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Client Story: Meet Bison Fire Protection

Rob Read, Owner Bison Fire Protection

Rob Read, Owner
Bison Fire Protection

Rob Read started Bison Fire Protection Inc. with his partner Emile Jolicoeur because they saw a good opportunity to start a Manitoba business and work for themselves. "I love the fact that my business has given me the freedom to grow a company that gives a job to 66 people. The opportunity to have grown and employ this many people is great fun. In addition there is a tremendous amount of pride when there is a fire and our system has resulted in the extinguishment. We know that we are properly taking care of people's lives, businesses and property and there is a lot of satisfaction in that."

As a modern company with old-fashioned values, Rob believes that there are three things you need in business: People, Process & Tools. Without one the other two don't matter. "Our critical success factor has been our people. Making sure they feel respected, appreciated and that they are trained to do their jobs properly." Says Rob. "I work with these people day in and day out, I meet their wives at Christmas parties, their kids at picnics. I don't want them going home injured in any way shape or form. They are not numbers, they are people. If someone was truly hurt I never want to look someone in the eye and tell them their family member is hurt, or worse."

Rob recognizes that after implementing a safety plan and becoming COR Certified, a lot of doors opened for Bison Fire Protection. "People look at us and think, ok, these guys are professionals. Clients respect our safety standards on the job site and know they can expect quality work."

Rob and Emile, Bison Fire Protection

Rob and Emile,
Bison Fire Protection

"Before we started working with 1Life Workplace Safety and Health, we really didn't have a safety system. We didn't want guys to get hurt and certainly didn't put anyone in danger knowingly. But it was a case of 'you don't know what you don't know'. As we learned what we could be doing better to protect our people, we embraced a safety management system and are glad we did. 1Life laid the ground work for us and then helped us through each step, providing the roadmap, training and everything we needed to be successful in our safety management implementation. They were cheerleaders for us through the entire process, keeping us motivated."

Taking it even further, Bison Fire Protection is now ISNetworld® certified, which has encouraged their continued growth in Manitoba and is also helping them to secure large bids in other provinces. "1Life was critical to helping us achieve our ISNetworld® certification as well as securing one of our largest contracts to date, installing sprinklers in a mine in Saskatchewan, a project that will employ 5 of our staff full time for the next year." Today Bison Fire Protection has 4 locations and is a recognized leader in comprehensive fire safety and protection in Manitoba and now Ontario, providing commercial fire extinguisher, fire alarm and sprinkler system installation and service. They develop fire safety plans, whether you need a newly developed plan or updates to an existing one. They also offer fire extinguisher training and specialized consulting to clients with unique fire related hazards.

For more information on fire protection in your business, or if you want to ensure your existing fire safety plan is current in an ever changing business environment contact Bison Fire Protection at 204-237-3473. Tell them 1Life sent you!

Contact 1Life today to schedule a FREE, no obligation consultation to help you assess your safety management system needs! Call 204-231-LIFE (5433)


The Cost of Musculoskeletal Injuries

DID YOU KNOW? Musculoskeletal Injuries account for more than 60% of all time loss injuries?
- Source: MB Workplace Injury Statistics Report 2000 - 2013

Musculoskeletal injuries, or MSIs, are injuries to or disorders of the muscles, tendons, ligaments, joints, nerves, blood vessels or related soft tissue including sprains, strains and inflammation. They tend to be long term injuries that can have severe negative consequences to both workers and employers alike.

A local Winnipeg Manufacturer with 33 employees is currently paying more than $100,000 for WCB premiums are a result of several MSI injuries occurring in recent years. This is $70,000 MORE than similar businesses in the same WCB rate code are paying!

