Nick Reiach, the VP of Operations at Great Little Box Company is adamant about one point, “You cannot build a great culture if people are getting hurt at work. Safety is the foundation of being a great employer — making sure people go home the same way as they came in is the only way to operate a business.”
Great Little Box Company, based in Richmond, is an award-winning distributor of custom and stock packaging solutions that achieved Occupational Safety Standard of Excellence (OSSE) in 2016. Founded in 1982, the company now employs over 250 workers and is regularly featured on lists of Canada’s best employers, BC’s best employers, and as one of Canada’s best managed companies.
BUILDING A GREAT SAFETY CULTURE
According to Nick, “We’ve always been committed to safety but a few years ago we wanted to really step up our commitment”
“Working with the Manufacturing Safety Alliance of BC allowed Great Little Box Company to reach out to industry-specific resources for our class of company. It brought structure and knowledge. We knew if we followed the steps and put in a strong safety framework, a great safety culture would emerge. ”
The changes have helped Great Little Box Company to stay competitive in an industry fighting for talent. It allows them to retain great employees and easily recruit new employees. “People feel better referring potential candidates to a company when they know it is safe.”
THE MANY REWARDS OF A SAFE CULTURE
The continuous journey to safety excellence also has an affect on the bottom line, “In addition to continuing to build a great culture, our safe work practices have also generated incredible cost savings that affected the bottom line in ways that would have required tremendous increases in sales to match,” Nick adds.
When you see Nick or his colleagues at the Safety Pinnacle Awards Gala in April as they pick up their Emerald Award, say hello and ask about visiting the company for a safety tour. Nick and his team welcome visitors interested in learning more about their safety program, “Safety is something companies have no problem sharing. We often share our best practices with competitors. We have been encouraged by the generosity of other companies like TECK Resources. We’re happy to pay it forward.”
Nick is quick to point out that the changes his company made are all reasonable. The Alliance has been a great partner in the company’s journey.
“The accountability certification creates for management is powerful — once you have certification, you want to improve and maintain it. We have a lot of pride around our safety record, it’s a big accomplishment. The OSSE Certification is arguably or one of the best safety certifications you can attain in North America,” Nick says. “Keeping your people safe is the only way to operate a company.”