Kitchener-Wilmot Hydro wins prestigious safety awards

Posted on Friday November 02, 2018

Kitchener-Wilmot Hydro Inc., Waterloo Region’s largest electric utility, has received three prestigious awards for its achievements in safety.

Thanks to its team of 185 employees, the utility achieved one million hours without a lost-time injury and was awarded the President’s Award from the Infrastructure Health and Safety Association. The company was also presented with two silver awards at the 2018 Canada’s Safest Employer’s awards ceremony.

“Being recognized with these awards is an incredible honour and we couldn’t be more proud. It takes real commitment from all of our employees to make our workplace a safe environment, and we congratulate our team for all they have achieved,” says Jerry Van Ooteghem, President and CEO, Kitchener-Wilmot Hydro Inc.

One million hours with no lost-time injuries

For more than three years and one million consecutive hours, Kitchener-Wilmot Hydro employees have worked without a lost-time injury. It is only the second time in Kitchener-Wilmot Hydro’s 115-year history that the utility has achieved this significant milestone.

“Working with electricity demands that we stay alert and aware of safety hazards at all times. The product we deal with is lethal and unforgiving, so there is no room for error,” says Van Ooteghem. “But there are hazards in the office and shops as well as in the field, so to reach one million hours with no lost-time injuries requires real commitment and awareness from all of our employees at all times. This is truly a notable accomplishment.”

Two Canada’s Safest Employers Awards

Kitchener-Wilmot Hydro’s proactive approach to safety also helped them win two silver awards at the Canada’s Safest Employers award gala held recently in Toronto.

Launched in 2011, Canada’s Safest Employers awards is presented by Canadian Occupational Safety magazine and Thomson Reuters to recognize companies from across Canada with outstanding accomplishments in promoting the health and safety of their workers.

Kitchener-Wilmot Hydro received silver awards in the Utilities and Electrical category and in the Wellness category.

The key to the utility’s success in safety is its employees. Kitchener-Wilmot Hydro’s employees are encouraged to share their concerns and ideas on how to enhance the safety and wellness of themselves and others. “We put employees at the centre of what we do when it comes to safety and wellness,” says George Minow, Manager of Health, Safety and Wellness at Kitchener-Wilmot Hydro. “They are the people working in the environment every day, so their input is absolutely critical.”

“To be ranked among the safest companies in the country is remarkable,” adds Van Ooteghem. “These awards are a testament to the dedication of our team, and we thank them for the outstanding job they do day in and day out. Keep up the great work.”