Safety training — Why it’s important to homeowners

One of the most critical steps when you hire a pool builder is to ensure that the employees working on your property are professional, safe and properly certified.

The quick answer:

When the pool company you hire cares about employee safety training and certifications it doesn’t just benefit those employees:

  • proper employee certification protects you from potential liability while work is being done on your property
  • a well-trained employee does a better job
  • companies that treat their employees well and invest in employee training tend to retain those employees, and the expertise they develop

Still here? Great! Read on to learn more about the employee safety training and certifications you should insist on.

Betz Pools realizes the importance of a well-trained workforce. They know if their people do a better job they will be happier and that will pay off with less staff turnover.

Betz is widely-respected because it not only believes in quality control and safety, but actually walks that talk. In fact, when it comes to quality control and safety, we’re way out in front of any of the other pool companies.

At Betz, we know our work is only as good as our employees.

Many of the pool projects we build are complex, and that’s why we invest a lot of time and money in employee training and safety.

“Betz is very good at keeping people on for long periods of time,” says Mark Wideman of Betz Pools. "Some of our employees have been around for 30 or 40 years and many have been with Betz for over 20 years. That kind of employee retention speaks for itself.”

Low employee turnover also enables Betz to develop an exceptional level of in-house expertise.

All Betz construction and service employees are outfitted with proper safety equipment. We subsidize their safety boot and hearing protection purchases and even provide free clothing to wear on the job.

Our commitment to employee safety extends to our customers. We take tangible steps to protect our customers and their families when we’re on their properties.

1. Liability protection for our customers

We work closely with the Ministry of Labour. Anytime a new pool exceeding $50,000 is built, we file a Notice of Project. A Notice of Project along with our full compliance with WSIB (Workplace Safety and Insurance Board) is important because it protects the customer against being sued.

Filing the notice proves that everyone on the job site, including the subtrades we contract, has worker’s compensation clearances.

“Without the notice, if someone got injured the homeowner could get sued,” says Ken Wood of Betz Pools. “Many people don’t understand that. If someone is working on your property without proper clearances, then you can be held at fault.”

Betz employs a designated safety person and produces an annual policy and procedures manual of almost 200 pages. All employees receive workplace health and safety training and get updates on regulation changes as they occur.

2. Staying on top with the Construction Safety Association (CSA)

Betz has more stringent safety standards than anyone else in the pool business. We are a member of the CSA of Ontario and work with their local rep to involve our office and construction employees in all new safety procedures, bills and programs.

One of our senior employees, Frank Blanchet, was recently at a major pool and spa industry conference. He brought up Bill 168, an amendment to the Occupational Health and Safety Act that deals with violence and harassment in the workplace. Frank was surprised that some people in the room hadn’t heard of it.

“At Betz, we do all our in-house training on new safety procedures using updates from the CSA. This helps to protect our workers and provide a healthy, safe and hassle-free environment,” says Frank. “When I talk to other companies about these programs I realize how far ahead we are in this area. Once you work for Betz you know the difference.”

3. Complying with the Occupational Health and Safety Act

We also follow the Occupational Health and Safety Act to ensure we're at the top of our game when it comes to safety.

All our employees are trained on WHMIS (Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System), our construction people are trained in CPR, First Aid and working at heights, and our staff who deliver chemicals are trained in transportation of dangerous goods.

We hired a designated safety person and have a joint health and safety committee made up of two people from every department, which meets once a month to discuss job safety on the sites and in the office.

Comprehensive employee training leads to a happier workforce. Consequently, Betz enjoys very low employee turnover, resulting in an enviable level of in-house expertise.

4. Giving our employees the tools they need to be safe

Safety starts with our workers. Our construction and service employees all get free clothing to wear on the job. They are outfitted with proper safety equipment and we subsidize their safety boot and hearing protection purchases.

We provide driver training and have less downtime with our new updated fleet of trucks. All our big transits and pickups, and all our new vehicles, are equipped with back up beepers and cameras.

We know a trained workforce is going to do a better job, be happier and have less turnover. As a big company with a small company personal touch, we know how important it is to encourage open dialogue and keep our employees happy. We have monthly breakfasts for employees to get together with managers and discuss whatever comes up and we have social functions like chicken wing nights.

“At Betz, we all have a lot of pride in the work we do,” says Ken. “Pride of work, pride of workmanship, pride of equipment. We get a lot of comments about how respectful and accommodating our crews are. And we actually teach that. The customer is number one.”

Providing employees with the tools they need to do the job well has far-reaching benefits. Betz’s new updated fleet has reduced downtime, improved safety and enhanced the company’s image on the street.

Want even more information on employee safety training and certification? Feel free to get in touch.

Surfing the Internet is a good start. But your single most important step for pool information is to contact a certified pool professional to make sure you get the custom advice you need.

Do you have something to say about employee safety training and certification? Join the conversation by sharing your thoughts in the comments below.

Ken Wood
Betz Pools

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