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Health and Safety

At YVR, safety is our top priority. In 2017, we continued to focus on improving initiatives—through training, education and industry involvement.

Health and Safety Management System

YVR’s integrated Safety, Security and Environment Policy provides the framework for our Health and Safety Management System. This system is verified by the three-year Certificate of Recognition program and is based on the Occupational Health & Safety Advisory Services 18001 standard.

Certificate of Recognition

In 2017, we successfully passed our maintenance audit through WorkSafeBC’s Certification of Recognition Program, with outstanding scores of 94 per cent for the occupational health and safety management system audit and 96 per cent for the injury management audit. These high scores reflect our safe working conditions, which meet Canada Labour Code.

Contractor Safety Management Program

In collaboration with our stakeholders, we developed the Contractor Safety Management Program (CSMP). This new program provides clear and consistent processes to better manage the health and safety risks associated with contractor activities on Sea Island and replaces the Construction Safety Security Manual (CSSM). This includes improved structure and tools as well as expectations that contractors and employees will be required to follow.

Occupational Safety and Health Committee

Under the Health and Safety Management System, our joint Occupational Safety and Health Committee reviews policies, programs and safe work practices. The Committee, which equally includes men, women, management and bargaining unit employees across departments, meets to discuss and resolve safety and health issues through consensus. The Committee is active in developing and promoting our health, safety and wellness initiatives, along with regulatory activities such as conducting inspections and investigations and reviewing health and safety programs. In 2017, this team continued to set specific targets for health and wellness performance, including no lost time accidents, zero non-compliances, training and attendance.

North American Occupational Health and Safety Week

From May 6 to 12, YVR took part in the North American Occupational Safety and Health (NAOSH) Week, a continent-wide event that highlights the importance of increasing understanding, raising awareness and reducing injuries and illness in the workplace, at home and in the community.

NAOSH week started with the annual Day of Mourning ceremony, an event held in memory of workers who have been killed, injured or suffered illness as a result of work-related accidents and illness. While YVR did not experience such losses, this important event set a strong reminder of why safety is our top priority.

Throughout May, we included a range of activities to promote health and wellness such as courses and presentations on mental health, workplace violence de-escalation and proper use of fire extinguishers. We also hosted the annual Foreign Object Debris Walk, which saw a large number of volunteers from stakeholders throughout Sea Island clear the airfield of debris.

Indoor Air Quality

In accordance with our Environmental Air Quality Program, we have four industrial hygienists and a multitude of Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) monitoring equipment to keep air quality in check. This includes CO2 sensors, which monitor and regulate building ventilation. In 2017, our Health & Safety team conducted baseline and ongoing IAQ assessments throughout the terminal and airside to monitor potential air quality impacts for construction projects and vehicle exhaust. They found the air quality was within acceptable levels, as determined by Canada Occupational Health and Safety Regulations and WorkSafeBC Occupational Health and Safety Regulations.


Healthy Workplace Award

Now in its sixteenth year, our incentive-based Wellness Program continued to support our Social Policy by promoting health and wellness through fitness classes, mental health education, lunch-and-learn sessions, wellness e-magazine subscriptions and community involvement. Our employees continued to engage, with 90 per cent participating in the program through various events and functions. We emphasized all aspects of wellness, including mental health, into workplace initiatives. In 2017, we hosted five sessions of The Working Mind, a course that aims to reduce the stigma of mental illnesses, increase awareness of mental health, and offer resources to maintain positive mental health and increase resiliency. We continued to provide financial wellness rewards using a detailed point tracking system that awards employees up to $210 per year as gift cards in pursuit of their health and social goals.

In 2017, we also proudly accepted the Psychologically Healthy Workplace Award in the medium size, not-for-profit category. These awards are presented every two years and are selected by a committee made up of the British Columbia Psychological Association in the categories of small, medium and large and for-profit and not-for-profit organizations across B.C.

Corporate Champions!

In May and June, over 100 employees participated as 31 teams across 12 sport and activity events at the annual Corporate Champions Vancouver competition. For the second consecutive year, we placed first overall among 65 organizations, with four gold, three silver and three bronze medals.

Sit Stand Workstation Modifications

In 2017, we installed 159 sit stand workstations across the organization. We followed up with ergonomics lunch and learns and individual employee ergonomic workstation assessments. In total, 149 employees received individual ergonomic workstation assessments with the remainder to be seen in early 2018.

Lost-Time Injuries

We measure health and safety performance by tracking any at-work injuries that result in an employee missing work. Whenever we have an employee lost-time injury, we conduct an incident investigation to identify root causes and develop recommendations to prevent the incident from happening again. This has led to improvements such as sourcing and distributing new equipment and tools to improving safe work practices for various work tasks. In 2017, we had three lost-time injuries and 41 lost-time days. This did not meet our zero target.

Emergency Response Procedures

To ensure we maintain the best safety standards, we have an Emergency Management Plan focused on three principles—plan, prepare and practice—integrated with a Crisis Communications plan focused on delivering open, honest and timely information. In 2017, we tested and improved our plans through a range of exercises and drills, involving our employees, our partners and our communities.

Large-Scale Exercise

In 2017 we hosted our large-scale, biannual Emergency Exercise. Go here for more information. 

Tabletops and Live Exercises

Every year, we conduct a series of small to medium-scale exercises to test and discuss our expected emergency responses. During 2017, we co-facilitated a Contagious Disease Tabletop exercise with the Public Health Agency of Canada, which brought representatives from the airport community together to discuss responses and strategies for dealing with a potential viral outbreak. We also hosted an active threat tabletop with our responder and partner agencies. Both exercises provided valuable training and helped YVR and our partners identify areas to improve. The Communications team held several tabletops to further discuss responses to security and operational threats and updated the Crisis Communications Plan to better meet the rapidly changing nature of traditional and online media.

Earthquake Preparedness

YVR is committed to earthquake preparedness. We conduct annual safety exercises for our employees and our team of trained Floor Wardens, including participation in the Great BC ShakeOut Earthquake drill. In addition, we worked on upgrades to the Domestic Terminal Building in 2017, adding three lengths of draft struts in the Level 2 ceiling. We will continue to update our buildings in 2018 and beyond.

Universal Access

In 2017, we completed a number of terminal improvements that will help us ensure we put social considerations into our Emergency Response program. We continued to deploy stair-descending equipment in areas that rely on elevators for vertical access, and have now incorporated this as standard equipment for all new builds at YVR. We completed the upgrades to the communications capabilities in our Areas of Refuge, from the basic alarm notification system to two-way voice communications.

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