Kruger: A winning safety package

Tuesday, October 01, 2013

Brampton containerboard and packaging plant wins President's Award from Workplace Safety North

On September 19 in North Bay, Ontario, the provincial occupational health and safety expert for forestry, mining, and paper, printing, and converting sectors recognized the commitment of companies to the prevention of illness and injury at its inaugural Workplace Excellence awards.

Workplace Safety North President Candys Ballanger-Michaud presented an award to Kruger Inc. Packaging during the annual general meeting and awards dinner. The Brampton-based containerboard and packaging plant was honoured for its contribution to building safe and healthy workplaces in Ontario. 

“The employees at Kruger are very proud of this receiving this award,” says Joe Oleiro, HR Manager. “The award means to us that we are on the right path. Participating in the Workplace Excellence Awards is a good way for organizations to benchmark against others. It’s not a question about winning or losing, but where can an organization improve. When it comes to health and safety we can always learn from others.”

“This is a privilege and we’re really pleased to receive this award,” he said as he accepted the award on behalf of Kruger. “Also, it wouldn’t be possible without our local union executive and all our employees really backing health and safety…We’ve matured to the point where we feel that it is possible to achieve a zero reportable incident rate, though we haven’t achieved the magic number yet. For the last six years, we’ve been at one [reportable injury],” he noted, “so it goes to show you with all the good processes you can have in place, it just takes one incident to be a serious incident. 

“We’re still striving to meet that milestone – where everybody goes home safe and healthy at the end of the day. We really appreciate this. Thank you very much. I also want to thank Workplace Safety North,” he added, “they’re always there for us when we need them – to help us and guide us and we appreciate it.”

Established in 1904, Kruger Inc. is active in traditional industry sectors pulp and paper, forest products, and containerboard and packaging, as well as renewable energy, tissue products, wines and spirits, and recycling. The company’s mission is to ensure optimal resource management, and winning the President’s Award for workplace safety excellence is part of their stringent operating standards.

Workplace Safety North recognized Kruger as the 2012 President’s Award Winner for the paper, printing and converting industry. This highest honour for the province is tangible proof of their commitment to occupational health and safety, and superior performance in the paper, printing, and converting sector.  

About WSN Workplace Excellence Awards

The purpose of the program is twofold: first, companies can complete an easy-to-follow assessment of their current health and safety programs. Once completed, businesses can clearly see areas for improvement and develop an action plan to improve safety performance; second, the program provides recognition to firms actively engaged in improving their health and safety performance. 

Companies that score 80 percent or more on the self-assessment submit the completed assessment to WSN in order to receive a plaque that can be displayed in the workplace. WSN reviews the self-assessment and scores may be validated by an on-site visit from a WSN Field Consultant. All submitted assessments are automatically considered for the President’s Award. Scoring is based on the results of the self-assessment in combination with statistical performance of the past two calendar years. 

Top scoring firms in forestry, mining, paper, printing, and converting, and small business are presented with the President’s Award at the WSN annual general meeting each September.

Submissions can be made at any time throughout the calendar year. To be considered for the 2013 President’s Award, companies must submit their assessment by August 15.

Download the Health and Safety Self-Assessment for WSN Workplace Excellence Awards

Accompanying Information Guide includes Frequently Asked Questions

WSN Workplace Excellence Awards Program

WSN staff with Kruger staff

Workplace Safety North representatives with paper, printing, and converting sector award winners Kruger Inc. Packaging, from left: Dan Suess, Joe Oleiro, Candys Ballanger-Michaud, Rick Moriarty, and Bill Shaver.