White Spot the First BC Restaurant to Achieve Health & Safety Certification

White Spot Restaurants, Canada’s longest-running restaurant chain, is the first restaurant operator in British Columbia to become certified under go2hr’s Certificate of Recognition (COR) program.
 
In partnership with WorkSafeBC, go2hr – BC’s tourism industry human resource association – is the certifying partner for the COR program for tourism and hospitality businesses. COR-certified companies are eligible to receive a financial incentive of up to 15 per cent of their WorkSafeBC premiums by going beyond legal requirements and taking a best practice approach to implementing their health and safety programs.
 
“We congratulate White Spot for being the first in its sector to become certified. The COR program is one way restaurants in BC can demonstrate their commitment to employee safety and customer service, while strengthening their bottom line at the same time,” says Arlene Keis, go2hr’s CEO.
 
Since the program was launched in 2010, 39 tourism and hospitality businesses have become COR-certified, including 24 hotels, 10 ski areas and 2 golf courses.
 
“It’s engrained in our corporate culture to take a best practice approach in all aspects of our operation,” says Warren Erhart, President of White Spot Restaurants. “Achieving the COR certification strengthens our commitment to our employees and guests.”
 
White Spot’s certification included an audit of eight locations and 72 staff interviews. The results indicated a high level of management commitment to workplace safety, as well as a strong training and orientation program for all employees.
 
“I’m proud to see the locations work together for such a great accomplishment,” says Bill Senghera, Risk Manager for White Spot, who oversaw the COR certification process. “It’s important to receive management support, but it’s equally important to receive employee buy-in in order to be run a successful health and safety program.”
 
In addition to the financial incentives, businesses that embrace a culture of workplace health and safety are seeing significant human resource upsides, including fewer employee injuries, reduced time-loss injuries, and greater success in retaining and attracting the best talent.
 
“With an anticipated 9% increase in the WorkSafeBC annual premium base rate for the restaurant sector in 2014, it’s important that restaurant owners work together on reducing workplace accidents, which in the long run will help reduce the overall claim costs,” says Keis. “Ultimately our goal is to help establish the entire tourism and hospitality industry as a leader in health and safety practices.”
 
The COR program is currently open to all tourism employers with 20 or more employees. It will roll out to small businesses with less than 20 employees in the future.
 
In addition to coordinating the COR program, go2hr also provides a variety of industry health and safety resources that can help businesses of any size implement a health and safety program. Visit www.go2hr.ca/ihs for sector-specific safety resources, tools, templates, sample policies, and more.
 
About go2hr
 
go2hr is BC’s tourism and hospitality human resource association responsible for coordinating the BC Tourism Labour Market Strategy, a key component of the industry’s growth strategy. Tourism is one of the largest resource industries in BC comprising 18,000 mostly small to medium-sized businesses, which provides sector employment of nearly 260,000. For more information, visit www.go2hr.ca.
 
About White Spot
 
Headquartered in Vancouver, British Columbia, White Spot is founded in 1928, when Nat Bailey launched Canada’s first drive-in restaurant at Granville and 67th. The 85-year-young chain now sees more than 17 million guests annually at 127 White Spot and Triple O’s locations throughout BC, Alberta and Asia. The restaurant chain has also successfully re-qualified as a member of Canada’s Best Managed Companies, the country’s leading business awards program that recognizes excellence in Canadian-owned and managed companies. For more information, visit www.whitespot.com
 
Media Contact:
 
Keith Baker, go2hr
Phone: 604-633-9787 ext. 236