BC Restart Plan – Phase 3 in effect. For more information, please refer to our Resources page and contact us if you are in need of advice or assistance.
Pacific Safety – Partners in Workplace Safety – Safety Consultants Vancouver, BC Partners in Workplace Safety

Fernando De Melo CHSC

Date: November 6th, 2020

With over 25 years’ experience as a safety professional and a real passion for working with people, Fernando founded Pacific Safety in 2008. His vision was to attract like-minded, high performing safety professionals who shared his passion and want to help reducing risk, eliminating harm, and increasing wellness in the workplace.

Fernando has been a long standing, active member of the Canadian Society of Safety Engineering and is a Certified Health and Safety Consultant since 2009. His professional career has been deeply rooted in British Columbia. He spent 15 years in the classroom teaching Occupational First Aid, Instructor Development Programs and WorkSafeBC Education Partner courses. He was the Director of Training with the Care Institute of Safety and Health Inc., and EMS Plus Safety Services Inc.  His experience as a professional adult facilitator was the foundation for his excellence in communication approach to advising today.

Safety is about people. We work hard to build strong lasting relationships with our clients by creating an environment where we can share knowledge both ways. It’s because of this philosophy that we’ve been able to help clients implement practical and workable solutions to improve safety performance. It’s not a one shot answer, it’s ongoing, and it’s a continuous improvement model.”

He considers himself fortunate to have established long term client relationships with the Vancouver Airport Authority, Franklin Roofing Systems, TG Schulz General Contracting, Orca Steel Fabrication, Sure Span Construction, Seiko Construction, City of Port Coquitlam and Mitchell Project Management.

Fernando is committed to being an active leader in the safety industry by building a sustainable world class professional services firm.

“By surrounding ourselves with the smartest, the passionate, the brightest people in our industry we’ll create the best value for our clients and a world class professional services firm.”

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Sarah Slater B Sc

Date: November 5th, 2020

Sarah joined our team in April 2017 as a Safety Advisor. She has a Bachelors Degree in Applied Environmental Science from Strathclyde University in Scotland and NEBOSH National General Certificate in Occupational Health and Safety. Sarah most recently worked as a Training Superintendent and Health, Safety & Environment (HSE) Advisor for a waste management and recycling company that operated 6 facilities in British Columbia. She also comes to us with seven years experience in the Aluminum industry as a Health, Safety, Environment and Quality Specialist, specializing in Training & Development and Safety & Environmental Management Systems.

Sarah is experienced with the following project activities:

  • Training Management Program development and implementation
  • Management Systems development and implementation
  • Incident Investigation & Corrective Action Management
  • Auditing Management Systems in preparation for Certificate of Recognition.

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Adriana Almeida

Date: November 3rd, 2020

Originally from Brazil, Adriana Almeida moved to Newfoundland in 2016, where she completed a graduate diploma in Safety and Risk Engineering from Memorial University. Adriana brings with her a Bachelors Degree in Environmental Engineering and a Graduate Diploma in Occupational Safety Engineering from the Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro.

Adriana has 6 years of OHS experience as an HSE Analyst and Coordinator in the oil and gas industry in Brazil. The last project she was involved with was onboard a 7th generation drillship, where she worked as a Safety Advisor to ensure safety of the drillship’s demobilization phase, dealing with heavy lift operations, cutting, welding, working at heights, scaffold assembly, and others. She is very adaptable to different work environments, having worked in the office and out in the field of big multinational companies.

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Adrian Mac Donnell

Date: November 2nd, 2020

Adrian Mac Donnell is a Safety Advisor in the YVR Contractor Safety. Adrian achieved his bachelor degree, in Environmental Health and Safety Systems from the National University of Galway, Ireland. He moved to British Columbia in 2016 and has worked in both the medical and construction field.

Adrian is extremely passionate about safety and enjoys the diversity this industry provides. He has experience in the medical field including CE approval on machines, risk assessments and air and water sampling. He was also part of the team that implemented pictogram risk assessments throughout the workplace which simplified work tasks and provided a key understanding of the task in hand. He has conducted toolbox talks, evacuation procedures, site inspections and believes communication, passion and a willingness to learn is key to a strong safety culture.

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Kayleigh Howie

Date: October 31st, 2020

Kayleigh Howie is a Safety Advisor, currently working with our YVR Contractor Safety team.  Achieving her Bachelors degree in Environmental Geography from University of Guelph, Kayleigh went on to work as a Health and Safety Consultant implementing health and safety programs for construction and manufacturing companies.  Her experience as a Health and Safety Officer is in both the construction and hospitality industries.

Kayleigh’s professional experience spans the following areas:

  • COR (Certificate of Recognition) program development
  • Health and safety program implementation
  • Training development and facilitation
  • Site inspections
  • Incident investigations.

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Sidney Kwong B.Sc Kin

Date: October 30th, 2020

Sidney Kwong is a Safety Advisor, with the Client Services Team at Pacific Safety. Sidney moved to British Columbia in 2000 and achieved his Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology from Simon Fraser University. He continued his studies and completed the Occupational Health and Safety Diploma program at BCIT. Sidney was previously a Safety Specialist who helped with developing safety programs and conducting gap analyses for clients who wished to achieve COR certification. He is working towards his CRSP designation and hopes to use his education and work experience to make a positive difference.

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Frederico Madeira

Date: October 29th, 2020

Frederico Madeira is a Safety Advisor currently working in the YVR Contractor Safety team. Originally from Vitoria (Brazil), he brings with him a Bachelor Degree in Petroleum Engineering from the Universidade Vila Velha and a Construction Safety Officer certificate from BCIT. While still in Brazil, Frederico was working towards his Health and Safety Engineering diploma. He moved to Vancouver in 2017 as part of his life change plan and is currently working on his Occupational Health and Safety certificate at BCIT.

Frederico has 5 years of experience in the Oil & Gas industry in Brazil working on offshore and onshore rigs. He was sent to the U.S.A by different multinational companies to learn the operational and safety aspects of his work related tasks, which included but were not limited to high pressure equipment, explosives, radiation, rigging of heavy tools and equipment, working at heights, to name a few. He was awarded by the Brazilian nuclear energy commission (CNEN) the title of Radiation Protection Supervisor, a safety role that he ran in parallel with his engineer position throughout his career in the oil and gas industry. His passion for people and commitment to safety is his motivation to keep learning and spreading out the message of safety.

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Sean Sheahan

Date: October 27th, 2020

Sean Sheahan is a Safety Advisor in the YVR Contractor Safety Team. Being native to Ireland, he achieved his bachelor’s degree in 2015 from the University of Limerick and continued his studies in the National University of Ireland Galway where he completed a postgraduate Higher Diploma in Occupational and Environmental Health and Safety in 2017. This course provided him with a high-quality qualification in the multidisciplinary area of Environmental Health and Safety (EHS). Sean is also working towards his MSc (Master’s degree) in Occupational and Environmental Health and Safety with the National University of Ireland following the completion of his Higher Diploma in 2017. Commencing his working career in the construction industry in Ireland, Sean moved to British Columbia in 2018 where he continues to work in various areas of the construction industry as a safety professional.

