CEO Panel Engages OSSE Gala Audience

One of the highlights of the OSSE Awards Gala Wednesday evening was the CEO Panel which was held in the lead up to the awards presentation.

The CEO Panel involved three industry leaders who have each led their companies through the Occupational Safety Standard of Excellence (OSSE) certification program.

FIOSA-MIOSA Director of Operations and Marketing, Chris Webber, introduced the CEOs and asked them to share their experiences during their OSSE Journey.

Sandra Oldfield, President and CEO of Tinhorn Creek Vineyards, shared the fact that when she first took over as CEO at Tinhorn Creek, she projected images in her dreams of her employees having to go home to their families injured or broken.

“It really bothered me that, if such an accident were to occur, I would not know what to do about it. I decided that had to change,” she said, adding, “That’s what got me started down the road to OSSE.”

Jason Longden, COO of Gardein, told attendees that making the decision to become OSSE certified, “Was not about the 15 percent savings or the statistical drop in injury rates, which might make us feel good. It was about making sure our employees go home safe and sound from work every day.”

Steve Mander, COO and VP of Knight Signs, discussed the important ways in which his company changed as a result of the OSSE Journey. The process of becoming OSSE certified completely changed the corporate culture he said.

Topics raised by the audience included the importance of culture change and the importance of having the right people in key positions who can really drive the culture change.

Jason Longden said, “If my boss does not show me the support I need, in order to change the organization for the better, then it’s not going to get done. It takes a complete commitment from all levels, led from the top, in order to really accomplish the culture change need to make a safe workplace.”