SAFE Work Certified by Made Safe: Winpak shares their story

SAFE Work Certified by Made Safe: Winpak shares their story

Posted on January 30, 2018

As the manufacturing sector partner for SAFE Work Manitoba Certified, Made Safe works with members to assess their readiness, provide support and help companies achieve certification. The process is modelled on internationally-recognized best practices and has demonstrated positive outcomes for individual companies and the industry overall. Certified manufacturers have safer and healthier workplaces, better control of workplace hazards, fewer injuries and illnesses, more engaged and productive employees; as well as a significant rebate on their WCB premiums.

As the SAFE Work Certified by Made Safe process gains traction, we wanted to showcase just a few of the manufacturers leading the way. It’s our hope that telling their stories and sharing the lessons they learned during the certification process will help pave the path for other manufacturers moving forward.



Winpak is the first manufacturer in the 31510 rate code (plastic manufacturing) to achieve certification. This is their story:

Winpak is part of a global packaging group with ten manufacturing facilities in North America. The company manufactures everything from flexible packaging to premade cups to foil lids. Think of the bacon and cheese packages you have in your fridge and the yogurt containers you buy in the store – these are examples of the products Winpak provides. The company also has a growing product line for stand-up pouches, semi-rigid packages and health care applications. 

Winpak has over 40 years of experience in the packaging industry here in Winnipeg, with 705 employees and 2,400 employees across North America working diligently to provide the very best packages to our customers. Winpak sells to markets in North and South America, with machinery products sold in Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia.


Q: What should readers of this blog post know about your company vision and culture?

A:  At Winpak, our vision is to be the “preferred supplier” to our customers. Our culture is definitely one of a “can do” attitude. Since Winpak’s inception more than 40 years ago, our employees still share a common goal with a teamwork and entrepreneurial spirit that is well and alive.

Our employees really are our strength; constantly embracing new technology to deliver innovative products. We treat our customers as friends, educate them on the latest trends in the industry and also help them with their existing equipment to produce high-quality packages. 


Q: We’ve found there are common concerns which manufacturers identify as barriers to overcome before they can make the commitment to pursue certification. What barriers did you need to address internally? And how did you overcome those hurdles?

A: For us, the issue of ‘I don’t know how to get started’ and ‘the process is overwhelming / intimidating’ were the major challenges. Winpak was approached by CME (the Made Safe parent organization) to be involved in this process from the beginning. In fact, our safety committee worker co-chair was on the committee to develop this program. Even then, learning how the safety certification would work was a bit overwhelming at first. But once we got started, developing an understanding the process provided clarity and helped address any uneasiness – after all, knowledge is power. Also, knowing that we had a robust safety program in place already made the journey a little easier.


Q: Did you learn any safety or business lessons throughout the process that might help others make the decision to become certified?

We tried not to adjust our safety program in advance of the certification process. Rather, we kept it as it was, in order to use the certification journey to evaluate our program and see how it rated. The gap analysis was a learning experience for the audit. If you have a good safety program in place already, you’ll find that you don’t need to change a lot for the audit.


Q: What would you say is the biggest benefit of certification so far (or that you can see on the horizon)?

The biggest benefit of this certification is the no-cost training offered by Made Safe. The training helps with safety compliance along with preparing for an audit. The interviews with employees during the audit did show how good our safety program really is. The audit also showed some weaknesses in our safety program and where we need to improve. Continuous improvement is always important in the safety world. This program will also reward employers for safety prevention for recognition along with a rebate through our WCB premiums.  


Q: How has your membership with Made Safe helped your organization?

A: We are a newer certified company and besides training, we’ll be using the Safe Work Certified logo on the stationary we use with new hires. This will ensure that someone applying for a job at Winpak will know that safety is very important to us and them as an employee. The important aspect of this program is to have a safe workplace and not do this for just the WCB rebate savings.

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