After years of respectable health and safety performance, The Original Cakerie's 300+ employees in London, Ontario went on to achieve an astonishing four-year run with no lost-time injuries. The secret to this success? WSPS' Safety Group helped the company benchmark where it needed to be, and then achieve and maintain the desired level of performance, says Brian Gallacher, Director of Employee Experience & Corporate Health and Safety.
How you manage your health and safety system is critical to your workplace's safety performance, explains Brian. He speaks from experience. As a former lead auditor for the British Safety Council, Brian has measured many workplaces' performance against legislated requirements, recognized standards, and best practices. Five years ago, when he joined The Original Cakerie.
The Safety Group is part of a WSIB performance-based premium rebate program. Companies join for a year at a time, and each participating company selects five elements from a list of over 50 to work on over the course of the year. The elements are essential components of a successful health and safety program. Members also attend up to five local meetings facilitated by a WSPS consultant, where they network, discuss challenges, and share best practices.
Companies that successfully complete the year earn up to a 6% rebate on their premiums. Last year, WSPS members achieved a rebate of over $6.1 million. In the process, they reduced their lost-time injury rate by 7% and injury severity by 11%.
"If we didn't belong to the Safety Group, we wouldn’t have achieved what we have now," says Brian. The Original Cakerie is a premium frozen dessert company with retail and foodservice customers across North America. It began as a small bakery in Victoria, BC, and now has an additional facility in London, Ontario and a sister company, Lawler Foods, with two facilities in Houston, TX.
"My first impression when I joined the company was that senior leadership was very invested in creating a safe work environment. The company had a lot of documented procedures," says Brian. However, he soon identified a gap between the procedures and the way work was actually being performed. "It was like having an operator's manual for a Rolls Royce when you're driving a Mini."
"I think we would eventually have gotten to where we are without the Safety Group, but it would have taken a long time. It's about identifying critical risks, and being proactive rather than reactive. That's good for your employees and for the business."
Participating in WSPS' Safety Group can help companies of any size identify where they are most vulnerable and systematically develop systems that strengthen and protects them.
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Registration has already begun for WSPS' 2018 Safety Group. Look into how WSPS' Safety Group can help you build a safer workplace and earn WSIB premium rebates.