Sean is a competent and committed Health & Safety Professional. He has gained knowledge and experience implementing the necessary Regulations through following the appropriate Acts in Incident Reporting, Site Auditing, Return to Work Programs and the creation of Safe Work Procedures. Sean is extremely passionate about safety and enjoys the diversity this industry provides. His commitment to detail and passion to communicate safety ideas and strategies is evident as he conducts/develops toolbox talks, evacuation procedures, site inspections and believes working with your fellow workers and a willingness to learn is pivotal to a strong safety culture.

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It’s been a busy year at Pacific Safety

Date: October 10th, 2018

We’ve been hard at work and want to share some exciting news with our PacSaf community.

This year marked our first decade in operations. We had our 10-year anniversary on July 19th. For most of us, celebrating a birthday provides a good opportunity for reflection and this was no exception. Pacific Safety is a much different company from when it was just me working away in the YVR basement. We have been incredibly fortunate to work with many great Health and Safety professionals and exceptional, progressive clients who allow us to push leading OHS practices.

Looking forward, we know that the next decade will require us to be more innovative and leading in all aspects of our business. As such we are investing heavily in our people and our processes, including:

Growing our team: Over the past year, several amazing new members have joined the team, bringing with them specialties in Occupational Health and Safety, Occupational Hygiene and Quality Management Systems. Head over to our website to learn more about our growing team, and we’ll introduce them to you here over the coming months. This month we’re excited to profile our new Consulting Services Manager, Mike Pearson. You can read more about Mike in the highlights section below.

ISO Certifications: ISO Certification represents the gold standard for business operations, quality assurance and management systems. We have committed to aligning our business practises with ISO 9001:2015 and ISO 45001:2018. See the highlights below for more information about these two important initiatives.

Expanding our geographical presence: We continue to expand our presence throughout Western Canada as well as taking on new client partners with operations in the USA and Europe.

Increasing our Industrial Hygiene competencies and services: In response to your requests, we have a dedicated Industrial Occupational Hygienist on staff to support you with the development of exposure control plans, confined space assessments, occupational exposure monitoring, asbestos and lead sampling, as well as a host of other hygiene related services.

Here are just a few highlights of our growth

Introducing Mike Pearson

We are excited to announce that Mike Pearson has been recruited and named our Manager of Consulting Services. Mike was born and raised in Vancouver. He is an OHS leader with over 20 years of experience and a Canadian registered Safety Professional (CRSP) with the Board of Canadian Registered Safety Professionals (BCRSP).  His passion for protecting others from harm is born from his long career as warehouse worker and his family history of volunteering.

See Mike’s full bio here –>

iso9001 logoOn the road to ISO 9001:2015 Quality Management System Certification

To ensure we continue to deliver the high level of service and quality our clients are accustomed to we are aligning our business operations and services with ISO Standards. We have started the process of developing an internal Quality Management System that will be in line with ISO 9001:2015. Sarah Slater has been promoted to our Lead QMS Coordinator.

Learn more about Sarah –>

 

Engineers discuss project on jobsiteISO 45001:2018 Auditing

We are committed to helping clients implement Safety Management Systems that are in line with this global Health & Safety management standard. We were excited to have had the opportunity to complete an ISO 45001:2018 preparation audit for a client earlier this year and our team continues to build competencies and work towards lead auditor certification.

Find out more about ISO 45001:2018 –>

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ISO 45001 – A New Standard for Workplace Safety

Date: October 5th, 2018

More than 7,600 people die each day from occupational accidents and work-related diseases – nearly 2.78 million deaths every year. The International Standards Organization intends to change this statistic, introducing the world’s first International Standard for Occupational Health and Safety – ISO 45001:2018.

This standard is applicable to all organizations regardless of size, industry or type of business. ISO 45001:2018 is designed to deliver many benefits for your organization, including:

  • Reduction of workplace incidents
  • Decreased absenteeism and turnover
  • Increased productivity
  • Reduced cost of insurance premiums
  • Creating a culture focused on health and safety
  • Meet legal and regulatory requirements
  • Improved staff morale
  • Enhanced company reputation

ISO 45001:2018 was developed under the current ISO structure and incorporates the input of experts from more than 70 countries. It works with your business’s existing management processes to provide a framework that increases safety measures, reduces workplace risks, and enhances the overall health and well-being of your workers.

Pacific Safety’s approach to safety management has always been based on risk mitigation, prevention, and continuous improvement. We are strongly aligned with this new standard and have helped a client audit their programs against the ISO 45001:2018 standard requirements. We are currently working towards lead auditor certification.

If you would like to know more about implementing the ISO 45001:2018 – Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems in your business, please contact our safety advisor team.

You can also get all the details about ISO 45001:2018 on the ISO website.

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Safety Management System (SMS) Software: What You Need to Know

Date: December 21st, 2017

It is a requirement of the WorkSafeBC Occupational Health and Safety Regulations that employers with a workforce of 20 of more workers have a formal occupational health and safety program in place. As long as the program meets the requirements of the regulations it is down to the employer to decide how the program is managed.

Traditionally, management systems have been developed and maintained through a combination of hard copy manuals, forms and records. This system can work perfectly well, and meet all regulatory requirements, it can also however be cumbersome and generate a lot of paperwork. To try and alleviate this, more and more organizations are moving to online solutions for managing their safety management systems.

Online safety Management systems can be used to support the management of every element of an organizations safety program, including:

  • Incident Management
  • Hazard Identification
  • Audits & Inspections
  • Meeting Scheduling
  • Corrective Actions
  • Risk Assessment
  • Document Control
  • Training Records
  • Human Resources Information

Benefits of SMS Software

There are many benefit to switching from a paper based management system to an online solution.

  • Compliance
    • Having one, easily accessible system makes compliance with regulations and standards (ISO 14001, ISO 18001/ISO 45001, COR) more manageable and easier to demonstrate during audits and inspections.
  • Accountability
    • Tasks can be assigned to individual users or teams in the system. This can provide the management team with better visibility of what tasks have been assigned to individuals and the status of those tasks.
  • Traceability
    • Documents can be more easily tracked and monitored throughout their life cycle. This allows for better document control and minimizes the use of obsolete or out of date documents.
  • Reporting Capabilities
    • Having data all in one place, and in electronic form, means reports can be pulled more easily and data doesn’t need to be double handled
  • Record keeping
    • Centrally consolidated information and data in configurable formats makes locating required information quick and easy.
  • Consistency
    • Having forms generated electronically means they all look the same. It also eliminates inconsistencies in handwriting and spelling which can often lead to errors in communication in paper based systems.
  • Accessibility
    • The ability to access the safety management system from any computer, smart phone or tablet improves the usability of the system and allows users the convenience of inputting or accessing information quickly and efficiently. Every jurisdiction has a requirement for providing workers with access to OHS regulation and company programs. Wed-based software can make meeting this requirement easier than providing every employee with a printed manual.

Format Options

There are two options to consider when deciding how best to manage documentation within an SMS software solution. The format best suited to the organization will depend on factors such as complexity of operations and size of the organization. The two formats typically available are:

  • Out of the box Forms
    • This solution provides the user with pre-set templates that can be selected and tweaked to meet the needs of the organization.
  • Custom Forms
    • If the document requirements of the organization are very specific to that organization, and there are no pre-set templates that meet their need, another option is to build new documents from scratch. This allows the user to build a system completely tailored to their organization

It is also an option to use a combination of both formats. Where the majority of the needs of the organization can be met by Out of the Box format there may also be a need to create one custom form for a specific part of the program.

