Over the past 10 years the City of Courtenay has seen a sizable reduction in the number and severity of employee injuries, with a greater than 60 per cent overall decrease in the number of employee injuries.
The BC Municipal Safety Association has recognized these results through a 2022 Safety Improvement Award.
The city was recognized at the Joint Public Works Association and BC Municipal Safety Association Annual Conference in October. City staff provided an update on the award and the safety program for Courtenay council at the Dec. 12 meeting.
“We are so proud of the city’s safety program,” said Courtenay Mayor Bob Wells. “Our enviable safety record is helping keep our staff safe. Every injury we prevent is a worker saved from harm, and I want to acknowledge the contributions of every single city employee for this achievement.
“I have been quite open about the fact that my father was killed in a workplace accident when I was a child,” added Wells. “This deeply affected my family and changed the course of our lives. I talk about it because I know I am not alone, and by raising awareness we can help reinforce the importance of workplace safety. This is personal to me, so I’m incredibly proud of the city’s ongoing and proactive efforts on our award-winning safety program.”
Courtenay’s workplace safety program involves a workforce that is well-educated and engaged on safety, participating in an internal responsibility system that everyone in the organization is part of.
Managers and supervisors co-ordinate health and safety training, establish control measures, and ensure reporting systems are followed, with ongoing monitoring.
All workers are strongly encouraged to take an active role in speaking up and reporting when they see something unsafe, and reporting near-misses so they can be used for learning and follow-up.
The program is overseen by the city’s Joint Occupational Health and Safety Committee, consisting of exempt and unionized employees to monitor how the program is working across the organization and collaborating with individual divisions to correct hazards as they are identified.
Thanks to below-average injury rates and time loss, the city pays 15 per cent less than the industry base rate in WorkSafe insurance premiums.
For those interested in working for the City of Courtenay, employment opportunities are available at www.courtenay.ca/jobs