From PACE to OSSE | Two years of safety achievements at Garaventa Lift

The 2019 winner of the Safety Innovator Award for Innovation in both the Safety Training and OHS Management categories, Surrey’s Garaventa Lift continues to demonstrate a commitment to the health and safety of their workers.

~ by Jennifer Weibe

Working through the WorkSafeBC PACE program, the company went from five per cent compliance to 100 per cent in 2018. From there, they continued to work with their Alliance Safety Advisor to develop a comprehensive health and safety management system, earning the Occupational Safety Standard of Excellence (OSSE) certification in September.

Graventa Lift’s President, Vince Sciamanna, and Quality Control Manager Edzel Escala, hold their OSSE Certificate, surrounded by members of the Garaventa’s Joint Health and Safety Committee, who supported the initiative. They are joined by the Alliance OSSE team and Jasroop Gosal from the Surrey Board of Trade.

“For Garaventa Lift, the OSSE journey was accepted as a challenge worth taking to ensure that each and every employee can go home to each respective family every evening with a healthy and unhurt physical body and peaceful mind,” comments Edzel Escala, Quality Control Manager.

Tactical approach

In their transition to safety compliance, and beyond to OSSE certification, Garaventa Lift implemented multiple new programs and controls. Weekly toolbox meetings with the entire production staff show continuous commitment to safety and have been a key factor in changing attitudes in the shop.

It became a team commitment, a family-type atmosphere where we each care for one another. A new Safety Responsibility Organizational Chart has helped reinforce leadership accountability for safety, from the company president on down, as well as the individual responsibility of every worker to ensure their own safety and that of their co-workers.

Training commitment

An effective safety training program has equipped the company’s Joint Health and Safety Committee (JHSC) and staff with the knowledge
and tools to operate safely—supplementing key courses for the JHSC with specific training in CSA/IAPA storage rack inspection and maintenance, fall protection, fit test, overhead crane safety, and a range of other safety policy topics.

WorksafeBC training in supervising safety

“Through the continuous education of our workforce on SAFETY policies and procedures,” Escala notes, “we were able to create a work atmosphere where safety became second nature. It has resulted in a more open work environment where employees have less mental stress and fewer physical injuries. Everyone sees the difference.”

Once again a nominee for the Safety Innovator Award in 2020, Garaventa Lift will be recognized with the Topaz Award at the Safety Pinnacle Awards Gala in April.

Innovation meets MSI prevention

Using their unique brand of innovation, Garaventa devised a custom hydraulic lifting aid to eliminate heavy lifting. This manually operated portable device is used to transfer heavy parts from one workstation to another. The height of the lifting platform is adjustable (max 1.5 m) and safely carries up to 880 lbs.