SAFEty Culture Award: St. Amant
St. Amant's winning nomination showed their strong commitment to building on and improving their workplace safety culture, which has revitalized staff engagement with safety and health. St. Amant is in the process of reviewing and revamping safety practices within the organization, in partnership with the WCB. This initiative started with buy-in and commitment from the executive team, and has led to more training for staff, and updated processes to ensure safety issues and incidents are effectively reported, tracked and addressed. For example, a review of processes related to injury tracking, corrective action, and early reintegration/return to work practices for injured workers has been underway.
Over the course of the past year, all staff have participated in mandatory safe work education, and the workplace safety and health committee hosts multiple safe work events to support further education and demonstrate a clear commitment to safety to all staff. This training has led to excellent conversations and an increase in interest, engagement and accountability from managers and staff around safety.
St. Amant also reviewed and revamped its safety and health committee. The committee is comprised of people from all areas and levels of the organization to ensure that staff members are able to effect change as needed, and bring concerns and ideas forward in a constructive environment where staff are enabled to take action. For example, a review of quarterly inspection processes led to an improved connection to the operations department to ensure operations-related safety issues are immediately reviewed and addressed. The executive committee member reports regularly to the executive team, and any safety issues requiring funding are escalated appropriately.
The health and safety of staff is at the forefront of all decision-making related to St. Amant's COVID-19 response. The organization has implemented screening for employees in response to provincial guidelines, and has communicated with staff every step of the way.
Honourable mentions: Assiniboine Park Zoo and Bison Transport Inc.
SAFEty and Health Committee Award: Birchwood Lexus Toyota Health and Safety Committee
Birchwood Lexus Toyota Health and Safety Committee's winning nomination showed that the committee plays an important and effective role in a safe work culture that is proactive and inclusive, with strong safety buy-in and support from management. For example, the committee includes a representative from each department of the dealership, which is one important way they ensure health and safety information reaches all employees. Non-committee members are invited to committee meetings to mentor and coach them for future safety roles.
Some of the initiatives the committee has implemented or supported include:
- performing inspections and communicating health and safety regulations daily during COVID-19
- implementing no-contact measures, including storm kiosks where guests can drop off and pick up their vehicles — staff wipe down the kiosks after each interaction and make hand sanitizer available for extra security
- providing proper protective footwear to each employee entering the shop
- implementing a clearly marked safety zone so that people can walk through the shop safely
- holding drills on a regular basis to ensure a quick and effective response in emergency situations (mock medical emergencies and fire drills)
- exceeding requirements by meeting monthly rather than quarterly
- performing safety shop walks on a monthly basis, documenting the information to resolve issues and sharing the information with employees
- selecting a different team member monthly to provide a fresh perspective and perform a safety inspection on his or her department
- implementing daily pre-hoist shop inspections, where each technician performs the inspection on their working area, documents the findings and shares the information with other team members
- performing monthly Toolbox Talks with employees
- reducing accidents by 80 per cent as of April 2020.
Honourable mentions: Price Industries Workplace Safety and Health Committee, and ProTELEC Safety Committee
Worker SAFEty Award: Donna Arksey
Donna Arksey, our 2020 Worker SAFEty Award winner, made an unforgettable impact on her co-workers in her nine years working as a Safety Officer at the Municipality of Harrison Park in Onanole, Manitoba.
Sadly, Donna left her position as a Safety Officer at the municipality in November 2019 because she was diagnosed with brain cancer, and passed away on September 4, 2020. It was very clear from her nomination that Donna's hard work and dedication to safety will continue to benefit staff members at the municipality well into the future. We are happy to honour her contributions to health and safety with this award.
Former co-worker and nominator Rhonda Prettie credits Donna with leading the way towards a healthier and safer work culture. She helped to ensure workers at their waste sites are using proper personal protective equipment, staff in the office are using good ergonomic workstations, and staff who work alone use a check-in system to report back regularly and confirm they are safe, among other safety initiatives. The municipality is also now COR certified.
Donna's important contributions went beyond the physical aspects of safety in that she helped to change attitudes about safety. Her encouragement, kindness, good humour, and concern for her colleagues has made everyone at the workplace more safety-conscious.
In the nomination submitted in March 2020, Rhonda said that “even during her prognosis and the removal of the brain tumour, Donna still called to see how things were going in the safety aspect of our workplace. Then, when she was having chemotherapy for six weeks, her husband took her for a ride to our waste site to see how things were going out there. Donna has been an inspiration to us all and we will miss her smiling face!"
Honourable mentions: Randy Gagne (DyTerra Corporation) and Dave Sayer (Price Industries)