Recognizing Safety Legacies: The Ben Hume Leadership Award

On April 19, Ben Hume will climb the stage at the Safety Pinnacle Awards Gala to present an industry leader with the Ben Hume Leadership award. It will be another step in Ben’s journey to build safer workplaces that started early in his career.

Twenty years ago, while he was president of an aluminum manufacturer, a long-term worker turned and asked him, “When are we going to stop hurting people?”

It was a question that Ben took to heart.

In four years, the company had grown from 30 to 120 workers. In the haste to increase production, safety had been sidelined and the company had 23 lost time incidents. Ben and his team brought the incident rate down significantly in 18 months.

Ben carried his passion for building safe workplaces throughout his career. As his influence in the business community grew, he continued to champion his belief that safe workplaces are a direct result of CEOs and executives making a commitment promote to a culture of safety.

“A culture of safety is not just compliance,not just ticking a box and not just saying we have a program, it’s a belief system that all of us working together, whether or not the boss is present, are responsible for the health and safety of each other. This results in better, sustainable productivity which inevitably leads to profitability. ”

“One of the big changes I have seen in my career is the formation of safety associations like the Manufacturing Safety Alliance of BC. When I started building safety culture, nothing like the Alliance existed for manufacturers,” Ben says.

“It’s clear from the numbers that members of the Alliance have better safety records than non-members. The Alliance’s support with education for all levels makes a huge difference, particularly for subject matter experts.”

In 2017, Ben was recognized with the inaugural Ben Hume Award for demonstrating health and safety leadership throughout his career. The award is for an individual who has joined the BC Safety Charter and who has been judged by their peers to have demonstrated the ability to inspire both their management team and workforce to ever higher safety standards and to be an advocate for maintaining a culture of safety. “Having an award named after you is a pretty humbling experience,” says Ben.

According to Lisa McGuire, CEO of the Alliance, “The Ben Hume Award is to honour a leader who is doing outstanding work changing the culture of safety in their organization and in the industry. By recognizing leaders, we know we can drive a culture change in the community.

Nominees for the 2018 Ben Hume Leadership Award

Sandra Oldfield was winemaker and CEO at Tinhorn Creek Winery from 1993–2017. Under Sandra’s careful guidance, Tinhorn Creek earned Gold at Canada’s Safest Employers Awards (2016) and a Ruby Safety Pinnacle Award (2017). Sandra was one of the inaugural signatories of the BC Safety Charter, a key member of the Sector Labour Market Partnership Committee, and has also been named one of Canada’s top 100 most powerful women by the Woman’s Executive Network.

Scott Bax, Senior Vice President, Operations, Pinnacle Renewable Energy Inc. has more than 20 years of forestry and safety experience in logging and wood manufacturing throughout North America. Scott was named one of the Top 36 Most Influential Leaders in the Biomass industry (2016) and regularly presents safety at industry conferences around the world.

Kevin Thorburn, Supply Chain Manager Western and North West Canada for Nestlé Waters Canada, is an industrial engineering and operations management expert with nearly 20 years experience. Kevin joined the Alliance board in 2015, and is a key member of the Sector Labour Market Partnership Committee. Kevin is a signatory to the BC Safety Charter and accepted a Ruby Safety Pinnacle Award on behalf of Nestle in 2017.

This article appeared in the 10th Anniversary edition of the Make It Safe newsletter. To download the full newsletter, please visit our Newsletter Archive.