In an effort to be proactive and with an eye to employee safety, Cruickshank Construction held its first ever Health and Safety Day on July 17th at the Morrisburg Arena.
The event included construction safety as well as health-related vendor displays, mini-seminars covering issues like ergonomics and sun-related safety, and demonstrations covering anything from putting out fires to inspecting a truck.
A popular indoor demonstration called Fall Arrest was provided by Acklands Grainger. Participants learned the possibilities surrounding falls and what to do or not do in the event of a fall.
The South Dundas Fire and Emergency Services provided participants with information on fire prevention, including hands-on demonstrations of how to correctly use a fire extinguisher.
Cruickshank’s health and safety officer, Jamie Guthrie, said the idea sprung from a desire to counteract the increase in workplace accidents during the busy months of July and August.
“It’s good to work for a company that doesn’t just talk,” said Guthrie, “they mean it. They get behind it.”
President and chief operations officer Dave Read said that not many companies would shut down operations for a full day during their busy season and host a full-day health and safety event, complete with a barbecue lunch served up by Les and Steve Cruickshank.
He pointed out that Cruickshank takes employee health and safety very seriously, making it a top priority.
In fact, the full-day company-wide event happened twice last week, on July 17th in Morrisburg and on July 19th in Kingston.
Read pointed out that operations in the East shut down for the Morrisburg event, while operations in the West shut down for the Kingston event.
Employees had the option of attending either event and, according to Guthrie, almost 100 percent of employees committed to attending the event.
An added incentive for attendance was a vast selection of prizes to be given out at the end of each Health and Safety Day.
Each participating employee was given a Passport to Safety with seven boxes covering the different seminars and demonstrations. For each one attended, a stamp was given. Those with all seven stamps at the end of the day were eligible to enter their names for the prizes.
In addition to giving out two ThinkPads and several golf-related packages, the grand prize included a Via Rail trip for two to Toronto with a two-night stay at the Royal York and dinner at the Keg.
According to Guthrie, the event organized, in large part, by health and safety program administrator Nina Gamble and summer student Kate VanDuinen, is expected to become an annual event taking place around the same time each year.