Lessons Learned

Here are a few lessons learned from our consulting work with clients:

  1. Map out the desired process flow of the system, and get agreement on it from stakeholders, before starting to build the system;
  2. Take the time to perform a Needs Assessment;
  3. Have clear roles & responsibilities defined and understand the User management needs;
  4. Limit on the fly changes as they can add complexity, cost, and time delays;
  5. Involve stakeholders in each stage of development by demonstrating changes and incorporating feedback.
  6. Allocate sufficient time to test any new forms/parts of the system before they go live.

If you think your organization could benefit from migrating an SMS software solution, and would like to discuss some options, please contact Pacific Safety at info@pacificsafety.ca, or call us at 604-278-3512.

 

 

 

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A New OH&S Management System Standard from ISO

Date: November 20th, 2017

ISO is an independent, non-governmental international organization that has published 21923  International Standards since its inception. These standards cover almost every industry, from technology, food safety, agriculture to healthcare.

Many organisations are familiar with the benefits of a management system.  Whether it’s a quality, safety, or environmental management system, ensuring that your system is effective is essential.  The application of standards such as the ISO family of standards can help benchmark your program is an effective way to help determine how well  your system is performing.  You do not necessarily need to be audited and accredited to the standard, but it can be helpful to implement or orient your management system to a standard.

New Standards for OH&S Systems

There is currently a new standard being developed for Occupational Health and Safety management systems.  ISO 45001 is intended to help organizations set up a framework to help their organization focus on managing their OH&S risks, and performance in a sustainable manner by proactively eliminating or mitigating hazards in the workplace.  What are some of the main characteristics and benefits of 45001?

  • It is a standardized approach based on best practice that allows organizations to establish a framework to plan, implement, monitor, and respond to OH&S hazard and risk management
  • It is designed to support organizations of any size, and is a scalable program
  • It doesn’t tell you how to “do” OH&S, it outlines what aspects of OH&S should be considered in the management system such as:
    • Develop and implement an OH&S policy and objectives
    • Identify relevant procedures and processes
    • Identify and catalogue hazards and risks assosciated with activities
    • Identify relevant regulatory requirements
    • Engaging workers in the OH&S process
  • Helps improve abilities to identify and respond to potential or actual incidents, and regulatory compliance issues
  • May reduce costs associated with OH&S incidents
  • Reduction in insurance premiums as incidents reduce

The ISO 45001 standard is scheduled for release in March 2018.  If you’re interested in implementing an OH&S management system contact us for more information info@pacificsafety.ca .

For updates on the development of the standard check in here:

https://www.iso.org/iso-45001-occupational-health-and-safety.html

 

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What is Occupational Hygiene?

Date: September 5th, 2017

Often when people hear the word “hygienist”, their minds immediately jump to teeth cleaning.

Occupational hygiene involves dealing with a variety of workplace hazards, but plaque is typically not one of them!

Occupational hygiene is the anticipation, recognition, evaluation, and control of workplace hazards to prevent occupational illness, injury, and disease. The hazards hygienists focus on are grouped into the following hazard categories:

· Biological (fungi, bacteria, viruses)

· Chemical (metals, solvents, air contaminants)

· Physical (noise, radiation, temperature)

· Ergonomic (repetitive motions, manual handling, vibration)

These hazards can affect an extremely wide variety of industries, including mining, construction, healthcare, aviation, and oil and gas.

Anticipation and Recognition

Anticipation and recognition of hazards present within the workplace is the first step in the effective control of hazards. This can involve site visits and observing tasks to identify where hazards exist.

Evaluation

Once hazards have been identified, evaluation is often required to determine whether there is the potential for a hazardous exposure. Evaluation may involve collecting air monitoring data to determine whether exposure to airborne contaminants exceeds allowable exposure limits, or monitoring noise levels to determine whether workers are at risk of Noise Induced Hearing Loss (NIHL).

Control

Control measures must be implemented to prevent hazardous exposure from occurring. Controls must be considered following the hierarchy of controls:

1. Elimination

Eliminating the hazard can be the most effective method of risk control. The hazard may be removed from the workplace through design or redesign of the workplace, task, or activity. There is no residual risk when a hazard is truly eliminated.

2. Substitution

Risk can be eliminated or reduced by substituting the hazardous product, process, or material with a less hazardous option.

3. Engineering Controls

Engineering controls can reduce the probability of a hazardous event occurring in certain circumstances by:

· Preventing or isolating exposure to the hazard;

· Reducing the energy available; and

· Providing alternative means of interacting with the hazard.

· Preventing or isolating access to the hazard;

4. Administrative Controls

Administrative controls improve the ability of the worker to interact safely with a product, process, or material that presents a hazardous situation. Administrative controls can:

· Improve the ability to avoid harm;

· Reduce the frequency of exposure to a hazard; and

· Reduce the probability of a hazardous event occurring through controls.

5. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

PPE should be used when the previously mentioned controls cannot effectively reduce the risk. PPE includes anything designed to be worn or held by an individual for protection against a hazard and should be used only as a last resort.

Why is occupational hygiene important?

Preventing Occupational Illness and Disease

Occupational hygiene plays a vital role in creating a healthy and safe work environment by controlling hazardous exposures.

Knowledge of hygiene issues and associated health hazards is important in preventing adverse health effects. This can be particularly important for exposures that are not necessarily associated with immediate symptoms, but can have detrimental long-term health effects.

For example, a worker in the construction industry may be exposed to silica while on the job. The worker does not experience any immediate symptoms and does not think their health is being compromised while at work. Years later, the worker experiences difficulty breathing and discovers they have silicosis, an irreversible and debilitating lung disease due to occupational silica exposure. Being aware of the potential exposures associated with your work and the substance specific requirements outlined in WorkSafeBC can prevent such an occurrence in your workplace.

Controlling Costs

A healthy and safe workplace can reduce the number of workers leaving employment due to illnesses, injury, or disease.

Demonstrating compliance with hygiene regulations applicable to your workplace can reduce the possibility of being shut down and/or given a fine or order by a regulator.

Controlling hazardous exposures minimizes the costs associated with workers compensation.

A healthy workforce also tends to be more productive and efficient.

It’s the Law!

As described by WorkSafeBC, “the Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) Regulation and Part 3 of the Workers Compensation Act contain legal requirements for workplace health and safety that must be met by all workplaces under the inspection jurisdiction of WorkSafeBC. Some sections of the Workers Compensation Act and OHS Regulation have associated policies and guidelines.” This includes occupational hygiene requirements that must be met.

What are some examples of occupational hygiene services that could benefit my organization?

There are a variety of hygiene services that may be beneficial to your workplace. Pacific Safety offers the following:

· Conducting hazardous materials assessments (asbestos and lead)

· Conducting noise surveys

· Writing exposure control plans

· Performing respirator fit-testing (qualitative or quantitative)

· Conducting exposure assessments

· Evaluating effectiveness of controls and providing recommendations

· Conducting ergonomic assessments

…and much more!

If you are interested in discussing hygiene services for your organization, please contact Pacific Safety at info@pacificsafety.ca or call us at 604-278-3512.

