When Dustin Bertsch, a foreman in B&M’s Saskatchewan Region, heard the news that he was being recognized for his work, he was pleasantly surprised. When WorkSafe Saskatchewan made the official announcement that Dustin had been named a Safe Worker Finalist he felt truly humbled.
It all started when Bertsch, who was recently promoted to his current role as foreman, was leading a team that had to work on a dangerous site filled with pitfalls. The work conditions could injure even experienced technicians. That’s why when Bertsch saw the situation he knew it had to change. The safety of everyone working on the seven-storey duct shaft in Yorkton, SK was paramount.
The challenge at the time was to develop a plan to safely hoist, erect and secure large pieces of duct work without placing any workers at risk. Bertsch called for appropriate fall protection, as well as suitable guarding and barricading to be erected. The work was duly completed without any incident and had the effect of raising safety awareness throughout the client site.
“Dustin Bertsch takes his safety responsibilities very seriously,” said Adrian Hubbard, Provincial HSE Manager. It was Hubbard who had nominated the foreman for the safety award. “There were several safety issues that were compromised before our team arrived on the scene. He contributed to everyone’s overall safety,” he said.
Bertsch’s efforts resulted in him being named one of the three finalists. For Bertsch’s quality work he will be awarded a crystal plaque.
Bertsch has worked with Black & McDonald for more than 10 years. He said that throughout his career with the company it was the example of others that had engrained his respect for safety.
“The most important thing was not being taught anything theoretical but seeing how other people carried themselves around me. I had an excellent foreman for eight years and then another great one for two years,” he explained. “I just took the examples of others I had learned on previous projects and made use of them with this one.”
He noted that Black & McDonald’s strong culture of safety extends to difficult times such as the current COVID-19 pandemic.
“Every morning we have to fill out forms declaring if we have had any contact with people who may have COVID-19, we are all given masks and we have lots of wet wipes and sanitizer to clean our hands, door handles and steering wheels.”
“Black & McDonald cares about us and always wants us to come home to our families safely every night.”