Manufacturing safety for Manitoba
By Neal CurryGovernment Manufacturing
CME launches Made Safe initiative.
Canadian Manufactures & Exporters (CME) has long been recognized as the voice of manufacturing in Manitoba, both by industry and government. The association’s mandate is to strengthen the competitiveness of its members and industry by helping to achieve growth in domestic and international markets. So it was only natural for SAFE Work Manitoba to approach CME and establish an industry-driven safety association to support the manufacturing sector.
In January, CME officially launched Made Safe at Arne’s Welding in Winnipeg. The initiative will be overseen by a safety council that includes representatives from industry, workers and safety professionals. The council will report to the CME board of directors.
While participation in Made Safe is not conditional on membership with CME, it’s the association’s hope that by sharing resources, training and office space, the two groups will be able to accelerate the advancement of manufacturing in Manitoba.
Not only will an industry-wide safety program keep workers safe, it will lower business costs by improving productivity, reducing waste and creating opportunities for further reductions in WCB premiums as experience improves both for individual firms as well as the manufacturing sector.
Many CME members have worked diligently to improve injury rates in manufacturing, and we have seen the development of excellent programs driving impressive safety records.
Many companies lack the resources to develop and manage necessary programs in-house. Collaborating on training, tools and services will benefit manufacturers and create safe and healthy workplaces for employees.
CME and Made Safe staff have been working to solidify industry support. With support of the companies represented on the CME Manitoba board of directors, Made Safe has:
- secured the commitment of manufacturing executives, safety professionals and workers to serve on the first Manufacturing Safety Council;
- solicited support from CME member companies (feedback has been positive);
- in concert with Safe Work Manitoba, solicited support from the broader manufacturing community;
- obtained signed letters of support from 23 companies. Within those companies, the 50% threshold has been reached in airplane repair, vehicle manufacturing and plastic material manufacturing, representing $287 million in payroll;
- secured the staff and programs of the AMC Safety program within Made Safe to provide a core of well-trained staff delivering 30 safety courses and professional direction on the implementation of safety management systems; and
- started work on new office spaces that will see CME Manitoba and Made Safe staff work side-by-side to share resources and leverage skills.
Over the coming months, the Made Safe team will work towards launching the Made Safe website and formalizing services, making new member recruitment a priority for this year.
Neal Curry is the executive director of Made Safe and former chair of the CME Safety and Health Committee.