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The CWB WeldSAFE program makes an immediate impact on Canadian welding education 

Aug 09, 2023

Steadfast in their commitment to safety, the CWB Welding Foundation (CWBWF), along with the CWB Group and industry partners 3M Canada, Lincoln Electric, Weldready, and the International Brotherhood of Boilermakers, have come together to elevate educational success and in-class safety by introducing the nationally funded CWB WeldSAFE program.

“The CWB WeldSAFE program is an extension of the CWBWF’s Capital Equipment and Consumables grant and directly supports the growing need for updated personal protection equipment (PPE) by providing custom safety kits,” says Susan Crowley, CWBWF executive director. “The program also provides enhanced safety resources to improve health and safety initiatives, awareness and education on the proper use and fit of safety gear in educational and workplace settings.”

The CWBWF has partnered with industry leaders, notably 3M Canada, in the provision of resources and student kitting that includes welding helmets, N95 welding particulate respirators, eye/ear protection, and more. Additional partners, Lincoln Electric and Weldready, are generously supporting the program with welding jackets, gloves, and foot protection.

Each CWB WeldSAFE custom safety kit includes:

Additionally, the International Brotherhood of Boilermakers made a five-year, $75,000 financial commitment in support of the CWB WeldSAFE program. This sponsorship will go a long way in outfitting additional schools across Canada.

Since the program’s launch in September 2022, the CWBWF has received an overwhelming number of applications and demand for CWB WeldSAFE PPE kits. Out of the 80 applications that have been received, 35 secondary schools have received a total of 500 kits, with 27 more to be delivered in early 2023. The current number of kits will support more than 4,200 students and has been a boon to instructors who all have very similar things to say about the program.

“Our budget has been cut by approximately 30 per cent,” says Gerard Hoorne, a welding instructor at Murdoch MacKay Collegiate in Winnipeg. “We are trying to find ways to stay current for the students and be viable to operate. Receiving PPE will allow us to allocate funds for materials so students can practice both their welds and complete welding projects, not just one or the other. PPE wears down quickly in a high school setting, with multiple students sharing the same equipment. PPE replacement every few years is necessary to keep students safe while welding, and the CWB WeldSAFE kits will go a long way in helping.”

The CWB WeldSAFE program advances the quality of on-site safety and ensures compliance with best practices for welding lab safety, in secondary and post-secondary educational environments. Online resources that accompany the kits provide further support, with usage guidelines and proper fitting and instructional videos, and are complemented by the CWB Group’s online educational platform created by members of the consulting and educational learning development teams. CWB Consulting also provides safety audits, further ensuring the kits are being used correctly and consistently by students.

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Matthew LeBlanc is communications officer, CWB Welding Foundation, 8260 Parkhill Dr., Milton, Ont. L9T 5V7, 800-844-6790 ext. 259, [email protected],