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Improve your inspections, training, and organizational culture with inspiration from this Ontario manufacturer

CET's production floor

When we learn from others, we can benefit from their experience as well as our own and inherit their wisdom and knowledge. The journey that Canadian Engineering and Tool (CET) has taken holds valuable lessons for other businesses looking to do a better job at workplace safety.

Since 1922, CET has been operating as a premier tool and die manufacturing facility in Windsor, Ontario. Over the past hundred years, CET has continuously adapted to new methods, machinery, and technology. They have grown into an 86,000-square-foot facility with approximately 100 skilled tradespeople on staff.

A company doesn’t last this long and grow to this size without prioritizing its employees. To attract the highly trained people they need, CET has made health and safety central to their operations and has been working with WSPS to develop and manage their health and safety systems. Most recently, they took advantage of a new consulting solution to improve their workplace inspections. “We were doing our monthly inspections, but without a strong background in health and safety, you don’t really know what you might be missing or how to make it more effective,” says Eric Allen, Supervisor with CET. “It was a great experience to have the experts come in, look at our processes, refine what we’ve been doing, and then train our employees.”

Improving workplace Inspections

The Workplace Inspection Bundle is a new customized consulting service from WSPS. What makes this solution so effective is that it includes the implementation. “In the past, we would develop the policies and procedures, hand them off to the client, and then leave it up to them to implement,” explains Troy Nel, Health and Safety Consultant with WSPS. “With this new bundle, we go more in-depth. So, with CET, we went beyond developing the policy, procedures, and forms. We also piloted the program and then trained the JHSC and supervisors, which included a mock inspection and walk-through.”

The first step was to set up a discovery meeting with Eric and the rest of the team at CET. “Through our conversations, we identified that CET did not have any formalized processes for health and safety. They addressed concerns brought forward by workers; however, the actions taken, and responsibilities assigned were not being documented,” describes Meaghan Marras, a WSPS Health and Safety Consultant who also worked with CET. Meaghan noted that the staff at CET were conducting inspections and holding meetings on a quarterly basis, but they were doing so without a formalized schedule or documentation. During this initial phase, Meaghan and Troy explained the importance of documentation and being able to demonstrate due diligence.

Customizing and implementing the solution

Meaghan and Troy conducted a thorough inspection of the facility to create a baseline. Then, they worked with Eric to develop an action plan to address the findings. To ensure CET could replicate the process, Meaghan and Troy created a customized procedure, inspection form, and report template. “They completely streamlined and standardized our process. The inspection checklists and report forms were a big improvement over what we were doing before,” says Eric. “There were definitely a few areas of concern that Meaghan and Troy brought up that we hadn’t noticed, which surprised me. Having people come in, with their knowledge and experience, really made a difference.” Among some of the issues Meaghan and Troy discussed with CET was the flow of the inspections to maximize both effectiveness and efficiency. They decided to divide the facility into eight zones,  which in turn, led to revising the inspection checklist to capture the unique hazards in each of the eight zones, following how an inspection would be done.

The final step was creating a program and training CET’s employees. “After completing the training with CET employees on the inspection procedures, we also scheduled follow-up meetings to find out if everything was going smoothly,” says Troy. “At these meetings, we discussed how the process was working, whether the forms were easy to use, and then we made some further customizations.” He highlights that the entire initiative was such a success because of the hard work from the team at CET.

“It was definitely a positive experience for our staff to see us bring in a third party to improve our safety practices and for them to have the opportunity to interact with and ask the experts about their health and safety,” says Eric. “It was a boost to our organizational culture.”

How WSPS can help

Find out if your organization would benefit from the Workplace Inspection Bundle. Connect with a WSPS expert today to discuss consulting options.