Kelowna Charter meeting a hit!

On Friday June 22nd BC Charter Signatories from the Okanagan met to discuss their top of mind safety concerns, and quickly identified that young and new workers training needs to be addressed.  Another topic that was explored was “focus and concentration with people doing repetitive tasks”.

Attendees spoke about their experiences over the past year, including attending other Charter events like the Round Table and breakfast forums.  Sandra Oldfield, recent recipient of the Ben Hume Award, spoke to the importance of good succession planning.  Chris Inkster talked about accountability and that a safety journeys are constantly evolving.  Derek Sienko shared his thoughts on the benefits of attending the Round Table, bringing other members up to speed at a high level on the event, including the Return to Work presentation by BC Transit, the Cannabis panel, and some of the networking and ideas sharing that took place.

Congratulations to Lesli Bradley, who renewed Sun-Rype’s commitment to safety by signing the Charter in front of her Okanagan peers.

Many thanks to local sponsors Diversified Rehabilitation and Freeport Industries for providing the venue and lunch.

SAVE THE DATE!  The next BC Safety Charter Round Table is April 25th 2019

2018 BC Safety Charter a huge success

The 2018 BC Safety Charter held on April 26th was a huge success.  Close to 70 people attended the event at the Terminal City Club, networking, sharing and learning from each other’s experiences.

This year’s panel discussion was on “Cannabis in the workplace” and the conversation was lively, interesting and productive.  Emcee Kathryn Gretsinger facilitated an excellent talk on what impairment is and what an employer can do with regards to policies around medicinal marijuana.  Many questions were asked from the floor and everyone came out of the discussion better informed.  An interesting statistic that was introduced was that someone who is “high” is 4 times as likely to have an accident if driving.

The Key Note Speaker – Brian Anderson, COO of BC Transit – gave an insightful talk on relationship building, taking care of employees and working with his union counterpart.  His speech started by saying they wanted to “do the right thing”, just like all the attendees in the room also believed.  By linking savings to safety Brian was able to convince his board that this was a path to success and was later able to prove it with a major decrease in time lost incidents.

BC Safety Charter forum on Accountability a Success

On October 20th, a dozen BCSC Signatories met for breakfast to discuss what accountability means to them. The event was sponsored by Dan Reader of Murry Latta Machines, and facilitated by Peter Wilken, of Dolphin Brand Strategies. Signatories created group definitions of what accountability means to both the Charter, and to their employees. Not surprisingly, to the question “What does Accountability mean to the Charter”, Signatories all responded with variants of:

“Accountability to the Charter means showing up to Charter events and being an active participant.”


“Be an Ambassador. Wear your BCSC pin, talk to your peers about safety and what it means to you as a member of the Charter.”

Attendees felt that it was important that Signatories should “walk the talk” and “Share your stories and experiences so that others can learn from you”.

The flip side of the question – “What does Accountability to your employees mean” – very closely reflected the comments above, but on a more local level:

“Build a safety culture, commit and show leadership, ‘walk the talk’”

There was also a discussion that companies should “Include Health & Safety in corporate goals” and “Work towards certification.”

An online KPI Measurement tool was introduced to attendees to wrap-up to the forum. This tool is being developed to support Signatories in creating annual benchmarks, allowing them to chart their safety progress and trends. It will allow signatories to see how they compare to others in the Charter, potentially broken down by industry, size of company and other demographics.

The next BC Safety Charter Round Table will be held on April 26th, 2018, at the Terminal City Club in Vancouver. Tickets will go on sale early in the new year.

Upcoming Event Announcement

The BC Safety Charter will be holding a forum on Accountability on October 20th, 2017.

Round Table 2018: Save the Date!!

The next BC Safety Charter Round Table will be on April 26th, 2018.  More details to follow.

Introducing George W. Higgins, BC Safety Charter Director

The Steering Committee is happy to announce that it has engaged George Higgins as the Director of the BC Safety Charter.  George will transition the BCSC into its own entity under the societies act over the next three years, including a new governance and financing model.  The annual “BC Safety Charter Roundtable” will continue to be the signature event, but also expect to see other smaller events focused on specific issues including Accountability, Succession Planning and Recognition.  Over the next few months George will be actively reaching out to Charter Signatories to solidify both the membership and the value proposition.  Additionally, the BCSC will be using LinkedIn as a centralized place to post information, articles, results of forums and have conversations.  The LinkedIn page is restricted to Signatories only.

