Some 45 years ago a young, progressive, far-sighted Project Manager by the name of Ron Neal produced a list of General Safety Rules & Regulations to be used on all Ontario Electrical Construction job sites. The booklet was printed on a 5” X 4” folded cardboard format and took roughly five minutes to read. It was based on the Occupational Health & Safety Act, The Workmen’s Compensation Act of Ontario and Ron’s personal knowledge of the hazards inherent, not only when working on a construction site, but when working with electricity at any time.
The booklet was only 4 small pages in length but it was given to all employees of the company and it signalled the start of the today’s modern way of looking at all injuries and accidents critically and not simply accepting that they are a part of the job.
Our basic approach to health & safety has not changed since that safety booklet first appeared on our construction projects – the well-being of our employees, our customers and the general public is paramount!
Now, however, we have a full-time Health & Safety Officer and an Occupational Health & Safety Management System, developed by Tickner & Associates
Safety Professionals with whom we have had an on-going twenty-year relationship, occupies several large 3-ring binders complete with rules, information, forms and guidelines to assist our employees.
This documentation is complemented by the on-going training and upgrading of our workers. First Aid, WHMIS, Infection Control, Asbestos Awareness, Fall Arrest, Hazard Analysis and Supervisor Training are all part of our program. Our Safety Officer, an employee with over 30 year’s service, is also a qualified and certified instructor. His responsibility is to ensure that our employees, whether they are working in the office or on a construction project that is just coming out of the ground, are aware of their rights and responsibilities to themselves and to their co-workers.
Health & Safety is not just a company concern. It is an industry problem that can only be fixed if everyone in the construction business including Owners, Suppliers, Architects, Engineers as well as Contractors work together toward the common goal of zero accidents. To that end, OEC has always supported local safety associations in North Bay, Sudbury, Kingston and recently we were part of the Toronto Electrical Contractors Safety Group that worked together to resolve problems common to the electrical contractor.
We’ve used many slogans over the years to emphasize our safety philosophy:
Accidents and injuries are unacceptable; A Safe job is always a good job; Don’t be a Gambler; the messages all mean the same thing – Think & work safely at all times.