CPPI honours safety-conscious petroleum haulers

by Steven Macleod

CALGARY, Alta. – The Canadian Petroleum Products Institute (CPPI) held an awards banquet on Apr. 20 to honour four of the safest carriers to serve the Western Canadian petroleum industry.

In its second year, the Common Carrier Safety Awards aim to recognize carriers for reducing incident frequency versus the previous calendar year, overall safety performance in execution of responsibilities and promotion of driver and fleet safety within the transportation industry.

“The Common Carrier Safety Awards were established to honour transportation companies who delivered petroleum products in an exemplary manner,” Ted Stoner, vice-president of CPPI told the luncheon crowd in downtown Calgary.

The institute represents Canadian refiners and marketers of petroleum products and has been tracking statistics in a variety of different safety categories for numerous years. But just last year, CPPI established the safety awards to further recognize some of the elite carriers in the petroleum industry.

In the inaugural year of the awards, Petrohaul picked up the award of Most Improved for Product Mixes. The hauling company returned in 2006 to pick up two more awards, this time around for Most Improved for Reduced Product Spills and for Reduced Vehicle Accidents.

With its head office in Edmonton, the petroleum hauler also operates offices in Saskatoon, Regina, Calgary, Whitehorse and Kamloops, B.C. As one of 55 drivers in the Petrohaul fold, George Niessen travelled from Saskatoon to accept the improvement award for reduced product spills on behalf of Petrohaul.

“I’m a true believer in safety and it’s a great honour to accept this award on behalf of all the drivers,” he told Truck News. “It’s a team effort and not done by just one man, the management has a lot to do with it and the training programs.”

The veteran driver of 43 years was accompanied at the awards luncheon by Brent Barriault, loss prevention coordinator, distribution with Petrohaul, who accepted the company’s second award of the afternoon. Barriault was quick to credit Niessen and his driver colleagues for the carrier’s success in establishing a recognizable safety record.

“Our drivers have pretty good attitudes, which helps,” he said. “It comes from the way they’re treated.”

All the employees of Paul’s Hauling were treated to new jackets to recognize the carrier’s achievement as being named the Best Overall Carrier in All Safety Areas during the Common Carrier Safety Awards.

The Winnipeg-based company performed close to 39,000 deliveries last year for CPPI member companies, recording an incident frequency of only 0.39.

“It’s good for our drivers,” said Barry Bembridge, general manager for Paul’s Hauling. “Our drivers and support staff did all the work to get this award. We have a lot of good people with a lot of seniority and good entry level drivers.”

Bembridge noted the company has a hands-on approach to safety that encompasses not just the petroleum hauling but the entire operation; including a driver support department, ongoing training, safety awareness and an extensive new driver program.

New safety programs implemented by Westcan Bulk Transport were only half of the reason the company was selected as a recipient at this year’s award presentation, the other half of the credit goes to the employees who have utilized the programs.

“We’ve been working hard on safety programs for a number of years,” explained Robin Doherty of Westcan. “We implemented some new programs and the employees have taken to them and embraced them. We’ve had a progressive reduction over the past five years.”

The Edmonton-based carrier is one of the largest distributors of petroleum throughout Western Canada, including the Northwest Territories.

“Every day we don’t have a person injured is another good day,” added Doherty. “It’s a group effort and hats off to our employees for their diligence in assessing risk and preventing injuries.”

Hard work, dedication and perseverance were credited for the award picked up by family-based carrier Scamp Industries. Jay Campbell, owner of the carrier out of Langley, B.C., was in attendance for the afternoon luncheon to receive the recognition earned by his company.

“When you invest so much passion it’s nice to get it back in the form of awards and all the support throughout the year,” explained Campbell.

As a group, the four winning carriers made more than 193,000 deliveries in 2005 on behalf of CPPI member companies in Western Canada.

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