Safety Leadership in Action

Kerry (Canada) Inc., manufacturer of flavored syrup, recently achieved OSSE (Occupational Safety Standard of Excellence) certification with a successful audit of their Delta, BC facility. OSSE is the Certificate of Recognition for Manufacturers in BC.

Headed by the leadership of Lyn Peterson (Production Manager) and Rob Montgomery (health and safety coordinator), Kerry (Canada) Inc. secured the buy-in from the Kerry team, and upper management in formalizing a health and safety standard.

“Kerry is a big supporter of safety, right from the top of the chain in the east. They start every meeting with safety” says Lyn Peterson. “It has to start at the top. I didn’t have that at a previous employer and we weren’t nearly as effective in implementing change.”

Rob Montgomery was able to impact change with the support of his superiors. “If I’m having trouble with anything I can call my regional manager. I have that buy in from leadership.”

As a health and safety coordinator, Rob put his people skills to use to support the needs of his team. “We are a small plant. I know every employee that we have here and we are all friends. It can be hard to get up close and personal with workers in some of the larger plants. We are a family here.”

This culture of safety and care for each other is evident when mistakes are made. “We always tell people that if someone comes up to them and says, ‘Hey, you’re doing this wrong, or you’ve forgotten that’, to say thank-you and not to get upset. They are just looking out for you. We aren’t here to pick on them, we are there to help them.”

Kerry makes use of ‘Eye for Safety’ cards to address and communicate concerns in their operation. When an employee spots a hazard or any other item that needs attention they fill out a card and submit it to management.

“The key to making our ‘Eyes for Safety’ cards work is ensuring the staff knows we are listening,” says Rob. “We deal with them at our daily operations meeting each morning. We assign it, document it, and communicate it. To make it a little more fun and encourage buy-in we do a draw every month and award a gift card.”

The challenge of achieving OSSE certification was one that Lyn and Rob were ready for. “Working towards OSSE certification put the framework in place for us. The OSSE standard got us organized”, says Lyn. According to Rob, “Tal (Sperling – FIOSA-MIOSA Safety Advisor) was a huge help. She wouldn’t let me off the hook on key issues. If I had any issues, questions or concerns, she was always there to help me.”

Despite the huge undertaking, it was well worth it for Lyn Peterson. “I’d rather be involved in the work of certification than the accident investigation after wondering, ‘what did I do wrong?’ We have had well over 425 days without a lost time incident. We are incredibly proud of this.”

Excellence in Manufacturing

Westbank BC manufacturer is the first company to achieve OSSE certification from the FIOSA-MIOSA Safety Pooling System Program (SPS)

Freeport Industries enhanced its commitment to excellence by completing the Journey to OSSE earlier this year. Based in Westbank, the manufacturer of customized modular structures for residential, commercial and industrial clients is the first company to graduate the SPS program offered by FIOSA-MIOSA.

“We have always prided ourselves on excellence in manufacturing with a focus on quality, flexibility and speed. Our goals as an organization wouldn’t be achieved if any of these came at the expense of the safety of our employees” said Freeport Industries VP Chris Inkster. “By joining FIOSA-MIOSA’s Safety Pooling System we were able to share the costs of a health and safety professional while seeing a significant safety culture change within our organization.”

Freeport was able to make significant strides towards achieving OSSE certification because of SPS, the first of its kind in the Occupational Health and Safety world, which allows groups of manufacturers to share the costs of a safety advisor.

SPS Supervisor Jarlath MacKenzie manages Freeport’s pool and was able to share the combined knowledge of the 5 other companies when building Freeport’s health & safety program. He guided Freeport’s in-house safety team through all the steps required to implement an effective safety strategy and advised on training programs where needed. The fact that Freeport Industries is the first graduate of the SPS program is a special source of pride for Jarlath and the FIOSA-MIOSA team.

Jarlath considers Freeport Industries an example for all manufacturers in British Columbia. “They took full advantage of the opportunity to develop a Health and Safety program and were able to achieve OSSE certification in record time.”

