Shermco Industries, a North American company with branch offices in Regina and Saskatoon, makes their commitment to safety an everyday part of their work. They also saw the value of COR® certification and made it a priority over a decade ago. “Our COR® certification happened in 2008,” says Jon Unger, regional EHS leader at Shermco Industries Saskatoon branch. “We saw how the market was embracing it, and it just made sense for us to standardize our safety program with COR® certification.
Shermco worked with the Saskatchewan Construction Safety Association (SCSA) to earn their certification in 2008, and they haven’t looked back since. In fact, COR® certification has only made them want to exceed guidelines wherever they can. “Our American parent company is part of the U.S Department of Labor Occupational Health and Safety Administration’s Voluntary Protection Programs (VPP),” says Unger. “VPP is among the most stringent health and safety regulations out there, and our Canadian operations meet them, too.”
Shermco’s commitment to safety also starts right at the top. The company’s CEO had cards, called “Stop Work Authority,” created for every staff member to have in case they ever encounter unsafe work. The cards—printed with the CEO’s personal phone number—are used if any Shermco team member is asked to do something unsafe. They simply hand over the card, and the person asking for the work to be done can call the CEO directly to discuss it. “Those cards really show how seriously we take safety,” says Unger. “Safety is at the top of Shermco’s core principles, and we live it every day.”
The company’s workforce development team also created their own “Workforce Academy” that incorporates both in-person and virtual ‘toolbox talks’, meetings and training sessions to keep staff current with the latest in safety policies and procedures. Shermco also developed “Shermco University” which is accessible to both employees and clients. “Both tools have been invaluable in managing safety training during the pandemic, too,” says Unger.
The company has also developed an excellent working relationship with the SCSA. Shermco finds SCSA’s training sessions and online learning are an important resource and they appreciate how the organization is just a phone call away. “The SCSA is so helpful to us to keep safety top of mind,” says Unger. “As we aim for Mission Zero, they are an important ally to make that happen.”
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