The Manitoba Workplace Safety and Health Branch is starting to conduct random inspections and enforce PART 8 of the WSH Regulation: MUSCULOSKELETAL INJURIES

Based on recent inspections of local Winnipeg employers, here are the key things you need to do to be in compliance and reduce the risk of costly musculoskeletal injuries in your workplace:

  1. Conduct an assessment for the risk of musculoskeletal injuries. I.e. repetitive motion, sustained or awkward positions, forceful exertion, vibration etc.
  2. Based on the risk assessment, implement control measures to reduce or eliminate the risk of musculoskeletal injuries to workers. This includes the development and implementation of Safe Work Procedures specific to your workplace.
  3. Monitor the effectiveness of control measures. (AKA supervise workers)
  4. Inform workers who may be at risk of musculoskeletal injuries of the required control measures (this is part of their right to know)
  5. Provide training to workers including:
    1. Risks for musculoskeletal injuries
    2. Signs and symptoms of musculoskeletal injuries associated with their work
    3. Control measures to reduce or eliminate injury
    4. Safe lifting techniques
    5. Be sure to include documentation and confirmation that they can perform safe lifting techniques


NOW AVAILABLE! Musculoskeletal Injury (MSI) Awareness and Prevention Online Training Program Specific to the requirements of MB WSH Legislation.

Special introductory offer, save 50% on MSI training for your workers until December 31, 2014!

Try the course for free! CLICK HERE TO GET STARTED!

Note: Included at no additional cost for all mySafetyAssistant clients! Not a mySafetyAssistant client? Contact us for more information and get mySafetyAsssistant, your 24/7 virtual safety professional doing the heavy lifting for you whiles saving TIME and MONEY!

Do you have questions about your Safety Management System or compliance with Manitoba Workplace Safety and Health requirements?

Contact us today for a FREE no obligation consultation with a Safety Professional.
Call 204-231-5433


The New Paradigm of Safety Management Systems

Theo Heineman - Safety Management Systems

Do you need an engaging, high-energy presentation in the area of occupational safety and health / risk management that will bring tremendous value to your audience?
To learn more, visit http://www.theoheineman.ca

In the old days, machines and capital were the main drivers of business and people were necessary, but replaceable. People were like things and you could be efficient with them.

What is indisputable is that today, to build a great business you need more than machines and capital; you NEED great people. Once seen as just a JOB, the workplace is seen today as a vehicle through which employees (AKA those great people) can realize their personal vision and serve others and the planet. Employees are increasingly saying that they don’t want to work and just to make money; they want to create value and feel personal significance.

In addition, the workplace is where most employees have their greatest daily contact with other human beings. It’s also where most employees expend their creative energy and form the relationships that most influence their daily conduct.

Management that only wants a worker’s body and doesn’t want to consider their mind, heart or spirit reduce their workers to a thing. When you do not demonstrate that personal safety is important, you treat people like things. Result: they feel insulted and alienated, which depersonalizes work and creates low trust. They are more likely to leave you, resulting in costly turnover.

In a competitive labor market, this old paradigm no longer works. Management is fooling themselves to believe that workplace safety does not contribute to a profitable and sustainable business.

Great people typically possess the qualities of self-confidence and self-worth. As such, they want to work in a great workplace and that includes a safe workplace. People make choices consciously or subconsciously about how much of themselves they will give to their work depending on how they are treated. The companies that prosper most and are more clearly aligned with the fundamental role of business are those that choose to serve society and their own people rather than abuse it. Why should business with all its enormous capacities choose human development (and safety) over short term pursuit of profit?

"After we had a number of improvement orders and improved workplace safety which included improving lighting and housekeeping, we experience a tremendous shift in workplace moral. Employees pride in themselves and in their work increased. In return this had a direct impact on productivity, customer service and profits.” – Winnipeg Auto Dealership.

Safety Profit Principle # 10: The New Paradigm of Safety Management is about:

  1. the control of avoidable loss to your people, property, process and the environment
  2. maximizing profits, protecting your important business relationships and growing your business
  3. what successful, well managed companies do.

Would you like to improve your safety management system performance so that it has a POSITIVE impact on productivity and profits?

Contact us to book a no-obligation consultation with a Senior Safety professional
Phone: 204- 231-5433

The Changing Landscape of Workplace Safety & Health Compliance in Manitoba

Prosecutions for workplace safety and health related offences are on the rise in Manitoba and the cost of non-compliance is steep. Read on to learn more about the changing landscape of WSH compliance in the province and how one forward-thinking insurance company is incorporating safety into its latest program.

In Manitoba an average of one company is currently prosecuted every three weeks for workplace safety and health related violations. Recent fines have reached as much as $187,000 leaving these organizations with a permanent criminal record. Below are several prosecutions that occurred in the month of September 2014 alone.

