Trane wins back-to-back safety awards

Trane Canada has won Construction Safety Nova Scotia’s Chair’s Award for Safety Excellence – Standard Business two years in a row. They are going on just over four years with no recorded incidents. According to Donnie Clarke, area service manager, one of the reasons for the company’s success is because safety at the HVAC company is not just done because workers are told to do it, but it has truly become embedded in the company culture.

“When your workers are working safe from a second nature standpoint, you’ve hit that gate where it’s now in the culture versus, ‘I have to do this because I have to check the box,’” he said.

Clarke accepted the award at the CSNS 2023 Annual General Meeting in April.

Like all good safety cultures, a commitment to safety comes from the top at Trane. Safety is supported at the highest levels and the senior leadership team makes sure workers have whatever they need to work safely. Trane supplies all the necessary PPE for its workforce.

The pre-job hazard assessment was recently embedded into the company’s Salesforce software so when technicians arrive at a job, they must complete the hazard assessment first.

“The beauty of this is it lets the team stop and think, ‘Ok, this is the hazard I am going to face today at the site.’ It lets them stop and take a look around, and they know they have done their due diligence, they can work safely, and they can proceed,” said Clarke.

All field leaders meet with the safety team across Canada on a monthly basis to review anything and everything safety related. For example, there might be some new PPE coming, near misses to discuss, or a new safety initiative being launched.

“We go away from that meeting and cascade that information down to our people,” said Clarke. “that national aspect of everybody doing the same thing from a safety perspective helps build consistency and uniformity.”

Trane is COR® certified in all three Atlantic provinces where it operates — New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Newfoundland and Labrador —which is important because it further solidifies that uniformity piece, Clarke explains.

“That keeps our safety program robust. We have guidelines that we work towards and abide by in all three provinces, and gives a point of reference for our technicians,” he said. “It’s the industry standard that we are holding ourselves to.”

Trane has been COR® certified consistently since 2003.

Mental health is a current focus at Trane, and the company recently extended its employee assistance program (EAP) to all unionized technicians.

“I tout that with our technicians and I give them that phone number. By nature, the trade, they are not ones to talk about their feelings, but a couple of times I have said, ‘Here call this number, talk to somebody and get some help,’” said Clarke. “Having access to that makes a difference.”