Simplifying Audits and Upholding Standards

October 11, 2023

In the high-stakes world of the energy industry, safety is paramount. Companies operating in this sector must adhere to strict safety standards to protect their employees, assets and the environment. Energy Safety Canada (ESC) is an organization with roots dating back to 1949 and is globally recognized for its deep expertise in oil and gas safety.

What sets ESC apart is not just its legacy, but its unique status as a not-for-profit and registered charity. ESC's revenues are reinvested into health and safety programs aimed at continually advancing energy industry safety. Since 1999, ESC, and its predecessor companies, have held the critical role as the certifying partner for Canada’s energy industry.

Understanding Certificates of Recognition (COR)
In the world of energy, safety isn’t a suggestion—it’s an obligation. A Certificate of Recognition (COR) is a vital program designed to ensure energy employers develop and implement health and safety programs in their workplaces that meet provincial standards. COR programs are not just checkboxes, they are comprehensive safety frameworks aimed at protecting workers and minimizing risks across the board.

Companies that undergo the COR audit process often see improvements in worker safety and reductions in Workers’ Compensation Board premiums, legal risk exposure and costs related to lost productivity, replacement worker training, property damage and incident investigation. Having a COR demonstrates a company’s unwavering commitment to workplace safety, not only to their employees, but their clients as well.
ESC’s COR program stands apart from its competitors as ESC is Canada’s only certifying partner with an audit that covers all three western provinces.

Streamlined Audits, Same Standards
Mike Flett, director of health and safety for Radium Technologies Inc., says it was the company’s first time using ESC’s multi-province audit and they are glad they took the chance.

“I felt it was a good opportunity to give it a try, and we did, and we thought the process was a lot easier for us as a business,” Flett said. “When I brought it to the management team, they were excited about it as well, a little hesitant at first because it was our first one, but the results for us were fantastic.”

ESC’s COR program is the only program designed for the energy industry, ensuring industry-specific needs and risks are addressed. It is not a one-size-fits-all solution—it is a program built from the ground up for the energy industry.

With a network of more than 200 certified health and safety auditors across the country, ESC’s auditing process is thorough and holds companies’ health and safety management systems to the highest standards.
For Radium Technologies, Flett says ESC’s COR made the auditing process faster while still maintaining high quality.

“When you can use one auditor across three provinces, it makes it a lot easier to schedule it and get it taken care of,” he said. “We’re able to keep the highest standard across three provinces and then be evaluated on it.”
Flett says having one auditor look at all three provinces also gave him the opportunity to confirm the company’s standard was being followed in every province they work in.

“It made me feel confident that they weren’t missing something in previous audits we would’ve had, where you have multiple different auditors for the three provinces, and the results were quite a bit different between each person’s expectations for what the business should or shouldn’t do in a specific province,” Flett said.

Communication is Key at ESC
It is not just the streamlined auditing process that attracts companies to ESC’s COR program. Lee-Anne Alde, safety coordinator for Pipewise Technology Ltd., says the deciding factor for them to make ESC their certifying partner was the format of ESC’s auditing process.

“I love the layout of Energy Safety Canada’s whole system. I like the way they audit, how they have all those sections, and they line up with all the policies and safe work practices, standards, all that that we already had in place. It’s a fantastic way to organize it,” Alde said.

In Alde’s eyes, ESC’s support and communication are what make it stand out most from other COR certifying companies.

“Energy Safety Canada is not scary to deal with, if that makes sense? When I phone and have a question, it gets answered, people are very easygoing about it,” she said. “I can always phone if I don’t understand or am a little confused, and ESC does a great job explaining things.”

ESC strives to ensure their COR holders meet or surpass provincial safety standards with up-to-date protocols, open communication lines and easily accessible support.

“Energy Safety Canada is a higher standard,” Alde said. “If you are going to mirror your health and safety program following what they’ve set out, you won’t have a whole lot of trouble or questions going forward when you’re trying to keep your company going along that straight line and pushing forward your company and your culture.”

In the energy industry, safety isn’t simply a buzzword, it is a way of life. ESC’s COR program not only meets industry standards—it sets a higher one. Companies that partner with ESC protect their workers and assets and contribute to ongoing enhancements of the energy sector’s safety standards.

A partnership with ESC is one that simplifies audits, upholds standards and ensures every worker makes it home safe at the end of the day, so they don’t miss out on life’s best moments.