Members of the FIOSA-MIOSA team visited Freeport Industries in June and presented Chris Inkster with an award to recognize Freeport Industries OSSE certification.

CEO Health & Safety Charter Visionary Duncan Hawthorne to Retire in 2016

Duncan Hawthorne, president and CEO of Bruce Power, the world’s largest operating nuclear facility and the source of roughly 30 per cent of Ontario’s electricity, announced his 2016 retirement plans last week. As the respected leader of over 4,000 employees in what is arguably one of the highest-risk industries Duncan inspired his team to seek continuous improvement and excellence in every facet of their operation.

Occupational health and safety is one area where Duncan has left a lasting legacy.  As president and CEO at Bruce Power, Mr. Hawthorne led a program of focused safety improvement and demonstrated that safety excellence and commercial success go hand in hand. Duncan believed that safety leadership must start at the CEO level in order to deliver sustained performance improvement.

With these values in hand, Duncan was a driving force behind the original CEO Health and  Safety Charter, a vision that encompassed the belief that breakthrough safety performance can only be achieved with strong sponsorship from senior leadership, a guiding coalition of key stakeholders, a process that engages the workforce, consistency and determination.

“This initiative creates a vehicle to allow companies to share in many good safety practices.  In this way, new levels of safety performance can be achieved and strong safety alliances forged. Engaging the senior leadership is key in ensuring that real change occurs.”

Duncan Hawthorne

Duncan proposed an initiative to achieve breakthrough performance in industrial safety across the country by proposing an alliance of government and business leaders from all regions. This proposal has evolved to become the foundation for pledges of safety by senior leaders in British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Nova Scotia, Ontario and Newfoundland & Labrador with several other jurisdictions in discussion.

Our ability to influence the hearts and minds of business leaders is owed in large part to the vision and dedication of Duncan Hawthorne. We wish him the best in his retirement and express our unwavering gratitude for the leadership he has shown in our shared pursuit of zero workplace injuries.

“The bottom line is that people sharing their expertise in any area and in any sector leads to improvement. When you factor in the natural drive that leaders have to improve their business, then ultimately performance improvement is very possible. Good safety performance is good business as far as I am concerned.”

Duncan Hawthorne

Brian Scudamore: Business is All About People

BC Safety Charter signatory Brian Scudamore, Founder and CEO 1-800-GOT-JUNK?, You Move Me and WOW 1 DAY Painting is recognized as one of Canada’s leading entrepreneurs.

Winner of many leadership awards including The Globe and Mail’s Top 40 under 40,Fortune Small Business Best Bosses Award and a three-time winner of the Best Company To Work For award, Brian has built his business by investing in people with vision and the right attitude.

After 5 years in business Brian faced a hurdle that was impeding the further growth of his junk removal business: his employees. In a bold move that catapulted his business onto a path of future success, Brian fired all of his staff and started over.

“Business is all about people: finding the right people and treating them right. You’ve got to spend time with your people, care about them, understand what motivates them and show them how they fit into the vision.”
Brian Scudamore

The turning point for 1-800-GOT-JUNK? came as Brian rebuilt his business from the ground up with people who were personable, understood his vision and shared his passion. This freed Brian to pursue a direction of sustainability in his business including environmental stewardship (1-800-GOT-JUNK? recycles or donates 61% of everything they collect, keeping an estimated 2 billion pounds of junk out of landfills) and investing in his employees.

In addition to offering 5 weeks of vacation to all employees, maternity leave top-up payments and flexible return to work arrangements for new mothers, ongoing employee development with tuition subsidies for courses and professional accreditation, Brian offers a profit-sharing plan that is available to all employees to keep them fresh and motivated.

Brian’s newest endeavor is a commitment to worker safety and a promise to his workforce to make the necessary changes to ensure their well-being. As a proud BC Safety Charter signatory, Brian Scudamore is proving yet again that leadership is an integral part of every organization and investing in the people who make up your company makes great business sense.