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Acapulco Pools recently received a Certificate of Recognition (COR™), a standard of safety excellence in Canada, from the Infrastructure Health and Safety Association (IHSA).
COR is a standard of safety excellence used throughout Canada, which gained momentum in Ontario roughly three years ago. According to Nicole Oosterveld, Acapulco Pools’ health and safety manager, this is when the company’s goal to achieve COR began.
“I have had the pleasure to be part of this journey every step of the way and was absolutely thrilled to receive the news we had achieved this standard of safety excellence in Canada. Our team’s hard work finally paid off,” said Oosterveld with respect to the many challenges the company faced over this period.
“Our first hurdle was making the differentiation between Occupational Health and Safety (OH&S) legislation and COR and having employees truly understand why we were pursuing this. It was easy once we positioned it this way: we are a leader in the aquatics industry and it was only natural for us to be a leader in safety as well.”
To achieve this certification, Acapulco Pools planned and executed a new, comprehensive corporate health and safety program. As such, the company implemented the following tactics:
Using employees as resources to ensure the new safety program worked for them. As a result, all safe work practices and procedures were developed by different trades, alongside management, and reviewed by a joint occupational health and safety committee.
Going digital was another major turning point. To do this, all crew leads were given iPads to allow them to complete paperwork electronically that could be reviewed in real-time. This increased reporting and communication between those in the field and at the office. It also improved the organization of the program.
Investing in annual start-up meetings and other informational events for employees.
Sending employees for all required training and ensuring that specialized training and new hire programs were carried out as needed; and
Implementing a recognition program focusing on safety goals and increasing employee morale and the safety culture.
As part of Ontario’s health and safety system, IHSA is recognized by the Ministry of Labour, the Ministry of Transportation (MTO), the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development, and the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) as designated trainers and consultants.