The Trillium Awards program of the Ontario Asphalt Pavement Council (OAPC) is undergoing an overhaul to make it more modern and reflective of the realities of the marketplace while easing the documentation burden at the same time.
Kyle Martin of the OAPC's Plant and Paving Operations Committee told delegates attending an OAPC conference in Toronto April 6 the program was founded in 2002 when new environmental regulations were coming into effect and the public perception of asphalt plants was they were a "kind of dirty neighbour."
"We wanted to clean it up and we wanted to standardize everyone to meet certain criteria," he said. The Trillium Award would represent a new gold standard in the sector. But certification proved difficult and the process onerous, Martin explained, with seven criteria established and 100 standards to be attained and supported by documentation including some video.
Today, Martin said, of 162 asphalt plants in Ontario, 90 to 95 per cent are OAPC members and 56 of 155 are Trillium Award certified. Certification lasts for three years, at which point recertification is required. In 2016, there were nine plants receiving Trillium status for the first time and 14 were recertified.
It's a good record, but it was time to re-evaluate goals, said Martin, who's an equipment manager for Fermar Paving Ltd. of Toronto. For example, he pointed out, modernization ought to include recognizing that many plants now target COR (Certificate of Recognition) safety certification and so the Trillium program should ensure the safety protocols are in sync. An OAPC subcommittee set up in 2015 recommended a new set of standards with four criteria now identified — appearance, environmental, safety, and permitting and regulations — and called for streamlined documentation.
The OAPC will be implementing the revisions in 2017, to be used for any new application, and by 2019 all plants including those seeking recertification would be using the new forms.
And a new goal has been set — to have all OAPC members achieve Trillium status by 2021.
Martin urged the delegates to embrace the program and to go back to plant owners and managers and preach its benefits.
"The key here is to be proud of the Trillium Awards," he said. "Number one, how do we go ahead and get everyone in the room to go back to your owners, and your management, and basically say, why aren't we Trillium awarded?"
The benefits accrue to everyone, he said, making plants more profitable, attracting customers who recognize high standards and appealing to workers who feel the company cares about their safety.
"Everyone here takes pride in their work," said Martin. "There is not a single person who doesn't want to go home and do a better job. Continuous improvement, we all want to get better at what we do.
"We can achieve this by bringing your plant to Trillium Award status."
The session also recognized OAPC safety award winners who had reached milestones in achieving zero lost time in the workplace.
Winners with zero lost time in their first five reporting years were Brantco Asphalt and Materials Ltd. and Cruickshank Construction's portable drum mix; for 10 years, Cox Construction Limited's portable drum mix; for 15 years, Cox's Puslinch Pit Plant and Cruickshank's Kemptville Plant; and for 20 years, Sarjeant Asphalt in Barrie.