalify their subcontractors by providing them with important safety-related information in an easily-accessible, standard format. While its name may imply to some that becoming "MICCS Certified" is essential, the reality is that a small percentage of contractors become "MICCS Certified". In most instances a company will become "MICCS Qualified" or simply be considered participating in the MICCS Certification program.
In pursuit of this mission, MICCS has developed a Certification Program providing a number of benefits to the industry, including a sophisticated means for contractors to benchmark the success and effectiveness of their safety efforts in a cost-effective fashion. The great majority "by design" cannot reasonably be expected to attain the very high standards required to be "MICCS Certified."
MICCS has always been committed to its goal of achieving zero injury on construction job sites. The industry is of course far, far from achieving this goal. The honor of being "MICCS Certified," then, should be reserved only for those companies whose safety record and program are truly extraordinary. By setting the standard high and by a commitment to making it more difficult every year to achieve the status MICCS is recognizing that even the best among us have a distance to travel before every worker who leaves his/her home in the morning knows (s)he will return that evening to her family in the same condition as (s)he left. This critical goal can only be achieved by pushing us harder and harder to change the culture of our industry from believing that "accidents will happen" to "accidents are unacceptable."
Why Should a Contractor Participate in the Program?
While great pride should be taken in being a "MICCS Certified" contractor, there is still great benefit for a company to be "MICCS Qualified" or participating in the program.
If most contractors cannot achieve "MICCS Certification," then why should they participate in the program? There are several reasons:
Owners and contractors encourage participation in the program in order to be eligible to bid. Before this program, some area owners had their own safety prequalification program and hired safety professionals to pour over contractor's safety statistics and programs. The Certification Program does this for them and in a standard, industry-wide manner participation is creating a larger database, thus populating the web site, making it more valuable not only to them, but to other owners and contractors, too. These owners and contractors were able to put their safety professionals in the field, where they belong, instead of behind a desk.
The program gives owners and contractors a quick and easy tool to analyze contractors' safety records and programs, thus promoting the practice of safety prequalification. To be clear, the Certification Program should not be used only by owners: it should be used by any contractor that is hiring another. Those who use only the "bottom line bid" and who do not take the time to find out who has invested in safety and uses that information to influence whose bid is "best" is taking a chance that they might soon regret; the cost of using an unsafe contractor can be enormous if their actions result in injury or death. While safety prequalification does not guarantee such incidents will not occur, it decreases the chances that they will. And, numerous studies have shown that a safe contractor is also a productive contractor. There is an undeniable correlation between the two.
Participating contractors do not have to send multiple annual prequalification forms to owners and contractors. Those owners and contractors who use this program to safety prequalify have the information they need at a click of the mouse. By participating, contractors are reducing their paperwork and lowering their overhead.
Contractors obtain valuable professional evaluations of their safety program and can use this program as a guide toward bolstering their program. The same small cadre of safety professionals are "grading" safety programs, and giving feedback as to how to improve them. Through this grading system, contractors can benchmark their performance against their peers and decide for themselves whether and what they should improve. Much of the fees paid to participate in the program are used to pay safety professionals to conduct these evaluations. MICCS has never profited from the program and has set the fees with the goal of breaking even, financially.
Some owners provide special benefits to those who are "Certified," for example, some have policies of automatic safety prequalification if a contractor is "certified." Some owners have posted their policies regarding their use of the program on the MICCS web site's Certification Program section (www.miccs.org). There are also benefits to being "MICCS Qualified," wherein certain owners recognize that a company has met the minimum requirement to work on one of their respective projects.
The program is a valuable learning experience for your safety professional. The Safety Program Review Score sheet (SPRS) provides what the MICCS Board of Directors believes to be a guide for the optimal safety program. Nearly every contractor who participates in the program ends up changing their program, thus making it stronger and more effective in protecting the lives of your employees. Once an audit has been conducted by MICCS on a company's safety program, the SPRS will include scoring on each criteria and written feedback on items that the program may be lacking. To view the sample SPRS for a look at the criteria, click here.
The Indiana Occupational & Health Administration (IOSHA) recognizes the high standards of attaining "MICCS Certification" and provides special benefits to those who achieve it.u> While certified contractors are not required to participate in this partnership between MICCS and the Indiana Department of Labor, most consider the program to be very valuable. A central tenet of the agreement is that certified contractors are exempt from schedule general inspections under most circumstances. To view the MICCS-IDOL Partnership agreement, click here.
The MICCS Certification Program is unique in the world. To our knowledge, there exists none like it. That is somewhat understandable since MICCS itself is unique. There exists nowhere in the world an organization quite like it.
The Certification Program is many things and yes, among them, it can be a difficult task and frustrating experience for some. But here, the cliché fits, nothing worthwhile ever comes without effort. The leaders of MICCS over the past several years have spent thousands of dollars and thousands of volunteer hours bringing this program to life, and making it work properly.
All of this effort is for one reason, someday visiting this web site will be a routine, daily practice of thousands of owners and contractors. Each day we get closer to that reality, we are getting closer to achieving our mission. MICCS will never stop trying to achieve that mission and the Certification Program is one of the pillars of the MICCS system to achieve it.