Murray Chevrolet first Manitoba dealer to earn safe work certification

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Myron Love

WINNIPEG, MAN. – Murray Chevrolet in Winnipeg has become the first dealership in the province to earn the Motor Vehicle Safety Association of Manitoba’s SAFE Work certification.

MVSAM Safety Director Mallory Corbett was at the dealership on June 29 to present president Dan Murray and body shop manager and workplace safety committee leader Kelly Waddell with a plaque to mark the achievement.

“Being able to grant SAFE Work Certification to our first new car dealership in Manitoba is a major milestone,” says Corbett. “Murray Chevrolet has emerged as a safety leader, and we look forward to seeing other dealerships follow suit. This is just the beginning of significant injury prevention and awareness across our industry.”

“MVSAM staff came into the dealership last fall and did a gap analysis of the entire dealership,” Waddell says. “They left us with a template to measure our performance against.”

Murray notes that Murray Chevrolet already had safe work systems in place before MVSAM came calling.

“We just needed to improve a few things,” he says. “We already were holding quarterly safety committee meetings and all new employees receive a safe work orientation. We needed some more documentation. There were just a couple of steps we needed to take to be up to date.”

It took six months to prepare for the MVSAM audit, Waddell reports. That included he and Murray taking a leadership course through MVSAM and he and his co-chair taking further MVSAM courses.

In March, MVSAM staff came into the dealership and conducted a three-day safety audit. They offered insight as to where staff could improve and “praise where it was warranted.”

The next step, Waddell says, will be for him to attend a four-day Safe Work Manitoba Safety Certification course to train to be a certified safe workplace auditor – which will allow Waddell to do internal audits at the dealership himself for MVSAM.

He is also now an MVSAM board member and will be chairing board meetings.

Murray reports that several other dealers, including the Murray dealerships in Brandon, are working on safe work certification and have approached Murray Chevrolet for guidance.

The Manitoba Motor Dealers Association created the Motor Vehicle Safety Association of Manitoba (MVSAM) just over two years ago. MVSAM was officially introduced at a press conference held at Mercedes-Benz Winnipeg in May 2015.

“Our industry’s success depends on our workers,” Brian Lowes, the president of Mercedes-Benz Winnipeg and MMDA president, said at that time.  “We are committed to keeping them safe and healthy by making safety through injury or illness prevention a priority – and the MVSAM will help us achieve this.”

In addition to the real human cost of injuries to workers, the Manitoba Motor Dealers Association estimates that workplace injuries cost the motor vehicle industry about $30 million annually.