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Best Workplace for Health and Safety

The transition from a 'get it done' workplace to one that puts safety first makes OEM Remanufacturing a model for employee well being

Oct 28, 2016

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Bonnie Wald, Laura Watkins, Nick Carstairs and Suzanne Pinkoski
Photo Ryan Girard

Five years ago, OEM Remanufacturing’s safety record was “something we were not at all proud of,” says CEO Craig Priddle. But with a strategy overhaul, a new safety team and a pointed focus on employee well-being, OEM’s safety record evolved into one of Alberta’s best.

OEM’s Total Recordable Incident Frequency last year. Anything less than 0.5 is considered world-class

OEM specializes in the remanufacturing and repair of natural gas and diesel engine components, weighing hundreds of pounds, even tonnes. Out of OEM’s 600 employees, more than 400 of them are in the “line of fire,” working with heavy and dangerous machinery daily. “We have large, heavy, hot, sharp, metal objects that we are handling,” Priddle says.

With the number one goal of sending each employee home safely in mind, OEM guarantees comprehensive training programs and, in 2014, put the Safety Suggestion Program in place. It encourages employees to contribute comments, ideas, suggestions or complaints. The program receives more than 100 ideas each month, which are looked at weekly by the safety team and frontline managers. Priddle credits the Safety Suggestion Program, the company’s newfound safety focus, and actively listening to employees and implementing their ideas for the 89 per cent drop in recordable injuries in 2015. “The total recordable injury frequency is in fantastic shape,” says Marcie Kiziak, an ­Alberta’s Best Workplace judge and vice-president of HR at Magnum Energy Services. “They’ve done a really nice job of using employee feedback tools.”

While safety and employee well-being are number one back at the shop, employees are encouraged to carry out these values into their home life. Employees are offered up to 50 per cent off Edmonton and area health clubs as part of OEM’s Corporate Wellness Program. The company also partners with HumanaCare, a confidential Employee and Family Assistance Program. Employees can seek counselling on anything from financial planning to stress management, free of charge. “We want employees to have healthy lives outside of OEM,” Priddle says.

The Finalists

10-albertas-best-workplaces-2016-aglc
Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission, Edmonton
The AGLC is a partner in the Not Myself Today initiative, which support those with mental health challenges.

10-albertas-best-workplaces-2016-horizon-north
Horizon North Calgary
Horizon’s employee and family assistance program gives employees and their families access to counselling, advice and life coaching even if they’re not dependents under the insurance plan.

10-albertas-best-workplaces-2016-united-construction
United Construction, Acheson
United has had zero lost-time incidents since 2009, unprecedented for the industry.

10-albertas-best-workplaces-2016-wcb
Workers’ Compensation Board, Edmonton
As you might expect, the WCB has a thorough employee health and safety program, including on-site massage and physiotherapy, ergonomic assessments, a flu clinic and nutritional counselling.

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