About George

George is a public affairs and client services professional with nearly two decades of experience dealing with diverse stakeholders, the media, government officials and key decision makers.  George has worked closely with numerous industry associations in BC and has developed strong relationships with many industry leaders.  George’s educational background includes a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and a Graduate Certificate in Public Relations Management.  Other senior leadership roles that George has held include being the Caucus Coordinator for the former Mayor of Vancouver, being responsible for members and member communications for the Smart Tax Alliance and being the Coordinator of the Coalition of BC Businesses.

CEO Health & Safety Charter Visionary Duncan Hawthorne to Retire in 2016

Duncan Hawthorne, president and CEO of Bruce Power, the world’s largest operating nuclear facility and the source of roughly 30 per cent of Ontario’s electricity, announced his 2016 retirement plans last week. As the respected leader of over 4,000 employees in what is arguably one of the highest-risk industries Duncan inspired his team to seek continuous improvement and excellence in every facet of their operation.

Occupational health and safety is one area where Duncan has left a lasting legacy. As president and CEO at Bruce Power, Mr. Hawthorne led a program of focused safety improvement and demonstrated that safety excellence and commercial success go hand in hand. Duncan believed that safety leadership must start at the CEO level in order to deliver sustained performance improvement.

With these values in hand, Duncan was a driving force behind the original CEO Health and Safety Charter, a vision that encompassed the belief that breakthrough safety performance can only be achieved with strong sponsorship from senior leadership, a guiding coalition of key stakeholders, a process that engages the workforce, consistency and determination.

“This initiative creates a vehicle to allow companies to share in many good safety practices.  In this way, new levels of safety performance can be achieved and strong safety alliances forged. Engaging the senior leadership is key in ensuring that real change occurs.”

Duncan Hawthorne

Duncan proposed an initiative to achieve breakthrough performance in industrial safety across the country by proposing an alliance of government and business leaders from all regions. This proposal has evolved to become the foundation for pledges of safety by senior leaders in British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Nova Scotia, Ontario and Newfoundland & Labrador with several other jurisdictions in discussion.

Our ability to influence the hearts and minds of business leaders is owed in large part to the vision and dedication of Duncan Hawthorne. We wish him the best in his retirement and express our unwavering gratitude for the leadership he has shown in our shared pursuit of zero workplace injuries.

“The bottom line is that people sharing their expertise in any area and in any sector leads to improvement. When you factor in the natural drive that leaders have to improve their business, then ultimately performance improvement is very possible. Good safety performance is good business as far as I am concerned.”

Duncan Hawthorne

Original Charter signatory Fergal Nolan (1941-2016) passes away.

It is with heavy hearts that we share the news of the passing of Fergal Nolan; a friend, a leader and a mentor. Fergal was a signatory of the BC Safety Charter at the inaugural Leading Performance Conference in 2011 and was a strong supporter of our vision of inspiring a culture of workplace safety through his role as CEO of the Radiation Institute of Canada and as an individual. Our condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of Fergal.


Fergal Nolan was born in Dublin in 1941 and died at home in Toronto Jan 9, 2016.

Fergal was much loved by his parents, Carmel and Robert Nolan, his wife Stella Dahlin, his children Brendan, Aidan and Kirsten, his extended family and many friends.

As the eldest of ten children, Fergal took on many responsibilities at an early age. At the age of fifteen he moved to Canada from Dublin alone with five younger siblings. At first, he became one of the breadwinners for the family, when they settled in Alberta with his parents.

His keen mind was evident at an early age and his high school teacher encouraged and helped him continue his academic studies at the Universities of Saskatoon and Edmonton. He earned his Bachelor of Arts with full honours and was awarded both the Rutherford Gold medal as best student in English Literature and the Governor General’s medal as the best overall graduating student. Later, Fergal won a scholarship to study for his doctorate in Oxford, England. He earned his D. Phil. in 1977 after having met and married Stella there in 1974.

Fergal was compassionate and dedicated to helping others. He had a unique way of connecting with everyone and their stories and was a wonderful storyteller, himself. He joined the Basilian Fathers for five years as an “apprentice monk” while studying for his Bachelors and Masters degrees. Many of his friends originate from those years and he kept in close touch with them for the rest of his life.

Fergal taught English Literature at the University of Toronto. From there he moved to the University Administration, and then to the Ministry of Northern Affairs as a senior policy advisor responsible for social and health policy and aboriginal affairs. Among his achievements, he was instrumental in setting up small nursing homes attached to hospitals in the North, and to bring in air ambulances to Northern Ontario.

Fergal was on the founding board of The Radiation Safety Institute of Canada. The independent institute became well respected for its “good science in plain language”, a philosophy developed by Fergal as president and CEO. He served the institute with complete dedication, vision and energy for more than 30 years. In 2012 the Premier of Ontario awarded him the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal for his contribution to Radiation Safety in Canada and abroad.

