“The ultimate aim of Integra Safety Inc. is to make safety an integral aspect of performance regardless of the task,” explains Clay Purdy, who helped found the Medicine Hat-headquartered company about two years ago. “Safety should be a value linked with every activity or task in a work routine. Safe work should be the enduring norm, whether the current focus is on quality, quantity or cost-effectiveness.”
“What sets us apart is that we offer up to 14 classes a week, often held during evenings and weekends so that company personnel can stay compliant without impeding production,” says Manager/Instructor Troy Bjelland, an Integra Safety co-founder. “Another unique feature is our Integrated Safety Fundamentals, where we offer 10 safety tickets in five days – from H2S, Confined Space Entry and Gas Detection to WHIMS, TDG and First Aid.” (For a complete list of courses, see sidebar story on p. ?.)
Integra Safety, which provides more than 36 safety courses as well as safety consulting services, moved into a 8,600-square-foot state-of-the-art facility in summer 2007, complete with indoor confined space equipment, horizontal and vertical simulations and welcoming classrooms.
In addition, there’s a 1,200-square-foot comfort room, complete with plasma TV, air hockey game and comfy chairs – the good folks at Integra know that many of their clients don’t want to be there, but a comfortable learning atmosphere can go a long way. Already the company has more than 4,000 people in its customer base.
“One of the hardest parts of my job is to try and motivate individuals to take training on their days off. Not only to take the training but to actually enjoy it and gain something from it,” writes a satisfied Integra Safety client. “My guys have had nothing but compliments about your instructors and your facility. They actually seem to want to go to courses now. Keep up the great work, guys!”
There are three full-time and two part-time instructors at Integra, all with a wealth of safety training instruction and invaluable hands-on oilpatch experience.
Bjelland, the former Corporate Safety Manager of an oil and gas construction company with more than 8,500 employees, has considerable experience working in the energy industry and dealing with health, safety and environmental regulations.
The Lead Instructor is Cliff Hindmarch. who has many years of safety instruction and professional driving experience, as well as oilpatch fracturing and cementing expertise.
Willie Giroux, a Class I driving instructor and heavy-duty mechanic, is the most recent full-time hire.
Not Just A Training Ticket
Some safety hazards are easy to recognize. But others, such as exposure to noise or chemicals. are not so obvious. In fact, some occupational illnesses, such as hearing loss, do not show symptoms for 10 to 25 years after exposure.
“You need to be trained in order to recognize and eliminate these hazards,” says Purdy. “Through our broad range of courses and services, you now have the resources available to minimize or eliminate those hazards.”
Of equal importance is the attitude of a company’s safety supervisor, safety manager or upper management which can help mould the attitude of its employees. “Supervisors must constantly seek to develop and increase the level of training invested in their people,” he explains.
“Integra Safety employs instructors with a level of professionalism that is unmatched in the industry,” says Bjelland. “We strive to ensure your employees receive an education, not just a training ticket.”
As the company attracts clients from across Western Canada, there are plans to eventually open other locations, expand its offerings to include courses on leadership, employee retention and others. Ultimately, the company wants to become the premier one-stop safety training shop.
Everyone at Integra Safety sincerely believes in this maxim: If you train today, you will have a safer tomorrow.
Safety, of Course
Here are some of the courses that Integra Safety offers:
* Emergency First Aid
* Standard First Aid
* H2S Alive
* WHMIS (Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System)
* Confined Space Entry/Rescue
* Gas Detection
* TDG (Transportation of Dangerous Goods)
* Fire Suppression Training
* Ground Disturbance Level II
* General Oilfield Driver Improvement
* Hazard Assessment and Controls
* OH&S (Occupational Health & Safety) Due Diligence
* Forklift Training
* Fall Protection Training
* Leadership For Safety & Excellence
* Hours of Service/Fatigue Management
* Air Brake Refresher Course
* Loader Training
* Flag Person Training
* Drug Testing
* Sound Level Surveys
* Mobile Hearing Tests
* Incident Investigation
* Driver Evaluations
* WCB Claims Management
* COR (Certificate of Recognition) Program
* COR (Certificate of Recognition) Audits/Air Quality
* Light Duty Vehicle Driver Improvement
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