CEO Weekly Newsletter: May 24, 2021

WSCC Inspection Success

Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) laws are designed to protect workers from injuries and illnesses.

WSCC’s Prevention Services work with employers to ensure they comply with those laws to keep their workers safety and to provide education, resources, and support for organizations who require further assistance.

Furthermore, the safety legislation in the Northwest Territories and Nunavut allows Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) Inspectors to ensure safe workplace laws are being followed.

So on May 18th, 2021 AVENS was visited by two inspectors, Jo Pamplin CRSP, Senior OHS Inspector Prevention Services and her colleague Sylvanus Enobile, Secondary Officer of the WSCC, Their goal was to do a complete facility inspection of our buildings and to review our OHS program.

We were very pleased with their report, which can be found on our OHS Communication Board in the Administration wing.

We made the following positive observations at the time of the inspection:

  • They have a health and safety manual for staff.
  • They have a comprehensive fire response system with drills every spring and fall, and posted evacuation plan.
  • They offer Nonviolent Crisis Intervention training in-house and have a number of required trainings such as WHMIS available through the HR Download learning management system.
  • They have a fall protection system and program in place for any work that must be completed on the roofs.
  • Hearing protection is provided outside of areas marked with noise hazards.
  • Avens has a Joint Occupational Health and Safety Committee with documented minutes that meets quarterly.
  • Inspections:
  • The Committee performs quarterly documented inspections throughout the facility.
  • Maintenance performs monthly documented preventative maintenance inspections, which includes fire extinguishers, emergency lights, first aid kits, and eye wash stations.
  • Boilers are inspected daily.
  • Safety Data Sheets are up-to-date and available in the areas where needed, such as janitor closets and laundry facilities.
  • Staff report that safety engineered needles are used at the facility.
  • Confined spaces are labelled, and entry procedure is in place.
  • PPE donning and doffing instructions are placed throughout the facility.
  • Materials handling training is provided on the job.
  • An office ergonomics in-service session was recently provided to administrative staff.

Now we had a small couple of corrections, but they were very minor in nature.

The reason why I believe this to be so noteworthy is that you cannot take safety for granted. Safety doesn’t happen by accident!

It takes a lot of work to set up and even more effort to maintain.

I would like to start off by thanking our lead Director of Human Resources and OHS, Lindsey Dwojak, for her continuous dedication to your orientation and training in safety.

To our Director of Operations, Steven Nicholas, for keeping our Occupational Health and Safety Committee on target

And finally, a huge shout out to the members of our OHS Committee. Thank you for taking the lead in keeping us all safe!

Stay safe everyone and don’t forget to report near misses please!

Tim Hortons How Can I Help You?

Last week our Tim Horton’s crew, also known as, AVENS Wellness and Recreation Team, strolled the halls of AVENS generating smiles and offering caffeine & carbohydrate tokens of joy.

In these dreary days of Covid, social isolation and social inclusion are topics not to be taken lightly. Interacting with our residents and making them joyful is no easy feat.

The same could be said about our staff, as they too, are feeling the effects of compounded months of covid safety rules and PPE restrictions.

All this takes a toll on our entire facility and if you don’t manage this, it could soon have devasting effects on our service culture.

So back to our story…what joy it was to see our newly minted Tim Horton’s service cart making its way throughout campus.

The aroma of freshly brewed coffee and delightful smell of donuts filled everyone’s nostrils.

(L to R) Wellness Supervisor, Carol Norwegian and Wellness Team Member, Juanita Crocker Walsh changing roles as Tim Horton’s barista’s

Thank you to everyone involved for this truly one of a kind service, which only can be found at AVENS and the real Tim Hortons Drive through.

Employee Self Service Portal

If you remember way back when we did work schedules manually, and you had to make an appointment to see our Director of Human Resources for every little question about your payroll and you had to fill out a vacation request form by hand and leave it under a door. Do you remember doing all this old school stuff?

I do…it wasn’t that great.

When we decided it was time to embrace the 21 century, we made a promise at AVENS, that it was important that we make the proper course correction in our operations to deal with providing secured “realtime” employee self service options.

Today, I am pleased to announce that we are moving forward with that promise.

Starting very soon, you will be hearing news through your Manager, Supervisor and Director about the NEW Advanced Tracker Employee Self-Service online portal.

In essence, you will be able to secure your very own portal log in, view your banked time, request time-off, view current announcements and see your personal work schedule.

We are very excited to announce this newly added secure-online-value-added-service.

This is just one more way to say we care about you and what you do for AVENS.

We hope you enjoy these new employee e-tools, so please ask questions while we work together on this roll-out.

A River “Drives” To It

A River Runs Through It is a 1992 American drama film directed by Robert Redford and stars Brad Pitt. It was based on the 1976 semi- autobigraphical novel A River Runs Through It by Norman Maclean.

This was great movie, if you have not seen it, please take my word, it is worth your time.

So when our group of dedicated Wellness Team explorers decided on a trip to the Yellowknife River on Monday May 17th, 2021, I thought it was only fitting that I parody this excursion as A River “Drives” To It adventure.

Now don’t get me in trouble, as no one really drove through the river, this is merely a play on words, nothing more.

The AVENS bus gang!

Bundled up on our bus with newly designed quilted blankets, a hardy group of young explorers loaded up for our buses maiden voyage to the Yellowknife River.

Unfortunately, the weather did not cooperate as planned, so although it was a fun bus ride, we will have to book this excursion on a warmer day.

Until our next A River “Drives” To It adventure…stay warm, dry and safe!