Make It Safe 2013
was a resounding success based on reports from attendees, exhibitors and sponsors who enjoyed the conference.
Held at the Burnaby Delta Hotel and Conference Centre November 6 and 7, the Make It Safe Manufacturers Safety Conference drew over 230 attendees from all over BC and Western Canada.
CBC Radio journalist and UBC professor Kathryn Gretsinger opened the annual Make It Safe Manufacturers Safety Conference in Burnaby on the morning of Nov 6, 2013, welcoming a record number of delegates and exhibitors to one of Western Canada’s most important safety conferences.
Gretsinger has a deep passion for health and safety and has worked closely with the FIOSA-MIOSA Safety Alliance of BC having hosted all of the BC Safety Charter conferences and roundtables to date.
Lisa McGuire, CEO of FIOSA-MIOSA, the organizers of the conference, welcomed delegates, the largest number to attend a Make It Safe conference yet, and encouraged delegates to take as much out of the two days as possible and use what they learn back at their own workplaces.
"We have two days ahead of us which are filled with cutting edge discussions and some tremendous keynote speakers who will share with us some of their wisdom and personal experiences in a way I'm sure will motivate us all," she said.
"Open your ears, your eyes and your hearts as we have some fascinating, enlightening and truly inspiring presenters and speakers who will make sure you see health, safety and well-being a little differently when you leave,” she said.
Dale Walker, Director of WorkSafeBC’s Industry & Labour Services Department spoke to the importance of workplace health and safety and his organization’s enforcement of anti-bullying and harassment policies since November 1.
Trevor Linden Speaks On Safety
Former Canucks captain and owner of Club 16 Fitness, Trevor Linden, spoke enthusiastically about his passion for health and safety.
Linden, who became a business owner upon retiring from the NHL, told delegates he has learned to care for his employees’ health and safety in the same manner in which he cared and fought for players’ safety in the NHL.
As a spokesman for the BC Safety Charter, Linden has had many opportunities during the year to speak of his passion for health and safety and will be speaking at the BC Safety Charter annual roundtable May 1, 2014.
One of the greatest lessons Linden says he ever received in leadership was from Steve Yzerman – ‘What do you need from me to help you succeed?’ – is a phrase he has never forgotten and taken to heart in his new role as a business leader.
Day One Breakout Sessions
Special Breakout Sessions were held on a wide range of health and safety topics from the conference’s main theme of Mental Health in the Workplace (Julia Kaisla, MA, Manager Workplace Initiatives, Canadian Mental Health Association), to the measurement and improvement of workplace culture (Heinrich Beukes, CRSP, Director of Research, Programs and Development, FIOSA-MIOSA).
A look at a systems-based approach to ergonomics was presented by Manobhiram Nellutla, of FIOSA-MIOSA. Jeffrey Haraga, Director of the BC Council on Substance Abuse led a session on substance abuse in the workplace.
Nelluta demonstrated the importance of a systems-based approach to ergonomic issues by emphasizing the fact that every work action is made up of a series of actions, objects and facts which not only interact with one another but are interdependent on one another.
Dale Walker of WorkSafeBC
Jeffrey Haraga of the BC Council on Substance Abuse dealt with some of the causes of substance abuse which, in turn, lead to the symptoms which are demonstrated in behaviours at work. While discipline has been the traditional approach, providing support is more effective and helpful.
Afternoon sessions included a discussion of competing priorities and their impact on an OHS systems (Michele Baratelli from FIOSA-MIOSA), a session by Corrie Pitzer, CEO of SAFEmap International on new approaches to health and safety.
"As a result of the success of our profession, the safety profession, workplaces are more safe and, as a result, people are acting in a more risky fashion," he explained. "When people see or feel more risk they act in a safer manner - when people see or feels less risk they act in a riskier fashion."
Lisa Seppala, Chief Safety, Health and Environment Officer for BC Hydro introduced a powerful and inspiring video of health and safety at the utility demonstrating BC Hydro’s drive to lead the way in matters of health, safety and well-being of its workforce.
The video included a meaningful and sometimes tear-filled and emotional discussions about people who have lost their lives on the job and the need for all employees, from the top to the bottom of the organization, to look out for one another.
Michael Landsberg, whose TSN show Off the Record is viewed by millions, has championed the cause of workplace mental health not only on behalf of all those who suffer but from a personal point of view as well.
He has battled depression throughout his career and spoke passionately to delegates of his own personal story and urged them to recognize the issue as an important one in the modern workplace.
It was a speech that grabbed many of the delegates emotionally and many seemed genuinely surprised to hear of his lifelong battle with depression.
The second day of the Make It Safe Manufacturers Safety Conference was as dramatic and inspiring as the first. A keynote address by Corrie Pitzer broke down some of the myths and mysteries about health and safety and what leadership actually means.
He presented a video on the leadership failures which led the to the famous Challenger disaster in 1986 which mesmerized the delegate as they relived the deadly crash.
The fatal flaw of the 'O' rings which the world found out about thye next morning, was being discussed the night before the launch and, despite advice not to launch, the leaders chose the management objective of achieving launch over objections of those who were worried about the lives of the seven astronauts.
Day 2 Breakout Sessions
The morning Breakout Sessions included a walk-through of the WorkSafeBC toolkit for the Anti-Bullying and Harassment policies which have been enforced since November 1 . Darrin McCaskill, Kathleen Fleming, and Lesley Cleathero went through the policies and procedures being enforced and the tools WorkSafeBC has developed to help managers, supervisors, business owners and safety professionals abide by those policies.
Manobhiram Nellutla, of FIOSA-MIOSA, repeated his insightful presentation on the importance of using a systems approach to optimizing workplace economics from Day One and Jeffray Haraga, of the BC Council on Substance Abuse delivered an important session in the main conference room on the impacts of substance abuse in BC workplaces.
Lori Phinney from Bell Canada, introduced Canadian Olympic athlete Clara Hughes for the closing keynote address of the conference.
Hughes is the national spokesperson for Bell Canada's Mental Health initiative and the 'Let's Talk' campaign. She regularly shares her struggles with depression and helps to break down the stigma associated with mental illness.
Her keynote address inspired the delegates in a deep and moving way as she described her rise from a 13-year-old child of a broken home whose only interest was smoking a pack of cigarettes a day and getting in trouble to the world champion she became.
She asked delegates to look at Bill 14 and the new legal requirements for dealing with mental health in the workplace.
In closing the conference, FIOSA-MIOSA CEO Lisa McGuire thanked the exhibitors for providing a valuable backdrop to the entire conference and the sponsors whose financial support made the conference possible.
She also thanked this year's keynote speakers - Trevor Linden, Michael Landsberg, Corrie Pitzer and Clara Hughes - for their deeply inspirational words.
McGuire told delegates, "I hope you are better informed, better educated and more open to the growing role of mental health in the workplace.
To register for Make It Safe 2014 as an attendee or as an exhibitor or to become involved as a sponsor simply