Celebrating safety: Achieving OSSE at Murray Latta Progressive Machine

We spoke with Todd Martin, Manager of Health, Safety Environment & Quality at Murray Latta Progressive Machine, about his company’s recent OSSE Certification.

Q Why was achieving OSSE important to you?
A Safety of our workers is very important to us, and we wanted to prove it. We wanted a robust and effective health and safety system to prevent injuries. Achieving certification to the OSSE Standard is the gold standard of health and safety in the manufacturing industry.

Q What the was process like?
A It was a long journey, and it’s not an easy road. You need everyone pulling together towards a common goal, and commitment from the top down. Achieving OSSE certification is a lot of work, but the payoff is worth it.

Q How did your team feel about the celebration?
A We’ve been celebrating our OSSE certification all week with staff barbeques, safety training and numerous other special events. Everyone from our CEO to the newest worker in the company has a lot of pride in what we have accomplished. The company culture has completely changed, and that is the most rewarding part of the OSSE journey.

Mentorship for the long game: Goodwin Industrial Electric invests in opportunity

Goodwin Industrial Electric Project Manager Justin Tofsrud started as a journeyman electrician. Over seven years with the company, he has moved through the service department and is now working in management and human resources while pursuing a graduate diploma in business mentorship at SFU.

“I got into trades when I was young because it was good money. Now, I have the opportunity to be a university graduate,” said Tofsrud.

He said that mentorship within the company is what has helped him succeed and built his loyalty. “I was young and inexperienced and Goodwin took me in and gave me an opportunity to succeed. Now I call it mentorship, but when I was young, I called it authoritative law,” he laughed. “It was a struggle at times but I’m much better for it.”

“The mentorship I received and continue to receive has allowed me to become the person I am today. In turn, I make every attempt to encourage, teach, and even mentor others coming up behind me. Be them young apprentices new to the industry, or individuals who seen me succeed and strive to want to the same for themselves,” he said.

Starting as a small, family-owned company, while Goodwin has grown, they have still maintained their strong family values culture.

“Every member of the team is a member of the family. We find nothing more satisfying than seeing the group grow and achieve new and higher goals. Just like with family, the safety of our team is our number one priority,” reads the descriptor on their website, and those words are echoed emotionally by both Tofsrud and President Perry McDougall.

A leader in the industrial sector for more than 50 years, Goodwin Industrial Electric knows the value of playing the long game. Since 1961, their approach has been that every project is an opportunity to create a partnership that will develop into a long-term relationship. The pride they have in those partnerships, along with the family approach to business, has contributed to their success.

McDougall worked in almost every position within the company before his appointment as president. He says being able to relate to his team members and specific jobs they do helps him gain their trust and cultural buy in. For Tofsford, it was the same.

“Because I came up through the trenches with the crew, with the guys, I have their trust,” he said.

“Workplace health and safety is the way we start and finish every day. It’s a huge part of our culture. That’s the most important thing: letting your team know that you’re thinking about them all the time in safety,” said McDougall.

He talked about how at the beginning of our day, the group will get together have a safety meeting. They also use a new electronic safety checklist on a tablet where everybody goes through an inDoc and safety procedure for the day. The team all signs off on that, and it goes to the safety officer and customer contact.

Of course, not everyone brought onto the team is a great fit right off the bat. Goodwin has a probation period. “Sometimes, they’re not a good fit and we’re asking something of them that they’re not able to do. We actually talk to our foremen quite a bit – what are team member’s qualities, setbacks, where can they grow, what are their strengths and weaknesses.” said Tofsrud. He said in this case, they sometimes move them to different positions based on the foremen’s feedback.

A big part of putting the team’s needs first is reflected in the updated personalized toolkits that everyone works with. Each employee brings their own company-provided tools and the company always listens to their requests for new ones to make their jobs easier. They see the company investing in them—in their training and tools. “They want to stay, and they want to be part of what we’re doing. We’re getting better as a team and we’re working harder together,” said Tofsrud.

This year, McDougall was a finalist for the Ben Hume Leadership award. Awarded at the Safety Pinnacle Awards Gala each year, this award recognizes a BC Safety Charter member who demonstrates exemplary leadership.

“It is just an amazing company to work with, very family oriented, and there was the opportunity to move up. I have an unwavering loyalty: I’m very loyal to Perry and to Goodwin and the team,” said Tofsrud.

