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Girardville sawmill receives CNESST Occupational Health and Safety award

On October 13, 2017, Resolute’s Girardville sawmill was honored by the Commission des normes, de l’équité, de la santé et de la sécurité du travail (CNESST) of Quebec with the announcement of the winners of the Occupational Health & Safety Awards in Saguenay─Lac-Saint-Jean. During the ceremony, which was held as part of the 33rd Regional Conference on Occupational Health & Safety, Girardville sawmill was recognized for its excellence in the Innovation category (large business). In addition to the regional award, the winners were also nominated for the National Occupational Health & Safety Awards Gala, which takes place in Québec City in spring 2018.

Portable system for emptying wheeled bins at Girardville sawmill

A worker had to empty five wheeled bins of recyclable materials into a container every week. To do this task, the worker walked along a raised walkway, which was frequently icy in winter, lifted the bins and tipped out the contents. The bins are heavy (weighing between 22.5 and 27 kg) and the worker struggled to tip them out. To facilitate the task, the handling device needed to be light, capable of keeping the bin in place, and capable of rolling on a gravel surface, which may be snowy or icy. As there was nothing on the market that fully met these requirements, a supervisor and a mechanic came up with a solution. At first, they thought they could simply adapt the retaining device, but after constructing several prototypes and making adjustments, they came up with a portable electrical emptying unit. This is a single device fitted with a fixed structure on two heavy-duty wheels, a mobile frame, a retaining system for the bin, an electric winch and a manual control. This mobile frame aids with lifting the wheeled bin and emptying can now be done effortlessly from ground level.

A video demonstrating this invention can be viewed on the CNESST website at:

Some 24 other companies and organizations were also among the finalists, including Resolute’s Larouche and Saint-Prime engineered wood facilities, the Saint-Félicien, Mistassini and Saint-Thomas-Didyme sawmills, and the Normandin and La Doré facilities.

About the Occupational Health & Safety Awards

The Occupational Health and Safety awards are organized annually by CNESST in every region of Quebec. Their purpose is to acknowledge procedures and projects enacted by employers and workers with the aim of preventing workplace accidents and occupational illnesses. These awards recognize individuals who strive to improve health and safety in the workplace.

CNESST:  a brief overview

CNESST offers employers and workers unique access and integrated expertise with regard to labour standards, pay equity and workplace health and safety in Quebec. CNESST has a joint governance structure. Its mission is to manage the workplace health and safety fund, which is a fully self-sustaining fund, of which it is the trustee.

Girardville sawmill receives CNESST Occupational Health and Safety award

Alain St-Gelais, ISO Coordinator










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