Protecting People. Protecting Business.
2018 Annual Report
At WSPS, we help employers and workers ensure there is a tomorrow, filled with possibilities. When health and safety are priorities and life is uninterrupted, people can go on to follow their dreams. Employees can learn and grow, knowing they work in a safe and healthy environment and businesses can flourish, with reduced stop time, more efficient operations and less negative impact to their reputations. Potential is realized.
As our 2018 Annual Report illustrates, we have shared many successes with our stakeholders over the past year. However, we realize that our work is never done. One workplace fatality is too many. Potential must always be protected.
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Our ISO 9001:2015 certification sets us apart and signifies our commitment to quality across all our processes, from identifying customer needs to developing and delivering targeted solutions.
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View our archived Annual Reports.
Helping to keep Ontarians safe
A digital approach to reaching young workers
Dedicated to educating young people on workplace safety, WSPS' Safety Say What? digital campaign was launched in October 2018.
Targeted to 15-24 year olds, the campaign encourages young workers to speak up and ask their employers questions. It includes a presence on Instagram (#safetysaywhat), a website (safetysaywhat.ca), digital ads and the use of online influencers to spread the campaign message.
Early results show the campaign has garnered over 5.5 million total impressions and more than 170,000 views of influencer and ad video content. The ad campaign alone has reached over 600,000 individuals, with the majority viewing the ads several times. This means around one-third of all youth in Ontario have been exposed to the ads' messaging1.
1 Gene Metrics Report, April 18, 2019
Keeping pedestrians safe at Coca-Cola
When National Environment and Safety Manager David Roberts joined Coca-Cola in 2013, he found that a significant number of near misses were occurring between pedestrians and mechanized equipment and the controls in place were focused too heavily on behaviour.
Roberts reached out to WSPS for assistance. Together, they walked through Coca-Cola's largest Canadian manufacturing, warehousing and distribution centre-a 24-hour facility spanning 1 million square feet-to see where improvements could be made. The WSPS team also interviewed employees and management, and reviewed processes, documentation and training programs in support of developing recommendations for improvement.
Coca-Cola formed multi-level functional work teams which included management, employees, and union representatives to implement the changes. Using the hazard information that had been collected and WSPS' recommendations, they were tasked with identifying new controls that would maintain or enhance operational efficiency.
The collaboration between WSPS and Coca-Cola resulted in the development of a comprehensive traffic route prevention program affecting nearly 3,000 employees. The teams also identified opportunities to enhance efficiency, productivity and relationship building across the organization:
- Forklifts now have straight runs with no pedestrian concerns so they can move at a faster speed.
- Pickers can focus on their work without fear of vehicles moving around them.
- Storage capacity was increased as a result of re-engineering the space to meet safety requirements.
- Training is now more focused and specifically designed for these work environments.
- Expectations of visitors and contractors have been clearly defined.
- Meetings, now led by representatives of management and the union, are far more efficient and focused.
- Relationships have evolved to become more collaborative and constructive.
- Trust and understanding of decisions have deepened due to open communication and transparency.
With WSPS' assistance, Coca-Cola has repeated this process at five additional manufacturing locations that also have distribution and warehouse facilities, and lessons and best practices are being shared with smaller distribution and warehouse operations across Canada.
"I have used the services of WSPS throughout my career. I have seen that having an ongoing relationship with a proven safety excellence provider contributes to lowering overall incident rates. As a result of this collaboration, pedestrian and mechanized handling equipment near misses and incidents have been significantly reduced and completely eliminated in some cases."
David Roberts, National Environment and Safety Manager, Coca-Cola
Partnering to make a difference
Manufacturing accounts for 12%2 of Ontario's economy and 11%3 of its workforce.
Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters (CME) and WSPS/IAPA have been working together for over a hundred years to support health and safety in the Ontario manufacturing sector. Through CME, WSPS provides the industry with articles on key topics and delivers information sessions for CME's Employer Advocacy Council program.
WSPS also sponsors and supports CME's Health & Safety Symposium, attended annually by over 200 industry leaders.
2 Active WSIB accounts, March 2019 Detailed Sub-Sector Reports
3 Full-time equivalents, as per above source
Health and safety for future farmers
In March of 2018, WSPS teamed up with the Agriculture Health and Safety Alliance (AHSA) on an innovative education program for 150 young and future farmers.
AHSA is a non-profit organization that seeks to educate agriculture students in Canada, the United States and Australia on best practices in health and safety. With WSPS' support and incorporating elements from Stop Think Act4, AHSA delivered the Gearing Up for Health and Safety program at Guelph's Ridgetown Agriculture College in 6 sessions over 4 days.
Participant surveys showed that the training resonated strongly with students.
