City of Courtenay Safety Program Recognized by WorksafeBC

July 21, 2015

The safety program at the City of Courtenay received top marks from WorksafeBC during a recent audit. The Certificate of Recognition program recognises employers who have implemented strong health and safety programs, exceeding regulatory requirements and taking a best-practice approach. The designation will result in incentive payments for the City.

Paige Knapman, the City of Courtenay’s occupational health and safety advisor, said the Certificate of Recognition is something all City employees should be proud of. “This is something we’ve worked really hard on as a team,” noted Knapman. “It’s great to be recognized for our efforts.”

Knapman said the safety program is yielding tangible results. “We have seen a steady decrease in our injury rates over the past several years; this is the real proof that our safety program is working. We have the fourth-lowest injury rate for a municipality of our size in the province.”

The City of Courtenay scored 93 percent on the audit, well above the 80 percent required to achieve certification.

Mayor Larry Jangula noted the certificate is a welcome acknowledgement of the City’s commitment to safety. “One of the scoring categories is ‘Organizational Commitment’, and I’m pleased to see that we achieved a 97 percent grade in this area,” said Mayor Jangula. “This sends a clear message that we put safety first.

“The financial incentive for this certificate is welcome, but it’s about more than saving money. Safe work practices benefit our employees, their families, and all Courtenay residents. You can’t put a dollar value on that.”

Other audit categories included programs and procedures, hazard identification and control, training, education and certification, inspections, incident investigation, program administration, and the Joint Health and Safety Committee. The committee received a whopping 99 percent grade.

City staff have developed an action plan to address any audit categories where there was room for improvement.

The BC Municipal Safety Association presented the certificate to the City at the July 20 City Council meeting.