Canada's Infrastructure Health and Safety Association issued a Certificate of Recognition to Kitchener-based swimming pool contractor, Acapulco Pools. COR is a standard of safety excellence used throughout Canada, but began to gain momentum in Ontario three years ago.

“I was absolutely thrilled to receive the news that we had achieved this standard of safety excellence in Canada," says Acapulco Pools’ Health & Safety Manager Nicole Oosterveld. "Our team’s hard work, blood, sweat and tears has finally paid off.“

Oosterveld says this feat has certainly come with its challenges. “Our first hurdle was making the differentiation between OH&S legislation and COR, and having employees truly understand why we were pursuing this. It was easy once we positioned it this way: we were the leaders in the aquatic industry and it was only natural to also be leaders in safety. When you see our worldwide aquatic facilities, it is clear that Acapulco Pools employees take pride in their work, so we wanted safety to be embedded in everything we do.”

To gain this important certification, Acapulco Pools planned and executed the following tactics to implement a brand new, comprehensive Corporate Health & Safety Program:

  • All Safe Work Practices & Procedures were developed by different trades alongside management and reviewed by the Joint Occupational Health & Safety Committee.
  • Crew leads were provided with iPads so they could complete their paperwork electronically, and said paperwork could be reviewed in real-time. This increased reporting and communication between the field and office. It also improved program organization.
  • Investing in annual start-up meetings and other informational events for employees.
  • Sending employees for all required training and ensuring that specialized training and new hire programs were carried out as needed.
  • Implementing a Recognition program focusing on safety goals, increasing employee morale and safety culture.