Finning Canada opened for business in Regina two years ago and has been on an impressive roll ever since.
At a recent barbecue for Finning employees and their families, the company celebrated an anniversary, a special ongoing milestone and took the lead on a new initiative that is sure to spread across the Finning family throughout the country.
Amidst the burgers and hot dogs on the grill and the kids playing in the inflatable bouncy obstacle course was the employees’ celebration of Finning Regina’s two-year anniversary.
During that time, management has made on-the-job safety a priority. The first few months were challenging as staff tried to change the culture, but the dedication to safety has been paying off. Remarkably, the local branch hasn’t recorded a workplace injury over the past 18 months and counting.
“When we first opened, we told our employees that safety was our No. 1 concern,” said Tony DeSousa, the vice-president of Finning Saskatchewan. “We were serious when we said it and I think our employees realized that Finning was really serious about safety.”
Not to be lost in the celebration was Finning Regina’s adoption of a pilot project through Safe Saskatchewan. The Off-the-Job Injury Prevention Strategy aims to support a safe and healthy lifestyle for all employees at home and in their communities, all the while maintaining its focus on a safe environment on the job.
Federated Co-operative Limited also is piloting this strategy at one of its Saskatoon locations.
Finning Canada is a strategic partner with Safe Saskatchewan and a member of the Saskatchewan Health and Safety Leadership Charter, where two of the seven principles focus on extending health and safety beyond the workplace and into the surrounding community.
Statistics show the rate of injury for working class people after work is twice as high as it is when they are at work. The permanent disability rate is four times greater and the death rate is five times higher.
“If we’re talking about safety and being safe around our kids then those kids are going to grow up in a lot safer environment where they’ll be thinking about safety at home and when they go outside to play,” said Jim Barks, the sales and marketing manager at Finning’s Regina branch.
DeSousa added: “We go to work because it’s a way to help support and raise our families. We don’t want to put anyone in a danger that they shouldn’t be in. We want these kids to have their moms and dads at home with them every night after work.”
The Off-the-Job Injury Prevention Strategy is an initiative with everyone’s best interests at heart – employees, spouses and children, neighbours and members of the community.
- it is expected to assist in attracting new employees to an organization that values their health and safety;
- it will assist in retaining existing employees and in reducing the organization’s operational expenses;
- it should support Saskatchewan’s health care system by reducing the number of unintentional injuries and contributing to a decrease in wait times for diagnoses, treatment, and/or surgery for those suffering from heart disease, cancer, diabetes and other chronic diseases and disorders.
“In Finning’s case, this has huge potential as they may well use what they’ve learned from this pilot to eventually implement it in their other locations around the world – we’re talking about Finning International,” said Gord Moker, CEO at Safe Saskatchewan.
“In the long term, our hope is that once we evaluate these pilots with FCL and Finning we will make the strategy available to all Charter signatories and make an even greater difference in saving lives and preventing the pain and suffering caused by preventable injuries, thus realizing the full potential in Mission: Zero.”