“Safety above all else.” It is a refrain that staff of the Hamilton Port Authority (HPA) are very familiar with. In fact, this safety-first principle was adopted as a core corporate value in 2013 to underscore its importance, and to set the tone for the implementation of a comprehensive health and safety program.

“Our goal is to create a healthy and safe workplace dedicated to achieving zero accidents and injuries,” said HPA President & CEO Bruce Wood. “We’re going above and beyond. HPA is committed to not only comply with the applicable acts and regulations, but also to seek out and apply recognized best practices.”

Throughout 2014, HPA staff at all levels have been involved in a systematic process to identify workplace health and safety issues, and to take specific steps to address them. An internal HPA working group is supported by the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS), who bring a wealth of experience and knowledge of best practice to the process.

During the first phase of the program, the HPA team undertook an audit of work activities and practices, a gap analysis, and a health and safety program analysis.

In the second phase, HPA will review, develop, and conduct required training on the port’s health and safety regulations and policies. For a wide range of job and activity types, actionable guidance will address roles and responsibilities, procedures, training, equipment, checklists and evaluation.

“A healthy and safe workplace is everyone’s responsibility,” emphasizes Wood. But the commitment to this program is supported by HPA leadership walking the talk. “Each of us is looking at our own daily activities, with a new perspective through the lens of safety.”