Pinnacle Pellet in Williams Lake received Pinnacle’s Safety Award on March 14

Pinnacle Pellet wins safety award

The Pinnacle Pellet plant in Williams Lake was recognized this week with the company’s first-ever safety award.

The Pinnacle Pellet plant in Williams Lake was recognized this week with the company’s first-ever safety award, acknowledging the plant’s zero medical incident rate for 2011, its highest scored card on monthly audits, as well as the staff’s proactive approach to safety.

“A recordable medical incident would be anything that you would record to restrict what someone’s able to do within their job,” says Leroy Reitsma, Pinnacle’s president and chief operating officer.

“In Williams Lake last year they had a flawless record,” Reitsma says, adding that measuring the level of pro-activity seen within the plant, not just in management, but in the employees of pursuing excellence, is also key.

Internal audits take place monthly to ensure safety is intact, and then an outside body —  the Forest Safety Council — does an audit once a year.

It was a combination of those two scores that was used to determine which plant should receive the award.

“What we’re trying to recognize here in Williams Lake is not only the achievement last year, but the degree to which the culture of this facility has transformed over the last year to one of real pride in what they do. The housekeeping and overall appearance of the plant has been a focus of the workforce here and they’ve done a great job,” Reitsma explains.

Pinnacle is now 24 years old and over the last five years has made some big advancements in safety.

The award, Reitsma says, is one more way to continually reinforce and create attention in respect to safety.

A key thing, he suggests, is that people are at a level of awareness of what could be the potential of risks and they are being mindful of how to ensure that risks are mitigated.

“When you’re trying to create a culture that does that, the more things that we do as employees of this company to try and encourage each other to always stay at a high level of awareness, the more success we’re going to have in ensuring the safety of everyone.”

Reitsma notes the achievements in Williams Lake have not been because they’ve been mandated, but due to a grass-roots effort to pay attention to detail.

Corporate safety and environmental officer Lorne Davies was hired a month and half after there was a fatality at the plant in Williams Lake in 2008.     The two had worked at CANFOR previously and put their heads together to look at ways to increase safety measures within the organization.

Davies is responsible for all of the company’s six plants and is travelling back and forth visiting them regularly.

“I’ve seen a complete buy-in rather than a case where people have to do this,” says Davies, adding it really is a game of inches.

“You can’t just wave a wand and everything changes today or tomorrow. Over a point of couple of years you make changes.”

Safety in the workplace is multifaceted and Reitsma suggests while it’s easy to say safety is number one, it’s the level of awareness and people understanding it’s not OK to take risks. Measurements are laid out, but they have to be followed through.

From what he’s seen across the board, he feels there’s a level of accountability among the employees wanting everyone to be safe.

“We back that up by doing the audits. If someone’s choosing not to follow the company plan then they know right away that’s not acceptable,” Davies says.

Pinnacle has also been steadily growing. In 2004, the company produced 60,000 tonnes of pellets.

In 2012, the company will produce 1.25 million tonnes, making it 20 times the size it was when it first started.

“You look at the number of employees we have, the level of professionalism that goes into running an organization like this, and we realized we needed to improve safety measures,” Reitsma says.

 

 

Just Posted

Sloughing of embankment results in vehicles, tank falling into river valley

City of Williams Lake staff working with government ministries and businesses to address the problem

42nd annual Williams Lake Harvest Fair wants you!

Think you might have just canned the best pickles ever?

Williams Lake Slo-Pitch League geared up for year-end tournament

“It’s been a great year and we’re looking forward to this weekend,” Barbondy said.

Delay powers way to berth at strongman nationals

Delay finished in the top four in his weight division in Richmond at the provincial championships

Joe Borsato leaves the Museum of the Cariboo Chilcotin

Museum of the Cariboo Chilcotin coordinator Joe Borsato bid farewell to his position at the museum

VIDEO: Title of 25th Bond movie is ‘No Time to Die’

The film is set to be released in April 2020

‘Unsubstantiated’ bomb threat against CP Rail in Revelstoke

On Aug. 18, a bomb threat was made against CP Rail in Revelstoke

Victoria father charged with double murder of his daughters takes the stand

Andrew Berry pleaded not guilty to the December 2017 deaths

New ‘Matrix’ film set with Keanu Reeves and Lana Wachowski

Fourth installment to feature Reeves as Neo and Carrie-Anne Moss as Trinity

Catholic church buys $7.5M equestrian facility in B.C., plans ‘agri-retreat’ centre

Church hopes to grow crops, host students and others on Bradner property

New regulations require training for B.C. addiction recovery homes

Inspections, standards replace ‘wild west,’ Judy Darcy says

Trans Mountain gives contractors 30 days to get workers, supplies ready for pipeline

Crown corporation believes the expansion project could be in service by mid-2022

66% of B.C. residents want opt-out system for organ donation: poll

Support was lowest in Ontario and the Atlantic provinces

B.C. rainbow crosswalk covered in mysterious black substance

Black substance spilled intentionally near Vancouver Island school and difficult to remove

Most Read