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.