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 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.”