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Professional Designations and Certifications in Safety

Date: August 14th, 2017

When you’re considering hiring a safety professional, or perhaps considering a career in Safety, there are aspects of professional safety that can be complex, and perhaps overwhelming. Hygiene has a strong scientific aspect due to the nature of the monitoring, measuring, and interaction between gases, fumes, particulate and human physiology. Risk can be a simple concept, or a theoretical discussion on probability.  While the regulatory requirements alone can make you wonder if a lawyer may be required.

So how do you know if the safety requirements you have as a business are being adequately identified and addressed?  How do you demonstrate as a safety professional that you have a sound understanding of safety?  One answer is professional designations and certifications.  There are many designations and certifications to consider, and if some H&S topics are confusing enough, the last thing you need is to be confused by acronyms, certification versus designation, and Canadian vs. American terminology.

The following link will take you to a great document developed by the Canadian Society of Safety Engineering that provides some detailed information on this topic.

CSSE Guide to Hiring a Health and Safety Practitioner – A Guide for Employers and OHS Practitioners

Certifications vs. Designations

Whether your looking to hire a H&S professional, or develop a H&S career, here are some of the options available, with a brief description of their areas of specialty, and links to find out more.

Certifications

A certification is dependent on education, work experience, ongoing professional development requirements, and some form of assessment to determine competency, which will result in certification from an approved organization.  There is also usually a requirement to meet a professional code of conduct as well.  Some  key certifications are outlined below:

CCPE – Canadian Certified Professional Ergonomist

A certification from the Canadian College for the Certification of Professional Ergonomists, geared towards individuals primarily engaged in ergonomics / human factors as their occupation.  The minimum requirements are a bachelor’s degree specializing in ergonomic applications as well as approximately five years professional experience in the field. This is a voluntary professional certification program, as using the title Ergonomist is not restricted by law in Canada and can be used by anyone.  The CCPE is the only ergonomics / human factors certification in Canada, which requires applicants to meet a consistent set of standards in education and professional competencies across the full scope of ergonomics and human factors.

CHSC – Certified Health and Safety Consultant

A certification from the Canadian Society of Safety Engineering, geared towards individuals focused on being a professional occupational health and safety consultant. To obtain the CHSC certification you must complete six courses on health and safety, and have five years of experience in the field.  CHSC’s may have a generally broad, or specific set of skills and experience.

CSRP – Canadian Registered Safety Professional

A certification from the Board of Canadian Registered Safety Professionals, that requires in-depth knowledge of health and safety principles and practices, a minimum of five years experience, successful completion of standard examination, and ongoing continuing education.  The CRSP has been widely recognized as the national standard of certification for OHS professionals in Canada. A CRSP professional uses their knowledge to develop systems in the workplace in order to achieve optimum control over hazards detrimental to people, equipment, material and the environment.

ROH – Registered Occupational Hygienist / ROH – Registered Occupational Hygiene Technologist

A certification from the Canadian Registration Board of Occupational Hygienists, indicates the attainment and maintenance of a high standard of professionalism. There is a requirement of two to five years of professional experience as well as standard examination.  Depending on what certificate they obtain, individuals have the right to use the title Registered Occupational Hygienist (ROH) or Registered Occupational Hygiene Technologist (ROHT).

Designations

A designation is often less formal than a certification, and may contain some of the aspects of a certification, however these are often not required, or mandatory.  Some common designations are outlined below:

CSO – Construction Safety Officer

There are several CSO designating bodies across Canada for each province or territory. The umbrella organization for all other Construction Safety Associations is the Canadian Federation of Construction Safety Associations. The designation verifies that a person has met the training, practical applications, years of experience and written examinations set out by each provincial association. Also, that they have a minimum of three years of practical construction-related experience.

NCSO – National Construction Safety Officer

The NCSO, through the British Columbia Construction Safety Alliance, is recognized as a national program that came into effect January 1,2017.  The NCSO program combines formal education, training and recognition of experience in construction safety coordination including administration and implementation of the company’s health and safety program.  The title of NCSO has been created to harmonize and standardize the certification for construction safety professionals in Canada. This would include a standardized body of knowledge to test on (national exam), have established core educational requirements, a continuing education program, and a three-year re-certification system.

Roles and Titles

In addition to designations and certifications, a safety professional can have a number of additional roles, or titles that are often dependent on education, training, and experience.  The titles may be Occupational Health and Safety (OH&S) where they encompass occupational health in additional to safety

  • Safety Co-ordinator – employed to work with other team members or departments to coordinate safety requirements, and often a support role with a direct report responsible for safety within the organization
  • Safety Advisor – employed to provide safety experience, knowledge, and support may be an internal or external role
  • Hygienist – formally educated to understand, assess, monitor, and report on hygiene aspects of the workplace
  • OH&S Systems Manager – responsible for managing the safety program of an organization, usually involving internal and external audits, and maintenance of a standard expectation (COR, ISO etc.)
  • Risk Manager – responsible for managing aspects of risk within an organization, including OH&S, and environmental.

As you can see there are a number of aspects that may be appropriate in defining and choosing a safety professional, or career, depending on what your needs and interest are.

Pacific Safety would be happy to discuss our teams experience and how we may be a fit to assist you in assessing and addressing your safety needs.

 

 

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Mental Health and Safety in the Workplace

Date: June 30th, 2017

There has been an increasing emphasis put on mental health and safety in the workplace in recent years. As a result, the demand for companies being held accountable for providing a mentally healthy and safe workplace has also increased.  The expanded view of not just addressing physical injuries but mental “injuries” as well has resulted in addressing hazards such as work place violence, bullying and mental stress. Legal actions are increasingly being taken in major areas of law, which includes health and safety and human rights law.

Quick Facts from the Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC):

  • Each week, 500,000 Canadians are unable to work due to mental health problems.
  • The total cost from mental health problems to the Canadian economy exceeds $50 billion annually—nearly $1,400 for every person living in Canada.
  • In 2011, mental health problems and illnesses among working adults in Canada cost employers more than $6 billion in lost productivity from absenteeism, presenteeism and turnover.
  • Awards for damages caused by mental injuries at work have increased 700% in recent years
  • In Canada alone, mental health issues and illnesses account for more than one third of disability claims and two-thirds of disability costs

Where to start?

Employers can face difficulties figuring out where to begin or where to invest the limited resources they have to combat the complex issue of mental health and safety. Having a standardized framework can help with that so they know what they are doing is right, and that it works for their organization.

However, mental health and safety can be challenging due to the real-world situations of demanding working conditions, diverse stakeholders that are involved, and the various ways people interact with each other.

There can be a fear from employers that implementing stringent workplace violence or harassment initiatives will hamper their ability to discipline workers, manage the workplace, and remain financially stable.

All of this was taken into consideration when developing and implementing standards to help Canadian organizations with these problems.

Creating best practice approaches in Canada

Initially launched in January 2013, the National Standard of Canada for Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace (the Z1003 Standard) is a voluntary standard that includes tools and resources to help organizations create a framework for promoting mental health and preventing psychological harm at work. The standard is similar in approach to other management standards that have a Plan, Do, Check, Act (PDCA) approach.

