Safety councils go national

Safety the 'ball that gets passed around' in organizations
By Shannon Klie
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 09/14/2006

Eight provincial safety councils have joined together to form Safe Canada Services, a national network that will deliver safety programs and services to organizations across the country.

“The more (the provincial councils) met, the more we recognized there was a definite need to fill the void nationally,” said Mike Waite, the president of Safe Canada Services and executive director of the Manitoba Safety Council.

In many small- and medium-sized businesses, no one person is responsible for safety training. This can lead to inconsistencies in delivery and compliance, according to Waite.

“Safety within organizations usually becomes that ball that gets passed around and it doesn’t really fall into HR unless the organization is large enough and actually has a safety person,” he said.

Standardized programs

Currently each provincial council offers similar programs to varying degrees. For example, the Manitoba Safety Council provides occupational, road and industrial safety while the Ontario Safety League focuses on road safety. The new umbrella organization will ensure standardized delivery of all programs across the country.

“Whether you’re in Winnipeg, Toronto or Calgary, it doesn’t matter,” said Waite. “The programs will be consistent and up-to-date.”

Quebec, P.E.I. absent

The only provincial council not involved in Safe Canada Services is Quebec, because the council is going through some organizational changes. But once the executive is settled, Waite said he expects the council to join Safe Canada Services. Prince Edward Island doesn’t have a safety council, but requests for service are handled by the Newfoundland-Labrador council.

Waite added that Safe Canada Services is prepared to deliver services in both those provinces if it gets a request.

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