Building Our Safety Culture
At Canadian Linen, we pride ourselves on our commitment to safety. It’s woven into our corporate values. We have an ongoing focus of protecting our employees, company, customers and communities. Building a culture of safety takes persistence and patience. We aim to deliver a common framework that our employees can use every day to identify, evaluate and manage risk throughout the entire business. We’re sharing our approach to our safety culture within our branches and plants.
Placing a High Value on Safety
It’s no coincidence that the factors needed to build and sustain a safety culture are front and center. These factors are our core values of Integrity, Trust, Respect and Responsibility.
Integrity – Integrity reflects our individual actions. We do what is right. We conduct ourselves in a manner that is consistent with safe work practices and regulatory requirements. We never take shortcuts. We have the strength to never risk our personal safety or the safety of others to accomplish a task. We demonstrate through our words and actions that the definition of success includes safety.
Trust – We build credibility and trust through open and honest communication and provide feedback with the goal of making things better. Our culture enables everyone at all levels of the organization to address unsafe behaviors without fear. We set aside personal issues for the sake of making the workplace safer.
Respect – We demonstrate respect for others and the company by creating an environment that promotes and protects safe and compliant work practices. We listen to and address safety concerns in a timely and respectful manner.
Responsibility – Each employee is responsible for their own safety as well as the safety of those around them. We take this responsibility seriously and never waver in our commitment to safety. We continuously identify potential hazards and risky behaviors and seek ways to reduce or eliminate them.
For many years, the Edmonton branch has been extremely proactive in doing our very best to have “Everyone Home Safely.” All associates share our safety commitment. “We have very structured training opportunities as well as daily ‘tailgate’ meetings and briefings with our employees,” says Mario Leblanc, Canadian Safety Manager. “This empowers them and maintains a positive flow of communication and great ideas. When one of our family is injured, we all feel the pain,” says Leblanc. Our “Return To Work” program is robust and strong, and we have complete buy in from all. We are proud to be safety leaders in our community.
Documentation is Key
At the heart of Canadian Linen’s corporate safety program is a customized safety tracking database that is used by all branch locations. This ensures that all employees are receiving the same messages. Company-wide training is posted on this tool. Employees log in to the database to complete safety courses, and managers have visibility to those who have accomplished the training. All safety incidents are also housed on this system to document and monitor resolution. “Documentation is critical so that we have a repeatable process,” says Karla Fitzgerald, Director of Global Safety and Risk Control. “That way, everyone is on the same page and we have consistency.”
To ensure consistent and standard safety procedures, weekly team meetings at the branch level always include safety updates and topics, such as machine guarding and emergency response. And when it comes to machinery safety, operating instructions are clearly labeled on each piece of equipment as reference.
Safety Committees at the branch level meet monthly to discuss what is working, what needs to be addressed and how they can keep employees vigilant. These committees, leadership members and managers set clear expectations, drive accountability and lead by example. In addition to these leaders, we empower every employee to be responsible for workplace safety. If anyone is concerned for their personal safety, the safety of others or the environment, we encourage them to stop and ask questions.
Adopting a safety culture keeps staff safe, as well as helps with employee retention and productivity. We always strive to maintain the highest levels of safety, quality and service excellence for our employees, customers and the communities we serve.
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