Posted on December 16, 2013

Where Are They Now?

BCCSA Magazine - Fall/Winter, 2013

When workers at one of Beedie Industrial’s five industrial work sites learned they wouldn’t be part of an upcoming COR audit process, they weren’t relieved that no one would be coming to assess their safety management systems – they were disappointed! Not surprising, given how much effort they had put into preparing for the audit. Some hadn’t “cracked a book” for over 20 years, but with support from management and co-workers, they were ready!

That high level of preparation from employees and managers alike across the company as a whole was essential to the Beedie’s COR success, said Mark Sweet, Manager of Industrial Relations, who noted with pride how the Burnaby based company scored 95% on the injury management component. “The auditor said it was one of the best scores he had ever seen.” And that was just the beginning. Barely six months after achieving both regular and injury management
COR in June of 2012, the company was posting a 25% reduction in accidents overall and an astounding 75% reduction in lost time days. 

Beedie’s journey to COR began in December 2012, when a routine review of performance indicators turned up a negative trend for lost-time accidents in two key areas: hand and back injuries. The owners (the Beedie family) wanted a quick reversal, and by February of 2013, Sweet and COO Jim Bogusz had the COR process underway. With WorkSafeBC’s decision to put Injury Management COR on hold as of June 2013, they had only 6 months to earn both.

A “full-on commitment to COR” that started at the top, combined with precision planning and communication, were the keys, said Bogusz, recounting how Sweet, Operations Director Eric Jensen, and General Supervisors Dave Potter and Andrew Clark launched an extensive COR campaign that included what would be required at all levels of the company and hands-on education and training for employees and supervisors.

Sweet and colleagues also took advantage of BCCSA’s free COR advisory services, and consulted with both Regional Safety Advisor Rob Zygmunski and Vernita Hsu, Manager, Injury Management and Integrated Services, who reviewed and offered suggestions on safety documentation and other aspects of Beedie’s safety management systems. They also connected with WorkSafeBC (ICBA President Phil Hochstein facilitated the meetings) in order to more fully understand the claims process in general and how they might improve at their end.

So far, it’s definitely all good, with safety awareness up, injuries down, and more of the same expected!