Special thanks for their dedication and compassionate care go to Dr. Raymond Jang and Dr. Gail Darling. The family requests that in lieu of flowers, donations go to Princess Margaret Hospital Foundation (

Visitation will be at Cardinal Funeral Home, 92 Annette St, Toronto, M6P 1N6 on Fri Jan 15, 6-8pm; Funeral Mass Sat Jan 16, 11am at St Joan of Arc Church, 1701 Bloor Street West, Toronto, M6P 1B1.



Brian Scudamore: Business is All About People

BC Safety Charter signatory Brian Scudamore, Founder and CEO 1-800-GOT-JUNK?, You Move Me and WOW 1 DAY Painting is recognized as one of Canada’s leading entrepreneurs.

Winner of many leadership awards including The Globe and Mail’s Top 40 under 40,Fortune Small Business Best Bosses Award and a three-time winner of the Best Company To Work For award, Brian has built his business by investing in people with vision and the right attitude.

After 5 years in business Brian faced a hurdle that was impeding the further growth of his junk removal business: his employees. In a bold move that catapulted his business onto a path of future success, Brian fired all of his staff and started over.

“Business is all about people: finding the right people and treating them right. You’ve got to spend time with your people, care about them, understand what motivates them and show them how they fit into the vision.”
Brian Scudamore

The turning point for 1-800-GOT-JUNK? came as Brian rebuilt his business from the ground up with people who were personable, understood his vision and shared his passion. This freed Brian to pursue a direction of sustainability in his business including environmental stewardship (1-800-GOT-JUNK? recycles or donates 61% of everything they collect, keeping an estimated 2 billion pounds of junk out of landfills) and investing in his employees.

In addition to offering 5 weeks of vacation to all employees, maternity leave top-up payments and flexible return to work arrangements for new mothers, ongoing employee development with tuition subsidies for courses and professional accreditation, Brian offers a profit-sharing plan that is available to all employees to keep them fresh and motivated.

Brian’s newest endeavor is a commitment to worker safety and a promise to his workforce to make the necessary changes to ensure their well-being. As a proud BC Safety Charter signatory, Brian Scudamore is proving yet again that leadership is an integral part of every organization and investing in the people who make up your company makes great business sense.


BC Jobs Plan Discounted Training Opportunities

As a result of the Canada – BC Job Grant* program FIOSA-MIOSA members can qualify for a 2/3 rebate of the cost of all training, up to a maximum of $10,000 per employee per year.

As all companies with 20 full-time equivalent employees or more must have a Joint Health and Safety Committee (JHSC) and, as each employer must offer all employees eight hours of training per year, this program makes perfect sense and makes training very cost effective.

A typical one-day FIOSA-MIOSA training course costs $1,100. Using this program you would receive a refund of $733.00, so that the actual cost of the course would only be $367.00.

In addition, we have developed training packages for those wishing to purchase two courses or more from us per year:

  1. One Course – $1100 with 2/3 rebate from the Govt. = You Pay $367
  2. Two Courses – $1000 per course with 2/3 rebate from the Govt. = You Pay $333 per course
  3. Three Courses – $900 per course with 2/3 rebate from the Govt. = You Pay $300 per course
  4. Four Courses – $800 per course with 2/3 rebate from the Govt. = You Pay $267 per course

Should you wish to take advantage of these Governmentt funds, we can assist in completing the forms they require. Simply call Jennifer or Patti at 604.858.9979 for further information.

We have limited training capabilities, so we are operating on a first come, first served basis.

* The Canada – BC Job Grant program, funded by the *Government of Canada and administered by the Province of BC, is an innovative cost-sharing program that helps BC employers offset the cost of training for new or current employees by sharing the cost of employee training. Employers can receive up to two-thirds of the cost of training to a maximum government contribution of $10,000 per grant. The amount of the grant is per individual to be trained. Employers must contribute the remaining one-third. Currently, there are no limits on the number of grants an employer can receive.

Employers are responsible for the full cost of the training upfront. The employer will be reimbursed 2/3 of the cost of training within 60 days of the first day of training (provided the employer has submitted the Reimbursement Request form).

The process to apply for this program has three steps and all documents are included in the one package:

  • Eligibility Checklist
  • Preliminary Employer Application
  • Preliminary Participant Application

Take advantage of these significant reimbursements of training costs. We can assist in completing the forms required.

Simply call Jennifer or Patti at 604.858.9979 for further information.