WSPS and AHSA have developed train the trainer materials and are exploring ways to bring the program to more students.
4 Stop Think Act is a simple behaviour-based program that encourages people to consider the task at hand and ask themselves how their own actions could contribute to a safe and productive outcome. It is based on a component of Imperial Oil's safety program. Imperial Oil and its Esso branded bulk fuel resellers collaborate with WSPS to get the messages out to farmers.
Helping pork producers create healthier and safer farms
Farmers are under tremendous pressure to protect the environment, the health and safety of workers and livestock, and the sustainability of their operations. For pork producers, it’s even more challenging. The unique hazards and conditions that exist on pork farms can make it very difficult to find and keep employees.
Dean Anderson, Strategic Advisor, Agriculture at WSPS explains, "There are a lot of things that make pork farms less attractive to employees, including the smell and noise-squealing can reach 110 decibels - so you tend to have a lot of turnover."
Andrea De Groot, Managing Director of the Ontario Pork Industry Council (OPIC), and a pork farm operator herself knows this all too well. That's why she reached out to WSPS for help.
"Our producers wanted to create safer environments, but they didn't know where to find the resources they needed. I knew WSPS would be able to provide consistent resources that could be used across the province on pork farms of all types and sizes."
Andrea De Groot, Managing Director, Ontario Pork Industry Council
In 2018, OPIC and WSPS
, in collaboration with Ontario Pork and a number of community services, hosted two one-day events designed specifically to help pork farmers understand their responsibilities and equip them with the resources they need to create safer work environments.
The events, held in two different locations, featured sessions on barn fire safety led by the fire department; farm safety and rural crime presented by the Ontario Provincial Police; veterinarian-led sessions on animal and people health, and a fun fire extinguisher training session. WSPS delivered a session that covered 46 different health and safety topics, including mental health.
"In the past, mental health wasn't discussed because it was perceived as a weakness," says Anderson. "This is changing and farmers are starting to embrace their role in creating psychologically healthy and safe workplaces." April Eilers of Eilers Farms says she has updated her health and safety program as a result of participating in the event. "These training sessions enabled us to create a more concise and precise health and safety program. Making temporary foreign workers who are new to the country and our work environment feel welcome and safe is a huge asset to our operation. We feel a lot safer and so do our staff."
Eilers wasn't the only one who felt the sessions were valuable. De Groot says their goal was to get 20 people at each event and they actually had 40 per session. "In 2019, we're hosting events in two new locations and we're hoping for 60 participants at each of them."
A long history of health and safety success
A lot has happened since WSPS and Gravenhurst's Budget Propane connected at a group consulting event nearly 20 years ago. WSPS has become a trusted advisor to the Budget team, providing ongoing coaching, training and numerous specialized consulting services. Budget, meanwhile, has become an award-winning employer, recognized by the Canadian Propane Association for creating a healthy and safe workplace environment and a strong culture of employee and fleet safety.
" We wanted to get health and safety 100% right in our workplace. With WSPS' assistance, our program has become far more structured. It's advantageous knowing we can call WSPS representatives for help when we have questions."
Barry Briggs, Supervisor of Safety & Quality, Budget Propane
Over the years, Budget has accessed a wide variety of services and has completed numerous WSPS training sessions, including Workplace Violence, Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA), Respect in the Workplace and Joint Health and Safety Committee (JHSC) training.
Briggs was particularly impressed with the quality of WSPS' Joint Health and Safety Committee Certification Training. "As a result of that training, we reviewed and tightened up our forklift and ladder safety policies, and we've created a fit for duty policy, which was launched at our Safety Day in March."
WSPS Ergonomics Specialist Tanya Muller has worked with Budget since the two organizations first met. She feels much of Budget's success stems from their familial approach to health and safety. "They know their employees well and are committed to taking care of them."
Briggs agrees. "Budget takes health and safety concerns and hazards seriously. We truly believe that it is imperative that everyone makes it home safe at the end of the day."
Supporting small businesses
95% of companies in Ontario are small businesses (fewer than 50 employees)5. When it comes to health and safety, small businesses look for simple and easily accessible tools and information.
In 2018/19, WSPS representatives visited 294 small businesses in the restaurant and food services sector to introduce them to the complimentary resources available on its online Small Business Centre.
Another strategy for reaching the province's small businesses involved spreading the message through associations. WSPS signed Letters of Intent to provide 33 small business associations and community groups with health and safety resources, services and information sessions.
During Small Business Week in October 2018, WSPS' digital channels presented messaging targeted to small businesses 57,957 times. This drove more than twice as many visitors to WSPS.CA for health and safety resources as compared to 2017 campaign results.
5 Active WSIB accounts, March 2019 Detailed Sub-Sector Reports