For the third consecutive year, Holcim (Canada) Inc., dedicated a day to Occupational Health and Safety (OH&S). In September, all of its 3,000 employees took part in various activities to help them be more aware of the dangers that surround them in the workplace and work in a safer manner. This initiative complements the safety-related activities implemented throughout the year.

“Building a strong safety culture through our ongoing OH&S programs requires time, but since we introduced our Safety Day initiative, we have made tremendous progress,” says Paul Ostrander, president and chief executive officer, Holcim Canada. “When we launched the program, we decided to address the most pressing issue, namely reducing the number of injuries occurring in the last quarter of the year. The following year, we focused on the frequent but less severe types of incidents. And this year, we addressed incidents that almost cause injuries or equipment damage, also known as 'near misses'.”

Holcim Canada sees near misses as a great opportunity to adapt processes and procedures. These types of incidents do not result in any damage, but because they could have, lessons can and must be learned from them. And this is what the company focused on during this year's Safety Day.

As has been the case for the last two years, President's Awards for OH&S Excellence were awarded to employees or teams of employees that made a difference in the management of health and safety at their site. The program will encourage employees to submit initiatives they have put in place at their site to help improve safety. “We are looking for simple, easy-to-implement solutions that make a big difference,” explained Paul Ostrander. “We also want as many of these ideas as possible to be transferable from one business unit to the other,” he added.

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