Charter CEOs Well Represented At Manufacturing Safety Conference

The BC Safety Charter was well represented at the November 4, 5 Make it Safe Manufacturing Safety Conference held in Burnaby, BC. One of the highlights of the conference was the CEO panel organized for the first day of the conference.

The panel included Ben Hume, President of Sheppards Building Materials and Chair of the BC Safety Charter Steering Committee; Rick Gibbs, President of Neutron Factory Works and a Charter signatory, as well as Julie Kaisla, Manager of Workplace Initiatives at the Canadian Mental Health Association.

The panel was hosted and led by Maureen Shaw, former President and CEO of the Industrial Accident Prevention Association (IAPA) and a leading advocate for health, safety and mental well-being in the workplace.

Gibbs spoke passionately about the fact that, in his own personal journey towards better health and safety in BC workplaces, he was surprised to find out how little he knew about the issues facing his employees and those in all workplaces in BC.

“It’s almost as though mental health issues have been invisible,” said Gibbs, stressing that all employers must understand the importance of the mental, as well as the physical, well-being of their employees.

Ben Hume spoke of the tremendous commitment on the part of the employers of the BC Safety Charter to the cause of increasing health and safety by reducing injury rates.

He also spoke of their commitment to doing all they can to go above and beyond the requirements of the BC government’s Bullying and Harassment legislation by adopting a best-practices approach to the issue of mental well-being in the workplace.

Julie Kaisla spoke about some of the details of the legislation and the responsibilities of employers in meeting the terms of the legislation and advised employers and health and safety professionals to become familiar with the special section of WorkSafeBC’s website devoted to the legislation.

The Charter has taken a leadership role in helping CEOs and business leaders understand and exceed their responsibilities under the new legislation.


ePACT Network – Supporting Your Culture Of Safety

‘Safety first’ is a motto which gets tossed around a lot. But how do we ensure it is really the case for our company and our employees? We’d like to introduce you to ePACT, an online network that supports you and your team through all of life’s emergencies.

Today, most companies store the personal and emergency contact information for their employees in HR systems, spreadsheets or paper forms. One of the problems with this approach is that during an emergency at the office, plant or in the field, this critical information cannot be immediately accessed or used when it is needed most.

ePACT brings these static records to life with anytime-anywhere access to information and communications on your mobile device.

ePACT is a single solution to manage all of your safety and emergency preparedness needs in the following ways:

  • The system goes beyond mass notifications, so you can instantly communicate with your employees, their families and the public via text, email, voice and app
  • In a natural disaster, ePACT provides a way for your employees to communicate with their loved ones, even if phone lines are down
  • In addition, ePACT ensures the most effective response to a crisis, as authorized team members can access up-to-date and accurate emergency information for your staff

ePACT ensures your company’s commitment to safety is followed from senior management to the front lines.

Take a look at ePACT’s guides and resources to further support your company’s safety initiatives at Contact Graham at or 604-816-9106 to set-up a free demo of ePACT.

Charter Membership Soars

Membership in the BC Safety Charter shot up during 2013 and 2014 so that before 2015 has even begun, we are within reach of our target of having 150 members by the end of 2015.

As of November 24, 2014, membership in the Charter sits at 134 and is expected to rise in advance of the annual BC Safety Charter roundtable event scheduled for April 30th, 2015.

“The response we have received from BC business leaders over the last two years has been nothing short of phenomenal,” says Charter Steering Committee Chair Ben Hume.

“We started in 2011 with a core group of 23 very committed companies and individuals,” says Hume.

“By January of 2013 that number had almost doubled but, watching the membership grow from November of 2012 through to the end of 2014 has been heart-warming and encouraging,” he added.

Hume says he believes the core values which the Charter represents and the deep commitment of its membership have been key factors in its growth.

In addition, the fact that the organization regularly provides top-notch events, workshops, speakers and opportunities for Charter members to learn from experts and from one another has kept the Charter relevant and helped it to become an important initiative for BC business.

“Not everybody is aware of the tools, resources and support provided to Charter members, be it through the support provided by FIOSA-MIOSA and the Occupational Safety Standard of Excellence (OSSE) or the ongoing opportunities for CEOs and signatories to simply get together and learn from one another,” he says.

