Building a Health and Safety Culture 

Beverly Written by Beverly Leavitt April 28, 2024 Health and Safety

A flat lay of a red first aid kit, yellow hard hat, blue safety mask, clear safety glasses, yellow work gloves, and a blue binder reading "workplace safety."

True story: A Ministry of Labour auditor walks through a member’s doors and requests their health and safety plan. The member confesses that they’ve recently joined CEDA’s 5Plus program and are establishing their required plan. 

What does the auditor do? They give them grace because the member is taking steps toward a safer workplace. 

Would you find yourself in the same situation? 

Confusing is an Understatement 

While you are required to have a health and safety plan, the specifics aren’t listed…anywhere. 

Unclear guidelines are not an excuse for not having a plan in place. As you saw in the scenario above, taking tangible steps can be enough to appease an auditor. 

In the likely event that an auditor visits your dealership, they’ll probably request certain actions. But before that happens, CEDA can guide you through your responsibilities. 


Keeping the Ministry off your back may be a big motivating factor, but the biggest of all is making sure that your staff make it home to their families every night. 

We understand that you have a lot of competing responsibilities as a dealership owner, and health and safety can be a daunting and ongoing task. It’s definitely not something you can set and leave; you have to continually review your plan and procedures to ensure you’re doing everything in your power to keep your workers safe. 

That’s where 5Plus comes in. 

We keep you (and/or your HR team) accountable by meeting four times a year to reduce:

  • WSIB claims and costs 
  • Equipment damage
  • Delays and missed deadlines 
  • Overtime costs 
  • Health insurance costs 
  • Time away from work 
  • Need for replacement workers 

And to increase

  • Morale 
  • An overall sense of wellbeing 

The Highlight Reel 

There are so many pieces that we discuss at our meetings, but from a bird’s eye view, we dive into: 

  • The Internal Responsibility System (IRS)
  • Roles and responsibilities for employers, supervisors, and workers
  • Joint Health and Safety Committee or Representative 
  • Required written documents 

We present based on our years of experience, but also bring in industry experts so you can hear about their area of expertise directly from them!

Our support doesn’t end at the meetings either. We help you develop a plan that’s specific to your dealership. This means you’re not only checking a Ministry box but also providing value to your staff by outlining specifics to them. 

Hear from 5Plus Members 

We recently met with our 5Plus Members. Here are some of their thoughts. 

Amber of D&S Downham Equipment shares:

 “5Plus has been a huge help for us! We transitioned from a smaller business that only needed a health and safety representative to an organization with 20+ people that required a committee. 

We built and moved to a new dealership last year, which prompted a visit from the Ministry. Fortunately, we had been in the program for a year, and although we had a few things to improve, we were already starting off on the right foot. 

We haven’t had a significant incident, but through the 5Plus training, we realized how important it is to have someone trained in first aid at all times. After learning that treating someone on-site can significantly increase the chances of survival, we’ve decided to train all of our staff in first aid and purchase an AED machine.”

Bob of Egger Truck and Machine adds:

“This is my second year attending as the owner, but Roger and Suzie have been doing it for years. 

The presented topics get the conversation started between all of the dealers, and I’ve found that conversation really helpful. We get so many good ideas from what they’re doing. 

Then, on the way home, my HR rep and I really start spitballing and brainstorming based on everything that was discussed.”

Deanna from Podolinsky continues: 

The 5Plus Safety Program with CEDA has been a great tool for managing our health & safety program. It helps us stay updated on industry changes and provides us access to resources such as industry experts and peer support. 

As CEDA members, we all face similar health and safety risks in the equipment industry. The 5Plus program allows us to discuss challenges and share best practices with peers, further strengthening our health and safety program.”

Interested in learning more? Reach out, and we’ll answer your questions. 

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