One Death is Too Many
This April 28, we’ll observe Canada’s National Day of Mourning. It’s a day focused on remembering those who suffered injury or illness, or have lost their lives on the job, and those who have experienced a work-related tragedy. It’s a day to recognize the commitment we make — every day — to ensure our crews and homeowners are safe throughout their home renovation or construction project.
At MAC Renovations, we have three priorities:
- Protection of client property.
- Everything else.
That’s not just a marketing claim; it’s how we’ve built our home renovation business in Victoria over the past years. Whether we’re doing a small bathroom renovation or an entire home remodel, we make the time to create a safe place for everyone because we want everyone to be able to go home at the end of the day and spend time with their families and friends, proud of the work they’ve done.
MAC’s construction manager, Shawn Jacobson, explains how we do what we do so well and how we make it safe while we’re doing it.
WALKING THE WALK
“Safety is paramount for MAC: it’s priority one, so we go the extra mile with the Certificate of Recognition (COR) program from WorkSafeBC, which holds us to a much higher standard. We are audited every year on our entire safety program, which requires us to be thorough with our overall site safety. We’ve developed a system to ensure every new project starts with safety at the forefront. Whenever we go into a new job, we fill out the paperwork and complete a hazard assessment process. We use a standardized form that assesses 23 potential hazards, and then we have a rating matrix based on severity and probability. We train the crews to go through these lists and rate each item for its worst-case scenario. If something gets a medium to high rating, we look at it closer to find ways to mitigate or eliminate the problem. Day one hazard identification is the cornerstone of our site safety program.”
TALKING THE TALK
“As the company safety officer,” explained Shawn, “I go to the different sites each week and do a ToolboxTalk, and once a month, we have everyone come to the Ranch for a full-group ToolboxTalk, which often leads to thought-provoking discussions. I work hard to keep it interesting because Toolbox talks can sometimes bog down and get a little humdrum, but there are interesting ones beyond talks about utility knives and table saws. There are cultural ones and behavioural ones, and even some really good ones about complacency and safety and mood and safety. These chats help us build a culture of safety.”
Safety Has a Home at MAC Renovations in Victoria
“When we bring someone new onboard,” said Shawn, “they go through an extensive safety program, whether they’re new to the industry or new to MAC. I personally go through our health and safety manual with them to cover the important things, and they get a copy of that manual to keep. As well, everyone completes a half-day online course called SiteReadyBC.”
To ensure we’re always equipped for safety, we do a semi-annual inspection of our tools and safety equipment and monthly checks of the company vehicles that our production staff use. Every month, they go through a basic safety checklist, looking at things like ‘Do you have good tread on your tires?’, ‘Is your wiper washer fluid full?’, ‘Is the fire extinguisher up to date?’ and ‘Does your first aid kit need replenishing?’
“We just put one of the team members through school,” said Shawn, “so he is certified to do an annual inspection of our fall arrest equipment. Colin uses a tagging system to ensure every harness has a date tag so that if WorkSafe comes by, they can easily see that this piece of equipment has been inspected in the past year.”
Beyond the Core Crew
As the general contractor, MAC is also the prime contractor, which means that we are responsible for the safety of all the workers on the job site. This includes the subcontractors and other tradespeople, and we make sure their WorkSafeBC premiums are current and everyone is aware of our safety program. When the teams come on-site, the first thing they see is the Safety Board with a sign-off sheet where they’re required to write their name, the name of their company, the date, and acknowledge they have read and understood our safety program.
Victoria’s Most Trusted Renovation Contractor
Why do we focus so much on safety? It’s because we want everyone to be happy with the job we’ve done. We want you, the homeowner, to love where you live. We want the crews to be proud of a job well done. And we want everyone to be excited about the next project on the docket. Our customers trust us to do a phenomenal update on their homes, and our crews trust us to keep them safe. All day. Every day.
Please join us on April 28 to remember the too-many reasons we make safety a priority.