A night to remember 2019 Safety Pinnacle Awards Gala

On April 24, the Alliance hosted the 2019 Safety Pinnacle Awards Gala at the Terminal City Club in Vancouver. More than 130 executives, safety leaders, and teams from 30 BC manufacturers and food processors attended. The keynote was delivered by Steve Rio, CEO of Briteweb and Nature of Work.

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

Learn more about the Safety Pinnacle Awards Here:


New awards in safety excellence and innovation
This year for the first time, new awards recognized a Joint Health & Safety team and worker representative for safety excellence, and safety innovators in four categories:

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 inclusive approach to safety.

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.

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, and now Alabama, USA.

Innovation in Safety Training: Garaventa Lift, for introducing multiple safety training programs to the company with the help of the Alliance and other safety agencies; and Pinnacle Renewable Energy, whose most successful innovation in training has been their Safety Champion program. 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, and 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 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.

Watch the Gala Video Here 

Introducing the Alliance Engagement Recognition Program

“The Manufacturing Safety Alliance of BC is grateful for the ongoing support and involvement of its members. Many of you devote time outside of your work day to sit on committees or boards, which helps us understand exactly what is needed to make your workers safer and your companies more successful. That is why we are proud to introduce the Engagement Recognition Program for companies actively engaged with the Alliance. Displaying your Recognition of Engagement will let all of your workers, suppliers and customers know that you are proud of your extra efforts to create a safe and healthy workplace.” – Lisa McGuire, CEO

The Alliance Engagement Recognition Program lets everyone know about your commitment to protecting workers and creating and implementing a comprehensive health and safety management system.

We encourage you to reference your Recognition of Engagement on your website, in social media, in job postings, and put it on display where workers, customers and suppliers can see it. It’s no secret that in choosing to create a safer workplace, you show that you care for your employees. The Recognition of Engagement also demonstrates your commitment to a safe, secure and healthy working environment that enhances quality, productivity and sustainable growth.


Our Advisors use a proactive and systematic approach to assist you in creating a healthy and safe workplace, protecting your employees and customers, fulfilling your regulatory obligations and meeting the changing needs of your business.

An effective OHS system complements lean manufacturing and is integral to the successful operation and growth of an organization. Together, the Alliance can help your company remain financially viable, enjoy sustainable growth and become an employer of choice. If you work for a company actively engaged with the Alliance, our Member Engagement team will contact you to discuss the successes you have had and arrange a time to come and present the Recognition of Engagement to you at your convenience.

Learn more about the Alliance Engagement Recognition Program, call 1.604.795.9595.

Winery Promotes Safety: Tinhorn Creek wins National Leadership Awards

by Gladys Johnsen – On October 24 and November 24 Sandra Oldfield CEO and President of Tinhorn Creek Vineyards was in Toronto to receive awards based on her amazing work ethic. She has spent years working with her staff of 30 to develop and implement an occupational health and safety (OHS) program while working tirelessly to bring recognition to BC’s wine industry.

In October Sandra accepted the Gold Award for safety in the hospitality industry at the Canada’s Safest Employers gala and in November she was named one of Canada’s Most Powerful Women with a Top 100 award by the Women’s Executive Network.

Tinhorn Creek was one of the smaller companies at both the events but, “I’m honoured to be recognized as a trailblazer and have the opportunity, as a female CEO in the wine industry, to act as a role model for younger generations and my peers,” says Sandra Oldfield. “At Tinhorn Creek we strive to be at the forefront of the industry; pushing boundaries and setting trends to promote Canadian wine.”

Sandra has never separated her role as CEO and President from that of the person who both works on the shop floor and who is responsible every day for the health and safety of each of her workers.

Tinhorn Creek Vineyards has some unusual health and safety issues – rattlesnakes and bears, heavy boxes of wine and unruly customers. Developing a successful OHS program that meets all of these hazards has taken a number of years and a lot of planning.

One of the critical parts of the Tinhorn program is new worker orientation. All new workers spend their first two days with a supervisor who ensures that all certification requirements are met and the worker has a thorough review of the hazards and health and safety requirements of each position in the company. Only on Day 3 does the worker get introduced to their new position and start putting into action what has been learned.

Our next goal is to be ready for the Best Health and Safety Culture award by raising the OHS bar even higher and keeping our programs and policies fresh and relevant.
— Sandra Oldfield

To do this, in 2017 each worker will receive a half day health and safety re-orientation on Tinhorn plans, committees will be updated and on and off site health and safety training will be increased.

2016 was the 6th year for the Canada’s Safest Employers Awards and recognized 41 winners in 10 industry –specific categories. The judging is a rigorous process which includes worker perception survey and site visits to the finalists by a third party auditor.