The goal was to be on the frontier of addressing mental health in the workplace. The standard is receiving recognition as a global first and has received worldwide recognition from other bodies such as the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) for being the first of its kind.

Since the release of the standard, the Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC) recently released their findings of its three-year Case Study Research Project, which followed 40 organizations from various industries and sectors that implemented the Standard.

The result of the study revealed that participating organizations report that the guidelines can help:

  • Productivity
  • Financial Performance
  • Risk Management
  • Recruitment and Retention

Is the standard for everyone?

Working Canadians spend 60 percent of their waking hours at work.  Such a major component of a person’s day can obviously have a large impact on a person’s wellbeing.  Workplaces can play an essential role in fostering positive mental health for all employees. Also, workplaces can be stressful environments that can negatively impact mental health.

Many organizations have a bullying and harassment and/or violence in the workplace program including a policy in place. However, even the existence of a harassment or violence policy which the employer has communicated to employees may not be good enough.  A framework of engagement, education, review, and monitoring is essential to breathe life into the policies. Employers have a legal duty to maintain a physically safe workplace in addition to a mentally safe workplace. Overall, implementing the standard hopes to create a framework or safety management system (SMS) that can help organizations identify specific hazards relevant to mental stressors to workers, and concentrate on preventing these areas of concerns.

You are able to download the national standard for free and receive more information from the following link: https://www.mentalhealthcommission.ca/English/national-standard

If you would be interested in discussing implementing a mental health in the workplace program, please contact Pacific Safety at info@pacificsafety.ca or call us on 604-278-3512

 

Posted in: Blog

Gauging Success in Safety

Date: May 31st, 2017

On April 28th many workplaces held ceremonies for Day of Mourning commemorating workers who were fatally injured in the workplace. Less than one month later yet another worker has lost his life at work in BC. A construction worker was thrown from his cab recently as his equipment rolled down a slope, unfortunately the worker suffered fatal injuries. Based on statistics in BC, we can expect that an average of three workers a week may lose their lives in the workplace each year.

These occurrences are tragic, and it is easy for many of us to look at them and think about where the shortcomings may have been, and consider what we might have done differently. For some of us, these tragic incidents may actually serve as a beacon that we need to reconsider our own H&S programs, and the safety of our workers. There may be some amendments to policies, programs, possibly renewed initiatives, and maybe even some cultural change.

Gauging Success

One health and safety challenge many organizations face is the difficulty in gauging H&S success.  How well have we done our jobs?  How do we know that the actions we just took prevented a significant injury, or prevented an incident such as the one that occurred this month? The results and benefits for doing something right, are often more difficult to gauge and recognize, and less tangible than the outcomes, and consequences of things going wrong.  When looking at safety culture in the workplace, we try hard not to get things wrong, but how do we gauge degrees of success, and know we’re doing it right, without the contrasting degrees of failure?

Focus on What’s Right

Rather than focus on managing safety through the relatively easy and reactive approach of looking at things that didn’t go as planned when they occur (such as near misses, failed controls, and injuries), focusing daily on the things that are going well, and are getting done can be significantly more effective.  Setting frequent targets combined with a daily proactive checklist will set up a monitoring program that can report on the frequency, and quality with which the targets are met. Some examples of proactive, leading aspects of workplace safety that can be monitored include:

  • Toolbox talks
  • Safety shares
  • Equipment inspections
  • Hazard assessments
  • Hazard corrections
  • Lockout and Tagout records
  • Site inspections

Monitoring proactive health and safety activities can have a number of impacts:

  • Identifying opportunities for improvement and correction can address concerns before they go wrong
  • Over time, trends can be identified that show where the most likely areas of non-compliance may exist, allowing additional resource to correct those areas, and potential root causes
  • Using a checklist allows for the recognition and monitoring of the things that are going well which can be as important or more important than identifying areas that aren’t performing ideally

Shifting Concept of Failure

Over time, and with the organizations full support and buy in, we have seen clients shift the concept of failure from relatively uncommon singular and significant failures (such as injuries, and major loss type incidents) and the concept that we’re successful if these aren’t occurring, to one that monitors more frequent minor safety deviations that haven’t met the organizations expectations.

A stronger focus can be put on the successes that the organization has achieved, with these many minor failures presenting many opportunities for minor corrections that can be corrected to create future success, and demonstrating that the organization is achieving success on a weekly or monthly basis, or at a minimum has identified many opportunities for improvement which can also be deemed a success (providing the improvements are put in place).

This is a healthier, more proactive approach to managing the concept of success, and gauging success, over reactively responding to failures.  It’s a shift in culture that requires significant support from management, but that can have significant impacts on the organizations view of success and failure in safety, and how they manage both.

 

Posted in: Blog

Welcome Sarah

Date: April 27th, 2017

Say hello to the newest member of Pacific Safety. Sarah Slater BSc.,  has joined our team as a Safety Advisor. She has a Bachelors Degree in Applied Environmental Science from Strathclyde University in Scotland and NEBOSH National General Certificate in Occupational Health and Safety.

Sarah most recently worked as a Training Superintendent and Health, Safety & Environment (HSE) Advisor for a waste management and recycling company that operated 6 facilities in British Columbia. She also comes to us with seven years experience in the Aluminum industry as a Health, Safety, Environment and Quality Specialist, specializing in Training & Development and Safety & Environmental Management Systems.

Posted in: Blog, Latest News

Key Amendments to the BC Occupational Health & Safety Regulation

Date: April 12th, 2017

As well as updates pertaining to Asbestos, WorkSafeBC announced a number of amendments to the British Columbia Occupational Health & Safety Regulation.   Please see this summary of changes and for more information visit here.

Combustible and Flammable Liquids

✓   Update to Section 1.1

  • Definitions updated to remove outdated WHMIS 1988 terms
  • The flashpoint temperature criteria will remain the same and continue to be consistent with BC Fire Code definiti

Area Guards and Handrails

✓   New subsection in section 4.56

  • Easier to have compliant movable work platforms and scaffolds aligned with CSA and ANSI standards.

Environmental Tobacco Smoke and E-Cigarette Vapour

✓   Update to sections 4.80.1, 4.81, 4.82 & 28.9

  • Now include e-cigarette vapour

✓   No smoking buffer zone increased from 3 meters to 6 meters

  • Effective since 01-Sep-16
  • Regulation now brought into alignment

Combustible or Flammable Air Contaminants

✓   Update to section 5.71 (2) Chemical Agents and Biological Agents

  • Addition of combustible air contaminants
  • Ensures compliance with BC Electrical Code for related equipment contacting the airstream of a ventilation system

Inventory of Asbestos Containing Materials

✓   Update to section 6.4-6.66 & 6.32 Substance Specific Requirements

  • Makes it clear that both Owner and Worksite are responsible;
  • Adds obligation for Owner to ensure asbestos inventories are completed;
  • Clarity on information required for inventories and retention of inventory rec

Lead

✓   Expansion of Sections 6.58-6.69

  • Clearer more detailed instructions on handling of lead containing products and prevention of worker exposure;
  • Allow a qualified person to determine whether peer-reviewed research exposure data, or previous exposure monitoring data, may be used to estimate worker exposure during equivalent work operations — either to evaluate the effectiveness of existing controls or to develop effective control

