News

West Kelowna gets safety recognition

Cathy Cook (middle), executive director of the BC Municipal Safety Association, presents West Kelowna Mayor Doug Findlater (third from right) with two certificates of recognition. (From left) District employees Brian Bidewell, utilities operator and one of the district
Cathy Cook (middle), executive director of the BC Municipal Safety Association, presents West Kelowna Mayor Doug Findlater (third from right) with two certificates of recognition. (From left) District employees Brian Bidewell, utilities operator and one of the district's trained auditors, Patty Tracy, human resources manager, Stacey Harding, parks and fleet supervisor, Eni Knaitner, human resources assistant and Jeff Fletcher, facilities foreman and the second trained auditor, were also on hand for the presentation.
— image credit: Wade Paterson/Capital News

The District of West Kelowna is dedicated to safety.

West Kelowna received two certificates of recognition from Worksafe BC and the BC Municipal Safety Association after a comprehensive review of its Occupational Health and Safety Program and Return to Work/Stay at Work Program.

Cathy Cook, executive director of the BC Municipal Safety Association, presented Mayor Doug Findlater with the certificates at council's Tuesday night meeting.

"(The program) is an incentive for organizations to go above and beyond simply complying with Worksafe regulations," said Cook.

The municipality, through the BCMSA, was audited in late 2013 and successfully passed all elements, earning an overall score of 87 per cent for its safety program and 92 per cent for its Stay at Work/Return to Work program.

"We don't often see results like this in the audit," said Cook.

"What it does tell us is that there is a great commitment for health and safety within (the) organization at all levels."

Findlater said council is proud of the achievement.

"Several years ago, with staff coming on board from the Regional District of the Central Okanagan and the former irrigation districts, we had differing approaches to safety," said Findlater.

"Council and staff made a concerted effort to come together in a united approach to making our safety program the very best it could be…this focus has certainly paid off."

The certificates are valid for three years and entitle the employer to receive financial incentives. In the district's case, this equates to an annual refund of approximately $20,000 for each of the three years.

The municipality anticipates investing the savings into more improvements of its safety program.

wpaterson@kelownacapnews.com

Twitter: @PatersonWade

 

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