Hume emphasizes that, because of the objectives set out every year by the Steering Committee, and due to the commitment of the membership, the Charter is taking on current and evolving challenges faced by BC manufacturers including the measurement of health and safety through tools like the KPI Index, mental well-being in the workplace, combustible dust, the impending skills shortage, the cost of health and safety and other issues BC manufacturers face in today’s fragile economy.

“The fact that we have shown so much growth in a soft economy, I believe, speaks volumes to our value to our members,” he says.


For a complete list of Charter members simply click here.


Trevor Linden To Speak At The Make It Safe Conference Nov 4, 5

Canucks President will share passion for health and safety

President of the Vancouver Canucks Trevor Linden will be speaking at the Make it Safe BC Manufacturing Safety Conference in Burnaby on November 4 from 11:45 am to 12:15 pm. Linden will then have a meet-and-greet from 12:15 pm – 1:15 pm.

Linden, a signatory and supporter of the BC Safety Charter, became a business owner when he retired from his playing career, starting the successful chain Club 16 Trevor Linden Fitness outlets.

“I learned to care for my employees’ health and safety in the same manner in which I cared for my teammates and fought for players’ safety in the NHL,” says Linden.

Linden was President of the National Hockey League Players’ Association (NHLPA) for eight year from 1998 to 2006.
Linden has referred to the teamwork it requires to build a successful business and the leadership role that is required of business owners, executives and managers in ensuring that staff, employees, contractors and all those who contribute to the growth and success of the business are at the forefront of the leader’s mind.
“Leadership requires commitment and your people need to know you are on their side.”
Linden was named President of the Vancouver Canucks April 9, 2014

Return On Investment of People, Processes & Economics

Make It Safe is the newest and fastest growing safety conference in Western Canada. With hundreds of attendees from

all over Western Canada, the conference provides an opportunity for health and safety professionals to meet and catch up on the latest trends and issues in Occupational Health and Safety.

Speakers for the two day event will deal with topics such as the People, Processes and Economics of health and safety and breakout sessions will be devoted to some of the most pressing and challenging issues in health and safety management.

The Business Case for Safety and a breakdown of the specific Returns On Investment (ROIs) from an effective health and safety management system will be discussed in a special session. This is particularly relevant in today’s uncertain economy.
Other topics will include Machine Guarding, Mental Health in the Workplace, the new Anti-Bullying and Harassment legislation in BC and the new WHMIS requirements will also be reviewed.

Trevor Linden Helps Make it Safe Conference Strike A Human Chord

While the Canucks had their plate full this week, facing some of their toughest competition in the Western conference, Canucks president Trevor Linden took time out of his busy schedule to speak at the Make it Safe Manufacturing Safety Conference and to make a young boy’s day.

“Trevor demonstrated what this conference was all about by stepping out of his busy and demanding life and touch someone who, more than anyone, needs to understand his right to have a safe and healthy workplace when he grows up,” said FIOSA-MIOSA CEO Lisa McGuire of Linden’s speech.

Beckett Cross delighted delegates at the two-day conference held in Burnaby with a discussion about hockey (Beckett is an avid minor hockey player) and traded stories with Linden during his address to delegates. When Cross mentioned he plays on a team with Kevin Bieksa’s son, Linden, after asking if the boys were any good, suggested the three of them should sit down and talk after the conference.

Cross later dropped by the BC Safety Charter exhibit to get an autograph (see photo).

The conference, devoted to the Return on Investment of People, Processes and Economics, is put on every year by the FIOSA-MIOSA Safety Alliance of BC and brings health and safety professionals from all over BC and Western Canada together for two days of breakout sessions, panels and keynote speakers devoted to the latest developments in health, safety and well-being.

Linden spoke Tuesday morning about what he learned in his playing years about safety and how he transferred that knowledge and passion into the business world when he founded Trevor Linden Club 16 Fitness.


A signatory and strong supporter of the BC Safety Charter, Linden spoke passionately about his years at the head of the NHL Players Association and the many safety issues they had to deal with. He described how he was able to transfer the care for his teammates and fellow players to his employees at Club 16 Fitness.

“Leadership is about ensuring that all employees understand and share the values and characteristics of the organization,” Linden told delegates. Describing his mentor, former Canucks GM and coach Pat Quinn, as the man who taught how to be a professional and a leader.

“For Pat it always came down to respect,” Linden says. “He asked a lot of his players but he respected each one of us for our specific, unique abilities.”

