Gitxaala Environmental Services OHS Program Development

As a brand new company, Gitxaala had no occupational health and safety program in place and a program was required.

Category: Case Studies
Date: July 21, 2022

The Issue

A brand new, First Nations owned environmental services company based in Prince Rupert. The company planned to start small with 2 – 3 employees and grow to about 10 employees in 2022. Plans are to continue growth into the future and become a significant service provider in the area. Target clients include other local First Nations, local and regional governments and industrial clients including mining, pipelines and oil and gas.

As a brand new company, Gitxaala had no occupational health and safety program in place and a program was required for a few reasons:

  • Companies are legally required to have a safety program in place.
  • Potential clients were requiring the company have a documented program in place in order to be considered as a prospective service provider.
  • Future desire to obtain a Certificate of Recognition (COR).
  • Gitxaala wanted to do the right thing to protect future employees.

The Resolution

DCS Safety Consulting was requested to provide a proposal and compete against other safety consulting professionals to work with Gitxaala to develop a comprehensive occupational health and safety program. Although not the cheapest option, DCS Safety was selected based on ability to deliver the program in the desired timeline, positive client references, pricing and past experience.

To be successful a safety program must be simple and easily used. Policies and procedures were proposed to be simple and straightforward, but comprehensive enough to meet requirements. Over a period of ~4 months DCS Safety worked very closely with the Gitxaala General Manager to develop a program that met the needs of the company and clients. In the couple months following sign-off of the program Gitxaala reported the program is “so far, so good.”

A key potential Gitxaala client has an extensive supplier pre-qualification and selection process that requires assessment of the safety management system, worker welfare, HSE staff and competency, safe systems of work , HSE training and other criteria. Immediately following development of the program DCS Safety provided advice and support for Gitxaala to be evaluated and the program developed by DCS Safety met all pre-qualification criteria was accepted as submitted on the first submission.