PRESS RELEASE

2019 Safety Pinnacle Awards Gala Honours BC Companies that Put Safety First  

Vancouver, BC—On April 24, the Manufacturing Safety Alliance of BC hosted the 2019 Safety Pinnacle Awards Gala at the Terminal City Club in Vancouver, attended by more than 130 executives, safety leaders, and teams from 30 British Columbia manufacturers and food processors. 

Beginning the evening, Christopher Lung, the inaugural recipient of the Daneen Skilling Scholarship in Occupational Health and Safety Studies shared his personal story about the near miss incident on a construction site that spurred his pursuit of an OHS diploma at BCIT. 

Receiving this year’s prestigious Ben Hume Leadership Award, presented to a BC Safety Charter member for exemplary leadership, was Chris Inkster, President of Freeport Industries, a custom manufacturer of modular structures for industrial, residential, and institutional use that employs more than 80 in West Kelowna. Inkster’s leadership after a serious workplace injury occurred at Freeport, along with his willingness to share everything that he had learned from the incident, inspired his peers to nominate him. Under Inkster’s leadership, Freeport successfully earned Occupational Safety Standard of Excellence (OSSE) certification—the Certificate of Recognition audit for BC manufacturers. 

Also recognized at the event were Ben Hume finalists Barry Marsden, Chairman and CEO of Conair Group Ltd. and Perry McDougall, President of Goodwin Industrial Electric. 

Each year, the Pinnacle Awards Gala recognizes manufacturers for achieving key milestones in improving safety in their workplaces.  

The Topaz Pinnacle Award is granted to companies who have successfully developed and implemented a comprehensive health and safety management system to OSSE certification standards. This year’s recipients were Dinoflex of Salmon Arm, Kingfisher Boats of Vernon, and Victoria’s Viking Air.  

The Sapphire Pinnacle Award is given out to companies whose leadership has demonstrated strong commitment to safety through visible engagement as a BC Safety Charter Signatory. This year’s recipients were Surrey’s EWOS Canada (a Cargill company) and Keith Panel Systems of Burnaby.    

The Emerald Pinnacle Award is granted to companies maintaining their OSSE Certification, are a BC Charter Member in good standing and who have been successful in reducing their Injury Rate below their average Classification Unit (CU) over a 3-year period. This year’s recipients were Sysco Canada Inc of Vancouver and EWOS.    

New Awards in Safety Excellence and Innovation 

This year for the first time, new awards were introduced to recognize a Joint Health and Safety team and worker representative for safety excellence, and safety innovators in four categories. 

The recipients included:  

Worker Representative Safety Excellence Award: Sharleen Dean, from Vancouver’s Daiya Foods, for her example in modelling safe work practices and transitioning new hires to the safety system at Daiya.  

Joint Health & Safety Committee Safety Excellence Award: Knight Signs of Delta, for their weekly workplace inspections, root cause analysis of near misses and accidents, and overall inclusive approach to safety.  

Innovation in OHS Management: Surrey’s Garaventa Lift, for their commitment to safety with weekly toolbox meetings, as demonstrated by their transition through the WorkSafeBC PACE program from five per cent compliance to 100 per cent in 2018; and 

Richmond-based Pinnacle Renewable Energy, for developing an “Owning Safety” initiative to drive culture improvement across its operations in BC, Alberta, & now Alabama, USA. 

Innovation in Safety Training: Garaventa Lift, for introducing various safety training programs to the company with the help of MSABC and other safety agencies; and  

Pinnacle Renewable Energy, whose most successful innovation in training has been their Safety Champion program. Annually, since 2017, each of their operations conducts a joint peer and management selection process to identify hourly workers who will become Safety Champions. 

Innovation in Workplace Wellness: Pinnacle Renewable Energy for their weekly Owning Safety Talks created by their safety team and reviewed every Monday with managers and team leaders at each plant, who then share the information with their team mates at crew talks; and  

Mauser Packaging Solutions in Langley, whose ergonomics program brings a consultant onsite for stretching with all shifts and individual recommendations for stretches to help with specific pain or discomfort. Mauser has also mapped out a walking path for exercising on breaks around the outside of their building. 

Innovation in Workplace Culture: Soprema in Chilliwack, whose inclusive Safety Ambassador program involves the entire staff, promoting OHS as a new way of life for all employees. All employees are encouraged to perform local inspections to identify hazards and assess risks and support the OHS Coordinator for the monitoring of the local OHS action plan; and  

Pinnacle Renewable Energy, whose online employee engagement tool has registered more than 20,000 employee hazard reports, suggestions for improvement, peer to peer safety conversations, and peer observations over three years. Every submission has generated a direct response to “close the loop” from a member of the management team. 

A keynote was delivered by Steve Rio, Founder of Nature of Work and one of the Business in Vancouver Forty Under 40 2018. Rio spoke about the risks presented by overuse of technology and what that means for the modern workplace in terms of increased fatigue and impairment in memory and concentration. Guests were also entertained by local musician Andrew Christopher. 

About the Alliance:
The Manufacturing Safety Alliance of BC is a leading provider of health and safety services in BC.  An industry-funded organization with a board of directors elected from BC manufacturing industries, the Alliance is dedicated to ensuring Occupational Health and Safety professionals of the future are well qualified to provide industry advice and leadership. 

Media contact:  

Ada Slivinski
Marketing & PR Specialist
C. 604.991.7423
A.Slivinski@safetyalliancebc.ca