Linden was but one of several BC business leaders and health and safety experts to address the conference.

Keynote Speakers

Dr. Richard Pimentel, a Vietnam war vet, who changed history and tore down barriers for the disabled, gave a passionate address about Return-to-Work (RTW) programs and the need to have RTW programs focus on what injured workers can do rather than what they are unable to do.

“The price of support should not be your dignity,” Pimentel told the delegates.

Kevin Burns, President and CEO of ZeroSpeak Corporation provided an inspiring address on the process successful companies use to instill a safety attitude and build an engaged culture of safety in their organization.
Burns told delegates that’s safety is much more than a book on a shelf.

“Safety is a process and you must trust the process,” he says.

By the end of his speech delegates were eagerly shouting out “Trust the process,” whenever he prompted them.

National Board member of the Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters and past chair of CME’s British Columbia Division, Paul Boileau, addressed the conference on the savings business and industry can achieve by preventative action on health and safety.

Boileau is a passionate believer in the role of CEOs and business leaders in driving home the message of safety as an integral part of the culture of any organization. It was a message that resonated with delegates and was a central theme of the conference.

Kevin Burns, President and CEO of ZeroSpeak Corporation provided an inspiring address on the process successful companies use to instill a safety attitude and build an engaged culture of safety in their organization.

Burns told delegates that’s safety is much more than a book on a shelf. “Safety is a process and you must trust the process,” he says. By the end of his speech delegates were eagerly shouting out “Trust the process,” whenever he prompted them


Return On Investment

Lisa McGuire, CEO of FIOSA-MIOSA, the host organization for the conference, set the tone of the conference by telling the representatives of BC’s manufacturing industry that the fact that it was now acceptable to talk openly about the return on investment in health and safety was a measure of how far industry in BC has come.

“Our theme this year – Return on Investment of People, Processes & Economics – speaks well, I think, to the tremendous distance we have come in recent years in our journey towards a better, safer workplace,” McGuire told delegates adding, “Today we can talk openly about the return on investment in safety. The truth is, is it is our people – the human beings who shape our success – which matter most.”

Workplace Health And Safety

WorkSafeBC, one of the sponsors of the conference, was represented by Chris Back, Manager, Industry & Labour Services, who introduced to new tools (ISIC and ESPTK) which provide the ability for business owners and safety professionals to track their own health and safety data and make informed decisions about how and where to allocate their resources in order to improve safety.

Dr. Paul Amyotte, a Professor of Chemical Engineering, and the C.D. Howe Chair in Engineering, at Dalhousie University in Halifax, spoke about mitigation measures and effective ways of increasing protection against the risks associated with combustible dust in the workplace.

Other topics addressed by guest speakers and industry experts included: machine guarding, workplace mental health and wellness, and our brains at work. Breakout sessions during the two days focused on issues such as: musculoskeletal injuries, ergonomics, the HR and OHS perspective on corporate culture and how to manage the new generation – Generation ‘Y’ which is entering the work force.

Special sessions were devoted to two of FIOSA-MIOSA’s most successful programs – the Safety Pooling System, which allows companies to share the costs of health and safety, and the Occupational Safety Standard of Excellence (OSSE) which has become the BC Manufacturing Standard of Excellence.


OSSE is the accreditation program, offered by FIOSA-MIOSA, which is equivalent to and surpasses WorkSafeBC’s Partners in Injury and Disability Prevention Program.

The program includes a safety culture component and recognizes and rewards employers who go beyond the legal requirements of the Workers Compensation Act and the Occupational Health and Safety Regulation by taking a ‘best practices’ approach and promotes equally the concept of managing health and safety with other components necessary for a successful business such as profitability and productivity.

Corrie Pitzer, founder of SAFEmap International, provided a rousing discussion of the human strengths which can drive each of us to accomplish incredible feats and the need for health and safety programs to never lose the human touch or forget to rely on the human element.

“People deliver safety to you every day,” he told delegates, adding, “If you don’t know why they are successfully providing you with that … you had better find out quick instead of focusing on rules, policies and procedures which list the things people should not do.”

In closing the conference, Lisa McGuire thanked Jeremy Slater, Regional Sales Manager for Acklands Grainger, and Master of Ceremonies for the conference. “Acklands Grainger is a valued partner on many of our initiatives and we highly value their support and contribution towards our collective vision of reducing injuries,” she said.
All photos by Arne Huse