The industry-led, nonprofit health and safety association for manufacturers and food and beverage processors in British Columbia.
The Manufacturing Safety Alliance of BC is the industry-led, not-for-profit health and safety association for manufacturers and food processors (including wineries, breweries, and distilleries). The Alliance helps companies build safer workplaces by offering on-site and online support through our team of safety advisors offering knowledge and training to assist in building effective health and safety programs.
The Alliance is also the Certifying Partner for the Occupational Safety Standard of Excellence (OSSE), which is the Certificate of Recognition program for manufacturers.
The Manufacturing Safety Alliance of BC is not a regulator, but provides health and safety support and training to estate wineries. Winery operators are eligible for the support of a safety advisor, and may contact the Alliance for a free needs assessment, or to request training or specialized safety services such as confined space assessments.
The Alliance is also the Certification Partner for the Occupational Safety Standard of Excellence, the Certificate of Recognition (COR) program for food and beverage processors.
Key benefits of working with the Alliance
As a nonprofit health and safety association, the Manufacturing Safety Alliance of BC provides confidential, expert assistance to help companies control hazards, get compliant and continue to improve their health and safety programs.
Key benefits include:
- Free support and discounted rates on fee-based services for members.
- Training and support to help winery owners manage health and safety risks and build effective programs.
- Specialized training and assessments in areas such as ergonomics, confined spaces, air quality, noise, machine guarding, combustible dust, and industrial storage racking.
- Full-time safety advisors in a Kelowna office to support the winery industry in the Okanagan.
- New tools coming this fall to provide micro and small employers the fundamental health and safety knowledge they need to protect workers.
- Companies that actively use Alliance services and training have fewer injuries. For example, the cohort of companies that have worked with the Alliance the longest has seen a 44.5% reduction injury claims since 2007.
- That trend translates to fewer people injured and off work, and a better experience rating means lower WorkSafeBC insurance premiums.
- For our certified companies, there are additional financial benefits as well. OSSE-certified members can earn a 10% rebate on their WorkSafeBC premiums and a 15% rebate on their net property insurance premiums.
Costs of programs
- For member companies, the Alliance offers both free and discounted training and services.
- For example, members can take advantage of a free needs assessment and GAP analysis of their current health and safety systems—along with regular calls or visits by a safety advisor to help them build or improve their programs.
- We offer some free awareness courses online, a selection of low-cost online safety training courses, and instructor-led training onsite or in any of our affordable Open Learning classes.
- For companies that need more intensive support or specialized safety services, the Alliance also offers consulting services below market rates for members.
Safety in the BC winery industry
The winery industry has more than doubled in size (factoring payroll, # of firms, and people working in the industry) since breaking off from the alcoholic beverage manufacturing classification unit (CU) in 2010. With the tremendous growth of the wine industry in BC, workplace safety enforcement has also increased. In 2019, the number of WorkSafeBC corrective orders issued to wineries doubled.
Possible reasons for the increased scrutiny:
- Injury rates have been creeping up for the last few years and just eclipsed the provincial average last year.
- Young worker claims in wineries have more than tripled since 2015, while mature worker's claims have remained nearly constant.
- Women make up 42% of all claims. This is much higher than the comparative manufacturing sector claims for women (16.5%).
- With the rapid growth in this space, we’re seeing many new, small wineries—small operations that likely lack safety systems and new operators may not yet understand their responsibility in managing health and safety to protect their workers.
- Top types of injuries in wineries over the past 5 years: MSIs (27.1% - most of them from overexertion), Struck By-Against (20.7%) and Slips, Trips, Falls (23.7%).
- 5 year average for claims cost per year is $381k. But trending down in relation to the growth of the industry.
A safe start:
Getting off to a strong, safe start is critical. By designing your work processes and production facility with injury prevention in mind, you can avoid future accidents and save yourself time and money in the long term. Contact the Manufacturing Safety Alliance of BC for advice early!