Rock Dust Silica

✓   Updates to Part 6

  • New heading, indicating the provisions apply to respirable crystalline silica (RCS) and rock dust;
  • Sections 6.110 to 6.112 being repealed and replaced with new provisions designed to protect workers from risks of RCS;
  • Sections 6.113 to 6.115 will be maintained with minor edits;
  • Changes will  allow  a  qualified  person  to  determine  whether  peer-reviewed research exposure data, or previous exposure monitoring data, may be used to estimate worker exposure during equivalent work operations — either to evaluate the effectiveness of existing controls or to develop effective control

Chassis dynamometer

✓   Addition to section 12.83.1

  • Safeguarding requirements  for  the  testing  of  motor  vehicles  on  chassis dynamomet

Scaffolds

✓   Addition to Section 13.11

  • Require scaffolds that support powered hoists or cranes be constructed, installed, and used according to a professional engineer’s instructions

Cranes and hoists

✓   Update to Part 14

  • Unnecessary definitions removed from Section 4.1;
  • Addition of one line of text to 14.2(8) to exclude light duty portable material hoists from the requirement to meet the CSA Standard;
  • Changes to sections 14.5 and 14.11 clarify the rated capacity of cranes, hoists, and monorail cranes;
  • o Changes to section 14.81 incorporate the Prevention Manual policy on how testing should be performed for limit and warning devices on tower c

Notice of Project for Construction

✓   Amendments expand the scope of the NOP submission responsibility to also include employers, in addition to owners and prime contractors;

✓   The notice period to submit an NOP to WorkSafeBC has increased from 24 to 48 hours before the work activity begins at the worksite;

✓   The amendments require that information be resubmitted to WorkSafeBC as soon as possible if any of the information in the NOP changes significantly.

Underground Supervisors

✓   Revision of Section 22.12 (1) and (2)

  • clarity to what the role of the underground supervisor is, and how to be considered qualified for the job.

Saw Chain Shot

✓   Addition of Section 26.13.4

  • Provides details on safety controls for saw chain

Additional Amendments

Joint Health and Safety Committee Regulation Changes (In Force Apr 3)

As of April 3 2017 there were changes to the Joint Health and Safety Committee requirements, which involved changes to:

✓    Section 3.26

  • Annual Evaluation to assess the committee’s effectiveness

✓   Section 3.27

  • Mandatory  minimum   training   and   education   for   the   committee   and representatives

✓   Section 3.28

  • Clarifies  the   meaning   of   “participation”   in   section   174   of   the   Workers Compensation Act.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding these amendments, please feel free to contact us or visit the WSBC site.

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WorkSafeBC & the Province Take on Asbestos Safety & Awareness

Date: April 5th, 2017

Last month, the BC Government announced the formation of a cross-ministry working group to ensure that British Columbians are adequately protected from the dangers of asbestos.  This asbestos working group will take a broad approach and work  to identify, review and report on a range of issues around asbestos, including worker safety, building renovation and abatement matters, environmental protection, and public health and awareness.

The new working group will rely on expertise from:

  • Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Responsible for Labour;
  • Ministry of Environment;
  • Ministry of Community, Sport and Cultural Development;
  • Ministry of Natural Gas Development and Responsible for Housing;
  • Ministry of Health; and
  • WorkSafeBC.

WorkSafeBC also started an Asbestos Awareness Initiative that includes planned inspections of residential demolition and renovation sites to ensure all involved are fully aware and are complying with the Occupation Health and Safety Regulation.

WSBC has also updated the section pertaining to the Inventory of Asbestos Containing Materials.  The update to section 6.4-6.66 & 6.32 Substance Specific Requirements:

  • Makes it clear that both Owner and Worksite are responsible
  • Adds obligation for Owner to ensure asbestos inventories are completed
  • Clarity on information required for inventories and retention of inventory records

Asbestos remains the number one workplace killer in British Columbia.

 

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2017: Continued Growth and Activity

Date: March 22nd, 2017

Continual Improvement

In order to continually improve our customer service, our team is always evaluating and assessing our level of education and looking for innovative and effective ways to provide our clients with a high level of service. Our principle consultant, Fernando De Melo, has been hard at work at the Sauder School of Business for his Lean Six Sigma Green Belt Certification to help continually find more efficient ways for the Pacific Safety team to provide value. The team also recently completed the Insights personality assessment to help focus on individual, and team strengths, and opportunities to work more effectively all around.

Lights, Camera, Safety

In February, Scott and Fernando did an engaging and informative presentation at the ActSafe Event Safety Conference.

The Conference, took place on February 21st to the 22nd 2017, and brought together people who provide support to the live event industry. For their presentation they looked at a variety of issues including:

  •  The hierarchy of controls and practical workplace examples within the audience
  •  Identifying input factors within a risk register
  •  Evaluating a task/hazard within your sector
  •  Conducting a pre-risk assessment for that task
  •  Evaluating the residual risk factors
  •  Determining the priorities for controls

Out and About

Did we see you at the Construction Expo at the Agriplex in Cloverdale? We had a great time chatting with all who attended the Expo. James also did a fantastic job representing us to Prime Asia TV.

Conclusion

Spring 2017 is shaping up to be a busy quarter. Keep up with us on our twitter feed and look out for Pacific Safety case studies outlining some of the challenges, and successes of some of client projects, as well as ongoing informative blog posts on current, and leading OH&S topics.

 

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Video: Terry Schulz on the Value of a Culture of Safety for his Company

Date: March 3rd, 2017

TG Schulz Ltd. has been the general contractor of choice for numerous projects around Vancouver and the Fraser Valley Area.  Originally, Terry was looking for ‘just’ a Safety Manual in order be certified and therefore more qualified to take on different projects.   However, after working with Pacific Safety, the staff quickly understood that safety was more than “gobbledygook” in a manual, rather a safer and more efficient way to approach their projects.

Working with Pacific Safety has allowed his company to bid on bigger and higher quality projects.


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Video: Learn About Pacific Safety’s Hazard Prevention Program for the BCMEA

Date: February 20th, 2017

Pacific Safety was an integral partner when it came to creating a sustainable Hazard Prevention Program for the BCMEA Waterfront Training Centre.  The centre, located on 6 acres of land on Mitchell Island, is a world-class waterfront training facility that supports a wide range of hands-on practical training for heavy equipment operation in a safe environment.   Glenn Williams, Manager of Safety Systems for the BC Maritime Employers Association took a moment from his busy schedule to share why he recommends Pacific Safety to members of the association and beyond.

Watch the full video here:

To learn more about what Pacific Safety can do for you.  Contact us here.

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Merry Christmas and a Safe, Healthy and Prosperous New Year from the Pacific Safety Family

Date: December 22nd, 2016

 

From the Pacific Safety family, we want to say thank you to all our friends and partners for your support this year.

We wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas and a safe, healthy and prosperous new year

Posted in: Blog

Festive Indulgence, Prudence, and Abstinence

Date: November 25th, 2016

Safety is a conscious effort at the best of times. While engineered controls can protect people from hazards, they seldom can protect people from themselves and safety is inherently about the people.  Approaching the holiday season, it is easy to find people’s minds distracted by the increased demands on themselves.