Manitoba WSH Prosecutions – September 2014

GKW Construction Inc. fined $20,050. A worker was dismantling a scaffolding system when he fell 27 feet to the ground below, sustaining serious injuries. The employer pled guilty to charges of allowing a worker to work in close proximity to a fall hazard without a fall arrest system.

NuSteel Industries (2008) Ltd. fined $50,050. A worker’s leg was pinned when a structural beam disengaged from the hoist he was using to move it. The employer pled guilty to failing to immediately communicate or notify the WSH Branch of a serious incident.

Gerdau Ameristeel Corp. fined $93,800. A worker was removing molten metal from a slag pit when a steam explosion occurred as a result of the molten metal coming into contact with water in the pit area. The worker was seriously injured. The employer pled guilty to failing to ensure that the removal of molten metal from a slag pit was performed in a safe manner.

Source: http://safemanitoba.com/prosecutions


The prosecution process is a painful one that drains companies and their leaders both emotionally and financially. Organizations that are unable to defend themselves against a prosecution are left with a permanent criminal record and can face challenges with bonding, insurance, and securing jobs going forward. Reputations that have taken years to build can be torn apart with a single prosecution, and companies may find themselves forced to change their name and start anew as a result of this loss.

BSI Insurance Protect 360

One Manitoba insurance company, BSI Insurance, recognizes the impact that safety has on overall business risk. BSI has developed a brand new program called Business Protect 360, which their protection specialists are using to help businesses identify their potential risk exposures. By identifying these potential exposures BSI Insurance can help their business clients build a comprehensive plan to ensure the longevity and health of their companies.

BSI Insurance Protect 360

One risk exposure they assess is safety and with the support of 1Life’s team of safety professionals they work to protect businesses from the serious financial difficulty that often results from a workplace safety incident. Using the Protect 360 Organizational Assessment they assess their client’s current safety plan and work with them to develop and implement a safety strategy that meets government standards and keeps employees, customers, and their business safe.

We commend BSI and its leaders for taking safety so seriously and look forward to witnessing the positive impact Business Protect 360 will have on the overall culture of workplace safety and health in the province of Manitoba!

To read more about BSI Insurance please visit their website.

BSI Insurance



Two Canadian Teens Killed on the Job in 1 Week

Recent tragedies in Alberta and Quebec highlight the need for accessible safety training for young workers.

July 2014. A fifteen-year-old boy employed at a gravel site near Drumheller, Alberta was killed in a workplace incident earlier this month. He was just days away from his 16th birthday. Soon after, an eighteen-year-old man was crushed to death when a vehicle fell off a lift in a garage in Sherbrooke, Quebec. While the circumstances surrounding these two incidents remain unclear, one thing is obvious: young workers are a vulnerable section of our workforce and it is imperative that they be made aware of their rights in the workplace and the risks they may face on the job. On May 7th and in celebration of NAOSH Week, 1Life Workplace Safety & Health launched a free online safety training program for young workers. The program, called mySafetyMatters, is part of a larger vision to move safety forward in Manitoba. By empowering our youth with the knowledge they need to feel confident in their rights and responsibilities at work we are paving the way for a generation of workers and business owners alike who value the role of safety in their workplace. According to MB Workplace Injury & Illness Statistics 2000-2013, 269 workers were killed in workplace accidents between 2000 and 2013, and 27 of those workers were ages 15-24. That’s an average of 2 young worker lives lost each year! To learn more about workplace injury & illness statistics in Manitoba, view the report here. It is the intention of 1Life that the number of young worker fatalities in Manitoba is reduced as a result of our youth being empowered with respect to their workplace safety and health rights and responsibilities.We believe that by supplying our youth with the tools and information they need to participate in safety and health in their workplace we will be saving lives. Too often young people do not speak up about safety concerns at work because they are afraid to be reprimanded or fired. By educating young workers in their rights and responsibilities we hope to ensure that no young person feels compelled to participate in work that they think is unsafe.

Share this Hazard Alert with your workers to promote risk awareness!

mySafetyMatters is free for all workers under the age of 24. To access the training, click the banner below or visit http://1lifeworkplacesafety.com/young-worker-safety-training.

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Theo's company and passion are an asset to any business.

Mike Gordon
Foreman, Birchwood Honda Center