Practices and Perspectives
The last lost-time injury at Paper Excellence’s Surrey Distribution Centre (SDC) was so long ago that it would be at least a year-and-half later before the word “COVID” became part of our daily lexicon.
That injury in 2018 was an unfortunately severe one. But the fact that there have been no lost-time injuries since is an impressive achievement. And while there’s never a safety silver bullet, this can likely be credited to a focus on a few key practices.
Although they have had to be deferred due to pandemic distancing requirements, SDC typically holds monthly all-employee safety meetings, with presentations and discussions of risk factors and incidents.
Pre-shift safety discussions are also consistently held, in part to focus attention on timely considerations such as weather and other seasonal factors. And all employees are encouraged to formally identify any hazards they observe.
A union-chaired joint safety committee has been empowered with the resources to effectively engage in tasks such as workplace inspections and incident and near-miss investigations, and there is a rigorous focus on reporting back on investigation results and corrective actions.
SDC also had a complete absence of any incidents requiring medical attention in 2021.