Over the next few weeks the sprint to 2017 will begin.  Peoples thoughts turn to Christmas parties, and gifts, airports will fill with the hustle and bustle of family and friends flying to spend time with loved ones, and we often try to fit in more than perhaps we normally would, at the expense of our health.  Perhaps we stay out a little later just this one night.  Have an extra drink this one time, feel obligated to have that second helping of dinner, or just a few more chocolates.  It is a time of indulgence in some ways.

Fatigue from an increase in late nights socializing, seasonal impacts such as daylight savings (Barnes and Wagner), decrease in sunlight and a cumulative loss of sleep, increased workloads, and an increase in consumption and use of drugs and alcohol, and you can see a number of factors that can be like adding fuel to a fire when it comes to increasing risk in the workplace.

While having an office worker misplace a file, inadequately proof a document, or forget to send a quote can be serious, consider the impact on industries with higher risk activities.

Pilots flying over the holiday period are subjected to the same social demands, but must be aware of their surroundings at all times, and be in a competent state to respond to potential issues that could put their crew and passengers at risk.

Equally, workers in mining, oil and gas, marine and construction industries are working in high risk environments where despite controls set to protect workers from potentially catastrophic risk levels, worker error can lead to significantly increased risks.

So if additional employee health strains at this time of year can contribute to already existing risk in the workplace, how do you help to prevent adding fuel to the proverbial fire?  Reduce the fuel, the potential causes that may lead to indulgence, and a decrease in safe work awareness.  The following are considerations that may help you manage some of the above seasonal indulgences with the help of a little prudence, and the touch of abstinence:

  • Many benefit packages do not rollover at the end of the year, and include registered massage therapy as a benefit. Encouraging employees to get a therapeutic massage is a great way to use benefits, and reduce stress at this time of year.
  • Try and keep workloads in mind to avoid cramming work into the run up to the holidays
  • Encourage flexi-time in the lead up to the holidays to allow workers to ease into the holidays and get extracurricular activities done, or even just wake up or go home in sunlight!
  • Provide a healthy gift for employees, a yoga class, consultation with a health nutritionist, or dietician to provide incentive to indulge less, and start the new year off on a healthier foot.
  • Discuss entering the team in a team building event like the Tough Mudder or Spartan races to try and maintain a healthy focus over the winter period.
  • Celebrate the holidays with an activity that gets your team active such as curling, indoor climbing or other activities that may shift the focus off alcohol or drugs.
  • Host your Christmas party in November or January. Helps free up time for employees and also maybe save you a bit of money.
  • Encourage a family themed holiday gathering which also can keep indulgences down to a minimum.
  • Hold your Christmas party in the afternoon giving employees a chance to get to bed at a reasonable time.
  • Elimination is the best control, don’t hold a Christmas event, but instead provide your employees with extra time with family and friends, and/or maybe a giftcard or bonus in lieu of the money spent on the traditional Christmas party.

In short, exercising a little prudence can lead to a little indulgence and doesn’t have to mean complete abstinence from some of festive fun on the horizon, or an increase in risk at work. Don’t leave your planning till too late, or you may be adding fuel to your own fire, increasing your own stress and fatigue! Talk to your team, and start planning now, and enjoy the holidays when they arrive.

 

*Changing to daylight saving time cuts into sleep and increases workplace injuries.
Barnes, Christopher M.; Wagner, David T.
Journal of Applied Psychology, Vol 94(5), Sep 2009, 1305-1317.http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/a0015320

 

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Navigating the Future of OHS

Date: October 17th, 2016

At the recent CSSE Professional Development Conference, here in Vancouver, Pacific Safety had one question for attendees:  Tell us what’s on your mind when it comes to OHS in Canada and
become part of our living mural at booth #17?

We received varied and thoughtful responses from the attendees who came from across Canada, and as far away as Australia and Africa.

There was alignment and consensus on the need to change the culture of safety in Canadian workplaces, greater employee engagement, providing healthy workplaces, focus on continual improvement, and balanced H&S roles and responsibilities in the workplace.

We also found interesting ideas such as inclusion of H&S into school curriculum, various calls for greater support of OHS students, graduates, and young professionals, a singular national OHS standard between all provinces and territories, and better use of technology to enhance safety knowledge and practice

This chart shows some of the more popular concepts shared on our dynamic mural that our wonderful artist, Annalee Kornelson created throughout the conference.

scotts-blog-post-no-2-image

Thought Trends

Many of the descriptions used to describe attendees’ thoughts referenced culture.   Looking a little closer at the categorizations in the top ten, many of them have very defined links to what many would identify as aspects of leading positive safety culture in the workplace:

  • Aligned perception of safety issues within all organizational stakeholders
  • Employee engagement
  • Balanced responsibilities between the OHS professional, supervisors, and workers
  • Effective OHS training and education

Culture is definitely influenced positively and negatively by the presence or absence of the above characteristics.  Those that responded to our question seem to have identified a trend towards improving culture by incorporating the above in an effective manner.

A second trend that was identified was the recurrence of youth as a theme.  There was virtually a lifecycle of concern for the young in relation to early education and awareness of OHS up to them becoming young OHS professionals.  Thoughts that came up regularly were:

  • Elementary school students receiving education on safety fundamentals in the curriculum
  • OHS students need to receive internships, sponsorship and support from the working world
  • The importance of ongoing development, mentorship, and coaching of young safety professionals.
  • The importance of networking and building knowledge amongst OHS professionals in general

In short, there were many thoughts on instilling good safety knowledge and awareness from a young age to ensure that as young students develop, their awareness of health and safety grows to provide guidance throughout their growth and development. Comments indicated hope that this awareness could continue beyond student’s education and into their young working careers.

It appeared that respondents hoped that some of these students would choose to further develop their OHS knowledge to become young, capable, confident, and competent safety professionals, while others develop into workplace employees, supervisors, managers with a healthy understanding of workplace health and safety.

Regardless of their role in the workplace, the vision appears to be that they all have a fundamental awareness, and respect for safety in the workplace. If this is the case perhaps it may prove to be the key to the future of navigating health and safety in Canadian work places across the country to keep Canadians safe, from Victoria, to St. Johns, Sydney or Ghana.

If you would like a copy of our dynamic mural that captures the vision of the future of OHS, click here.

Better yet, click on this link, and let’s book a time to talk about the opportunities available to contribute to the development of the next generation of safety conscious workers, supervisors, managers, and safety professionals to help navigate towards world class OHS culture, and healthier, safer workplaces for Canadians everywhere.

 

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Video: Why the Vancouver Airport Authority chooses Pacific Safety

Date: October 4th, 2016

Recently, our video team sat down with Kevin Hong, Manager Health & Safety at Vancouver Airport Authority to chat about the work that Pacific Safety has been doing with the Airport Authority over the past several years. Kevin spoke to us about the challenges of keeping 26,000 employees (and millions of visitors) safe every year, and how YVR is innovating to ensure the best possible working environment for everyone on-site.  For Kevin, Pacific Safety has enabled them to grow their culture of health & safety with their ability to build relationships with stakeholders, engineers and the project management teams involved in the continuous growth and change at the airport.

Watch the full video of Kevin’s interview here:

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Health and Safety Culture: Are you Leading or Lagging?

