For Flynn Canada, the priority is for all employees to go home safe at the end of the day. In order to achieve that goal, the company goes beyond mere compliance with safety regulations. At Flynn, being safe means a daily commitment from employees at every level in the company.” In order to communicate the effort and dedication of our people to our customers and partners, we pursued COR® recognition,” says Mark Novecosky, Regional Health & Safety Manager, Prairies for Flynn. “It is rewarding to be recognized, but it is even more fulfilling to ensure that, at the end of the day, everyone goes home safe.” Flynn first implemented the Certificate of Recognition (COR®) program over 20 years ago. Novecosky goes on to say, “COR® demonstrates our commitment to the health and safety of our workers and subcontractors.”
Flynn’s safety record is a testament to their commitment. In Oct 2016, the Regina branch celebrated five years of no lost time injuries (LTI), and soon after reached the one million hours mark without a LTI. To date, the branch has surpassed the eight-year mark of no LTIs. Further, in July 2017, the Prairies branches combined, celebrated three years of no lost time incidents. “We are proud of all employees for their dedication to safety every single day,” says Novecosky. “They have demonstrated their drive to create a culture of safety leadership. And health and safety and risk assessment are integrated into all aspects of our business from the estimating stage through to project completion. These two factors – people and planning – have helped us reach these milestones.”
Safety training and a commitment to continuous improvement also factor into Flynn’s safety record. “We have a close relationship with the Saskatchewan Construction Safety Association (SCSA),” explains Novecosky, “our Saskatchewan workers regularly attend cost effective training at the SCSA and we encourage our subcontractors to take their safety training there as well because it gives us peace of mind, knowing the training is of a high standard.”
One example of the company’s ongoing effort to improve and build on their safety program is illustrated in a 2011 incident in which a foreman was injured. Flynn identified a need for proactive measures and started sending workers to physiotherapy for back-strengthening exercises. Soon, crews were doing such exercises before starting work on-site. The company also implemented a Safety Share at meetings. “This is an open dialogue where we discuss occasions when safety has positively and negatively affected us in our personal or professional lives,” says Novecosky. Flynn also holds monthly general meetings with all staff at their branches to recap the month and set the bar higher going forward. “We encourage our people to share their ideas and challenges to learn from each other. Finally, we implemented quarterly injury review meetings with all our foremen to keep injury prevention top of mind,” he says.
Flynn’s philosophy on safety is a simple one. They work to minimize risk, prevent injuries, and provide the right support to injured workers. Flynn employees at all levels of the company have a shared responsibility for each other’s safety. “Our most prominent safety initiative is the Don Flynn Safety Award, named after our founder. Every year, the two branches with the top health and safety performance records win the award and get a celebration recognizing their commitment to our safety culture, and their results,” says Novecosky. “In addition to celebrating and receiving Flynn swag, the winning branches receive one of two Don Flynn Safety Award trophies. These custom-sculpted trophies are 110 pounds of solid bronze and are put on display at the winning Flynn branch’s office for the year.” Flynn’s Regina branch won the Don Flynn Safety Award in 2013 and again in 2017. “With safety at the core of their branch culture, they are perennial contenders,” says Novecosky. Flynn also fosters their safety culture through open communication lines between the field and the office, encouraging honest feedback to improve our practices, and providing ongoing training. In all they do, the company knows that safety matters, and it shows.