Courses guide supervisors on leading safety

Image from WorkSafe Magazine Sept/Oct 2013, Trevor Davies on right

Image from WorkSafe Magazine September/October 2013

Municipal workers face many different hazards – and now their supervisors have a new program to help keep them safe.

It’s the Supervisor Safety Certificate Program from the BC Municipal Safety Association and I read about it in the Sept/Oct 2013 issue of WorkSafe Magazine.

Trevor Davies, the program’s first graduate, was quoted in the story – and I followed up with him via email to find out more. He’s the occupational health and safety advisor for the City of Colwood, where eight supervisors have earned their program certificates.

Trevor said the program helps to build what he calls “the three pillars of supervisor responsibility.”

“Not only must a supervisor know how to meet the vocational requirements of their position (whether public works, engineering, planning, administration) they must also meet the OH&S requirements, and labour relations requirements (both in union and non-union workplaces),” he said.

“My goal is to ensure our supervisors receive training in all three facets to provide them with all the skills needed to be successful in their jobs. New supervisors often start with only one of the “pillars” (usually professional qualifications); we must assist them in developing the other two or else we expose our organization to liability in OH&S and labour relations.”

Colwood staff complete supervisor safety program

Colwood staff complete supervisor safety program

What’s in the program?

To complete the program attendees must take a series of courses (some core to the program, some electives).

They include:

  • Due Diligence for Supervisors
  • Hazard Identification and Risk Assessments
  • Incident/Accident Investigations
  • Musculoskeletal Disorder (MSD) Reduction Strategies
  • Presentation Skills, Communication, and Crew Talks
  • Worksite Safety Inspections

Trevor said his team took Presentation Skills as one of the elective courses “… to ensure our supervisors felt confident in leading their crews in safety discussions.”

Speaking to a group doesn’t come naturally for everyone – so I’m glad to see there’s help for people who need to share important messages that affect everyone’s safety. Thanks to Trevor – and congratulations on this proactive move to greater safety for the folks who keep our cities and towns safe and running smoothly.


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