Date: September 14th, 2016

Your company’s health and safety culture is an extension of your overall organizational culture. It is rooted in your beliefs related to safety within the company. The term culture can be applied to biological, and anthropological sciences, and the world of business as well. A diverse term and concept for sure, the definitions of anthropological and organizational culture similarly focus on “beliefs”. Considering “safety” culture as an extension of organizational culture would indicate that safety culture is based on beliefs related to safety within the organization.

Where is your organization’s culture?

A question worth considering is where is your organization’s culture? What are its beliefs and expectations? Has your organization evolved towards a leading safety culture? Consider the following examples of a leading safety culture that actively promotes commitment to worker health and safety, and whether these examples may exist in your organization. Does your company:

  • Clearly outline and communicate safety beliefs and expectations throughout the organization.
  • Measure safety performance in relation to those beliefs and expectations.
  • Manage hazards and risk proactively.
  • Integrate safety into roles and responsibilities throughout the organization.
  • Ensure workers have access to, and follow safe work practices.
  • Provide additional safety support as and when needed.
  • Place the health and safety of their workers as an organizational priority.

Lagging organizations typically haven’t documented safety beliefs and expectations, making it difficult to manage risk and measure performance. As a result, safe habits and practices are less likely to be integrated into individual roles, resulting in a higher incidence of avoidable injury and accidents.

In practice, most organizations fall somewhere in between these two extremes.

Use the table below to determine where your organization can improve.

 

Leaders

Laggards

Safe Work Discussion

  • Talk about how work is performed
  • Are comfortable asking to walk through processes
  • Have employees that can confidently walk them through their safety processes
  • Aren’t clear on what safe work procedures exist
  • Don’t feel comfortable opening up about, or have trouble explaining, their company’s safe work procedures
  • Have confidently said “it won’t happen to me”

Hazard Management

  • Have implemented leading controls to identify good practice or opportunities to improve
  • Regularly perform safety inspections on equipment
  • Maintain a safe and healthy work environment
  • Are reactive to hazards instead of proactive
  • Put safety inspections on the backburner
  • Wonder why new recruits need training and don’t inherently “get” safety procedures

Safety Culture

  • Support their management teams
  • Aren’t afraid to talk safety & put safety first
  • See something wrong and aren’t afraid to speak up
  • Spend time now to prevent risk later
  • Find their management teams pester their leadership for support
  • Feel uneasy or uninformed when talking about safety
  • See something wrong but don’t say anything because they don’t know where to find the answer
  • –   Save time not learning, but pay for it in workplace accidents and loss

Challenges to building a safety culture.

People and organizations worldwide have proven that the evolution of culture, in any form, can result in the evolution of success. In an organization that is lacking a strong safety culture, employees may not be clear on what safe work procedures exist, what safe work procedures are required, or may be uncomfortable talking about them. Employee discomfort may be caused by the belief that safe work procedures don’t add value (skepticism), other colleagues not using or seeing value in them (the me-too mentality), or possibly because they don’t use them enough to be able to accurately describe them (lack of knowledge).

Not sure where to start?

If some of these leading organizational concepts sound good in theory but are a long way from where your organization is, you need to engage the right people and develop a plan. By booking your free 30-minute consultation, our experts will help determine how much assistance you need to become a safety leader in your industry. Improved culture is achievable, one evolutionary step at a time.

If you’re feeling overloaded in the face of all this information, don’t worry. That means that you’re probably realizing that your safety procedures aren’t as up to snuff as you thought. Contact us now for a FREE 30-minute consultation.

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Vancouver Airport Authority Safety Award

Date: November 3rd, 2015

Congratulations to the Vancouver Airport Authority for their hard work and recognition as leaders in health and safety. They won the Canadian Occupational Safety award as Canada’s Best Health and Safety Culture, and also won Gold in the Transportation Category. Congratulations to all the other winners also displaying leadership, and belief in the core values of workplace health and safety.

Vancouver Airport Authority are one of our longest term and most committed safety clients, which makes this achievement so rewarding. Read more about the award here…

Posted in: Successful Partnerships

Airside Operations Building (AOB) Project

Date: October 23rd, 2014

Project Length: 2 years
Client: Vancouver Airport Authority
Prime Contractor: Graham Construction

Vancouver International Airport’s state-of-the-art Airside Operations Building  will combine both the airside emergency response team, the airside operations team, as well as various support personnel into one building. Through the development of a collaborative, transparent partnership  with the General Contractor and the owner the Vancouver Airport Authority, Pacific Safety was able to establish clear health and safety expectations, and performance requirements.  The project successfully completed early steel erection, groundworks, and internal fit out stages with no significant injuries.   This project is currently approaching completion and is expected to receive occupancy by the end of 2014.

Posted in: Successful Partnerships

A-B Connector Project

Date: December 23rd, 2013

Project Length: 2.5 years
Client: Vancouver Airport Authority
Prime Contractor: Ledcor

The A-B Connector project is currently one of the largest construction projects in the lower mainland, and will join  the existing A pier of Vancouver Airport, to the newly developed B pier.  This highly complex, large scale project required significant communication, coordination and planning amongst all stakeholders. The project is nearing completion, and is expected to be operational by spring 2014. Pacific Safety has supported  in navigating an aggressive construction schedule by setting pro-active safety initiatives throughout the project and keeping safety of continual safety presence. The project has operated well below injury frequency rate averages for the B.C. construction industry, and is close to achieving the Airport Authorities stringent H&S frequency rate targets.

Posted in: Successful Partnerships

Expedited Transfer Facilities (ETF) Project

Date: November 23rd, 2013

Project Length: 2.0 years
Client: Vancouver Airport Authority
Prime Contractor: PCL

The Expedited Transfer Facilities project will transport passengers from the domestic terminal, to the international terminal quickly, and efficiently, reducing travel time between the terminals significantly.  The project has been broken into phases, and  Pacific Safety has supported safety management from ground break, to steel erection, and occupancy.  This has resulted in quick and efficient responses to any OHS concerns throughout the projects. Pacific Safety has worked closely with both the PCL Supervisory, and H&S teams to manage potential safety issues as and when they are identified.

Posted in: Successful Partnerships

Roofing Safety Management System

Date: October 23rd, 2013

Project Length: 1 year with ongoing implementation support
Client: Franklin Roofing Systems

Working with Franklin Roofing Systems to establish an integrated safety management system that met their unique working environment and met their “excellence in service” business model. This was a fantastic partnership with Franklin Roofing Systems Senior management and entire team. Working with such a committed group of people made the project a success. The collaboration allowed us to develop a corporate risk register that was relevant to the entire team. Spending the time getting that component right ‘roofed’ the way into policy writing and standard operating procedures development. The practical implementation roll-out was embraced by the team members and only required slight tweaking into its second year.

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Integrated Safety Management System

Date: May 26th, 2013

Project Length: 1 year
Client: Nightingale Electrical

Nightingale Electrical provides industry leading electrical services across a broad range of construction sectors. Nightingale was founded in 1984 and has grown steadily through all the booms and busts by adhering to a strict customer focused work ethic.

Senior Management is committed to providing a safe workplace for their most valuable asset, their employees. The implementation of a safety management system included the development of a on-boarding orientation for all new and young workers. This included the development of an instructor lead orientation program that incorporated a HD video presentation, checklist, NEL OHS field handbook as well as Supervisor Safety training program

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