‘It’s all about company culture’: BC’s Western Pacific Enterprises takes home CCA national safety award

Each year, the Canadian construction industry honours the achievements and contributions of members of the Canadian Construction Association (CCA). At this year’s ceremony, held in Vancouver, the CCA recognized BC electrical contractor Western Pacific Enterprises (WPE) with its 2021 National Safety Award of Excellence. The award recognizes achievements in program development, staff training, and industry contribution as well as safe work record accomplishments — in this case a losttime rate of 0.0.

Wayne Fettback, Director of Safety and Procurement with WPE and BCCSA Board member, attributes the company’s safety record to changing its culture.

“Years ago, it might have been acceptable for a worker to experience a minor injury,” he says. “But we slowly changed that culture, starting with management, then site foremen and finally the workers themselves. Even getting dust in your eye is now considered an unacceptable injury among our people.”

Everyone contributes. For example, WPE crews submit safety observation cards used to record unsafe conditions and how that situation was addressed. Fettback and his safety team read each one and select a monthly winner for a $100 gift card prize.

The CCA also notes that WPE has gone beyond traditional definitions of safety with project managers and site superintendents undergoing “Be More Than a Bystander” program training, administered by the Ending Violence Association of BC on behalf of the BC Centre for Women in the Trades. They will be conducting the course in the field this year.

Fettback also credits his team of NCSO®s — Trevor Grubb, Phillip Zbetnoff and Caitlin Fettback — and WPE employees for helping the company achieve this safety milestone.

“My safety team and I can’t be everywhere at once,” he says. “But a pervasive safety culture can be everywhere, as people look out for one another.

From BC Construction Safety Alliance