A strong commitment to workplace health & safety strives to protect the greatest assets of an organization – its people.
Whistler Sport Legacies (WSL) operates three venues built for the 2010 Olympic Winter Games: Whistler Olympic Park, the Whistler Sliding Centre, and the Whistler Athletes’ Centre. To demonstrate the organization’s commitment to safety, WSL sought WorkSafeBC’s Certificate of Recognition (COR) certification through go2HR, BC’s tourism human resource association and the COR certifying partner for the tourism and hospitality industry.
“We wanted to implement a safety management system so that our employees can feel confident that their health and well-being is looked after at work. Participating in the COR Program helped make that possible,” says Jill Shewfelt, Project Manager at WSL, who oversaw the COR certification process.
COR is the provincially recognized program that provides financial incentives to employers who go beyond the legal requirements of workplace safety regulations by taking a ”best practice” approach to implementing a health and safety program. In addition, employers may also receive non-financial benefits such as improving employee morale and staff retention, attracting and recruiting like-minded employees, and building a positive corporate image through the demonstration of a commitment to workplace safety.
“The COR program is one way our industry can be leaders in employee safety and customer service, and strengthen the organization’s bottom line at the same time,” says Zito Kare, go2HR’s Industry Health and Safety Specialist.
In its COR audit, WSL scored the highest in Program Administration. Examples of good safety practices in this area are:
- Maintaining accurate health and safety records;
- Collecting and analyzing health and safety statistics to determine trends;
- Communicating those trends and outcomes to the employees;
- Identifying and correcting deficiencies from the health and safety program; and
- Maintaining senior management’s support to continuously improve the health and safety program.
“I am very proud of the team for achieving the COR certification, considering our organization is only four years old,” says Roger Soane, President and CEO of Whistler Sport Legacies.
In addition, WSL has improved or developed a number of initiatives over the last year, including:
- Administering a very comprehensive safety orientation program for seasonal employees at the start of the season;
- Creating and maintaining a culture of safety among all WSL colleagues, providing them with a very supportive working environment;
- Holding monthly Joint Occupational Health and Safety Committee meetings to discuss the organization’s safety initiatives; and
- Further developing Emergency Response Plans and improving them on an ongoing basis.
WSL would like to position itself as a leader in safety within Whistler and on the international stage for which the venues were built. Looking ahead, WSL will create an action plan based on recommendations from the COR audit, continue to support its three venues in achieving their individual safety goals, and improve the overall safety culture throughout the organization. It will also work diligently to maintain its COR certification while supporting other tourism and sport operators in the Sea-to-Sky Corridor to strive for safety in the workplace.