With 45 community locations and 9 permanent facilities across Calgary, YMCA Calgary is a trusted charity which truly gives back to the community, supporting over 300,000 people every month. Since 1902, this association offers health, fitness, and aquatic recreation programs to both children and adults. It also offers a variety of community and outdoor programs to keep the people of Calgary engaged and closely connected.
Callum Monteith, the General Manager of Health, Safety, and Risk, expressed how eCompliance, part of EcoOnline Global, helps keep those that visit the YMCA safe. This digital EHS solution has allowed greater visibility into the strengths and weaknesses of their safety program, more effective incident and emergency response procedures, and a proactive, data-driven approach to safety.
“We are committed to an incident and injury-free environment,” shared Callum. “We do everything we can to support the wellbeing of both our workforce and the general public, by proactively and preventatively looking at our environment”.
people supported each month
incident forms submitted in the first three months of 2023
inspection forms submitted in the first three months of 2023
With a responsibility to keep people safe, YMCA Calgary completed several inspection and incident reports, as well as hazard assessments on paper. Documents were kept in binders, which eventually became several inches thick due to the sheer volume of paper. Managing, following up, and maintaining this level of information using a paper-based system was very challenging. This also resulted in a lack of visibility into their safety program and little insight into their areas of strength and patches of weakness.
Having a wide portfolio of programs from summer camps to swimming activities, made it increasingly difficult to manage hazard assessments using pen and paper. Controlling these assessments and updating them regularly was a challenging task as it was hard to keep track of them all, with no centralized location. Communicating all the necessary information to surrounding teams was also hard using this approach.
Properly supporting 800 members of YMCA Calgary staff was another massive hurdle, with only three dedicated health and safety members. With little insight into what was happening in each facility and minimal reporting capabilities, it made it hard to analyze data and follow up with team members in a timely manner. Employees were not receiving the feedback or resources required to do their jobs effectively, leading to a reduced sense of accountability. This ultimately resulted in a more reactive approach to safety rather than a proactive one.
“Visibility and accountability were very much reduced using paper, so it made it difficult to get all the information needed to support our teams. The ability for them to find the information they needed and track trends to develop a data-based approach to support the wider based association, was a lot lower than it is now.”
Callum Monteith, General Manager of Health, Safety, and Risk, YMCA Calgary
With no clear direction forward, Scott Williams, now YMCA Calgary’s Chief Risk Officer, knew that a paper-based approach would not be sustainable to properly protect their staff and the general public. That’s why he made the decision to prepare a business case for switching to a digital solution which could be applied across the association. With leadership’s buy-in, Scott then began searching for the right system. After seeing what eCompliance could offer, Scott knew this digital EHS solution could help fulfill all their requirements and more.
“Having eCompliance has made it so much easier to manage challenges because we have the right tools in place to do so. We wouldn’t be able to function as efficiently as we do now, without this system in place. eCompliance has been essential to our success.”
Callum Monteith, General Manager of Health, Safety, and Risk, YMCA Calgary
With everything now centralized in one solution, Callum and his team are able to gain greater visibility into all their data and forms to build a more data-driven approach. eCompliance has been instrumental in simplifying the management process so all forms and reports are regularly viewed, analyzed, and updated.
Having one platform where all information is now accessible to employees across the association has also helped to strengthen communication among the team and has allowed for a greater sense of accountability. Workflows and processes can be immediately updated to reflect new guidance or procedures and distributed instantly to all users. This has led to an increase in reporting and participation in safety activities. Safety is not just one person’s responsibility, but a team effort. With regular updates, notifications, and coaching sessions, employees became committed to keeping others safe.
eCompliance also offers a sense of flexibility, through its various customization options. Callum was able to customize forms to develop a more focused and diversified approach. The inspection of a swimming pool is not the same as that of a campground, for example, so Callum was able to include specific criteria for each. By creating different forms, the team was able to support and analyze different departments and areas for a more proactive approach.
“By building out separate forms we’ve been able to properly support, assess and evaluate different departments to look for what is needed,” shared Callum. “We’ve been able to go wide and deep instead of just broad and shallow.”
Today, YMCA Calgary has access to the information needed to properly support staff and provide specific coaching and feedback to front-line teams. They also have access to data to identify trends and track patterns to prioritize which areas they need to work on. This has allowed for a more targeted and proactive approach to safety.
For example, quarterly dashboards are now developed for every department within the association based on the information found within eCompliance. This allows them to identify areas they need to work on and shortfalls within their facilities. They can now assess where these incidents take place, how often they take place and more to implement the right corrective actions. A digital system has provided this data-informed approach, where incidents are tracked in real time.
Having a mobile application has also helped empower employees and removed so many barriers to creating a safe environment. Employees are able to complete ad-hoc inspections no matter where they may be located and receive alerts and notifications remotely. This has helped strengthen the team’s safety culture and boost engagement. For instance, in the last three months of 2022, 78 daily cable safety inspections were submitted, whereas in the first three months of 2023, 182 have been submitted. This is a 42.8% increase in inspection forms submitted, and that’s just one example!
The team has also been able to save so much time and prioritize other key activities. For example, it used to take Callum several weeks to review thousands of incidents and inspection forms on paper. With eCompliance, he is now able to review a greater volume of forms within one day. This has given him more time to develop a more proactive approach to safety.
When asked what advice Callum would give to his peers who still use paper-based systems, he said, “I encourage anyone to consider a digital system such as eCompliance, because it has such a positive impact on how you’re able to go about your work as a safety professional. I can’t imagine doing this all with paper. You’ll save so much time because you’re not chasing pieces of paper, and you’ll be able to make better decisions.”
With the ability to identify problems staff are encountering, provide quick and effective solutions to reduce hazards, and make data-driven decisions for a more proactive approach safety, YMCA Calgary offers safer and better experiences for both the workforce and participants.
Want to learn how EcoOnline could help you elevate safety? Speak to one of our representatives today.