The 27th Quarterly Networking Event happened last week in Walkerton, ON. We hosted over 35 BWA members providing value with presentations on Ergonomics and injury management in the workplace, FSC certification, Severance, and Termination review, and of course valuable networking opportunities!
The afternoon started with the recognition of three board members whose terms on the board have come to an end. We want to thank, past President Andrew Schuster of Crate Designs Furniture, Treasurer Paul West of West Bros Furniture and Mike Vokes of Vokes Furniture, for their contribution to the success of the Bluewater Wood Alliance. As founding members of Bluewater Wood Alliance, their contribution to BWA has been immeasurable. Thank you, Andrew, Paul, and Mike!
Mike Baker (far left), Executive Director of BWA presented plaques to Paul West (centre) and Andrew Schuster (right) to honour their terms on the Board of Bluewater Wood Alliance – missing Mike Vokes.
Marnie Downey of Ergo Consulting presented on injury management in the workplace. She wanted us to proactively look at our workplace to identify and address any hazards the Ministry of Labour would catch if they were ever to visit. Some red flags include over the shoulder lifting, lifting over 50lbs, below the knee lifting and using hands as hand tools. She covered easy fixes like titling workstations, lowering or raising materials and organizing the flow of work. Adjustments such as these can help improve productivity and reduce injuries in the workplace resulting in fewer workers’ compensation claims and lost days.
After a lively networking break, we gathered to learn about the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). François Dufresne, President of FSC Canada, spoke about FSC and the benefits of becoming FSC certified as either a manufacturer of solid wood products or a supplier of lumber. Many customers are now demanding it!
The FSC certification guarantees the source and processes of your products. Some of our members in attendance shared their experience of becoming FSC certified for both forest management as well as manufacturing. FSC is working on streamlining the process for the forest management certificate and hopes that the new process will encourage more companies to become certified. If you are interested in exporting to Europe, the USA, and Australia an FSC Certification ensures you will be up to date with government requirements. These countries have legislation banning the use and trade of illegally harvested timber and products made from it.The day finished up with Jill Sampson of The Alliance Lawyers, speaking to the group about Severance and Termination. She reviewed the importance of being up to date and aware of the risks and requirements involved regarding termination of employees. As always, we were delighted as she fielded questions and concerns siting case samples and scenarios for our members. The main take away – be proactive with your contracts and have them signed before a new hire starts.
BWA members participate in a quick exercise to demonstrating how quickly we feel muscle strain. Marnie Downey of Ergo Consulting getting members in the right frame of mind to appreciate the need to reduce MSDs in the workplace.
The 27th Quarterly Networking Event happened last week in Walkerton, ON, and hosted over 35 BWA members