Smiths Falls Honours Brooke and Brittany Henderson

The Town of Smiths Falls hosted a celebration welcoming back from the Olympics Brooke Henderson and her sister Brittany.

Riverside Brass rose to the challenge of preparing and delivering a bronze plaque for the occasion in less than two weeks.

I was especially honoured to be invited to the celebration and what a celebration it was.

Hundreds of school children waving Canadian Flags and cheering for Brooke and Brittany.  Brittany is also a world class golfer but has put her golfing career on hold to caddy for her sister.  They travel together and Brittany looks after all the hotel bookings and scopes out the courses so she is familiar with them so she can advise Brooke along the course.

Their dad coaches them both and their mom is their biggest supporter.  It is truly a family affair.

The Importance of a Safe Working Environment

To create a safe working environment, there should be collaboration between management and employees to follow safety standards and procedures.  Everyone working in the facility should be following these steps, not just to protect themselves from injury, but to ensure the safety of their fellow coworkers as well.   While some of these tips may seem like common sense, they are still very important in creating a hazard free, safe working environment.

Below are some basic safety tips to help keep a safe work environment:

  • Clean work environment: Many injuries in the workplace can be prevented by keeping the work area clean.  Removing hazards on the ground like scrap material, tools and equipment, and debris can help to prevent trips and falls that could lead to employee injury.
  • Ventilation System: Many machines in an industrial environment can release fumes and exhaust gasses that can be harmful to an employee’s heath. A working ventilation system can vent those fumes and provide a clean air environment for all employees.
  • Emergency Equipment: Equipment such as fire extinguishers and fire blankets can help to stop a fire that could cause damage and injuries. It is important that all working environments have this equipment, and that it is up to date and regularly tested.
  • Wiring: Electrical wiring that is not maintained and regularly inspected can lead to a fire which can cause injuries and damage to the building. There should be no exposed wiring in the building and the wiring also should be able to handle all of the power demands of the facility. It should also be 3-wire grounded to prevent shocks to employees.
  • Training: Training employees on how to operate tools and equipment properly will prevent injuries to the user and people working around them in the building. No employee should be allowed to operate a machine without proper instruction and training first.

At Riverside Brass we understand the importance of a safe work environment for all of our employees. As a growing company we are committed to providing quality and value to our customers and are committed to the wellbeing of our employees.  For more information on all of our capabilities and services visit our website.

Getting ISO Certified

When you want to add credibility to your company and your products, the main route to go throughout the world is to get ISO Certification. This certification can help to demonstrate that your products and services will meet the expectations of customers and potential customers, through meeting international standards.

What is ISO Certification?

ISO stands for the International Organization for Standardization, and it concentrates on standards for services and products mainly in the sphere of manufacturing. It can range from standards for documentation, to standards for the dimensions and tolerances of flat transmission belts, and much more.

Steps for Certification

In order to get certified, you can look into hiring a consultant, or you can learn about the process on your own. A consultant is more likely to be useful for a large company, while a small company will usually have an easier time and can be handled in-house.

  • Choose the ISO Certification you would like to pursue: There are over 19,000 ISO standards available, fitting into a number of ranges. The ISO 9000 range (Quality management), ISO 14000 (Environmental management), ISO 27001 (Information security management) and ISO 50001 (Energy management) are some of the most popular in general manufacturing.
  • Prepare documentation: This includes a quality manual with procedures. You will want to use an existing template and conform it to your industry and business, as it won’t be the same for everyone.
  • Train your employees: While all employees will need to be trained in sections of the ISO, only a few will need to be trained in all aspects. Make sure everyone knows the reasoning behind the pursuit of certification, and how to deal with corrective and preventative actions.
  • Find a registrar to work with: the ISO does not do the certification – instead, it relies on a network of independent registrars. Speak with a few of them before hiring one, find a registrar that fits in with your style and budget.
  • Set the date: Before you ask a registrar to take a look at your system, you will want to have it implemented for 3 months at minimum, and possibly conduct your own internal audit to make sure you don’t waste your registrar’s time, and your money.
  • Get the audit: An audit will involve the auditor examining records, talking with employees, and exploring your facilities. During this time, they will look for major and minor “nonconformances,” as well as observations. Nonconformances represent areas where actions and records are not conforming to the ISO standards.

After all of this, you will get your ISO certificate, and be allowed to boast you have been certified. It’s up to you to maintain that certification beyond the audit, and you’ll need do schedule semi-annual surveillances and a renewal every three years. At Riverside Brass, we are ISO 9001:2008 certified through NSF International, and will continue to practice these processes to provide our customers with quality products.

Meet Our President, David Seyler!

We often discuss industry trends, topics, and news in our blog, but this month Riverside Brass Aluminum Foundry Ltd. is shining the spotlight on President David Seyler. Mr. Seyler is the former president of the Canadian Foundry Association, where he served from 2011-2012. As president of the CFA, David met and worked alongside many of Canada’s best foundry owners; approximately 160 foundries and foundry members represented 80 percent of the tonnage produced and supplied in Canada. This opportunity also gave him the chance to act as the voice of the CFA and its members in front of the Workmans’ Compensation Board, numerous manufacturing associations, government departments, and more.

David Seyler leads by example, as evidenced by his work with the Standards Branch of the Ontario Ministry of the Environment (MOE.) During his CFA presidency, David worked closely with the Environmental Committee and the MOE to test emissions from foundries. He volunteered Riverside Brass to be visited and tested to help the MOE establish acceptable emissions standards that ultimately resulted in the Foundry Specific Technical Standard. This put Riverside Brass at the cutting edge of emissions standards and established close relationships with any new government initiatives.

David also developed and established essential safety policies through the CFA Health and Safety Committee and the Ontario Workplace Safety and Prevention Services. Although he is no longer President of the CFA, Riverside Brass continues to be actively involved and supportive with the association. Thanks in part to David Seyler, Riverside Brass customers can count on our continued leadership in the industry.

The Riverside Brass Way

In 1966 two young and inspired men, Ervin Steinmann and Elmer Schlegel, took a big chance and bought Riverside Brass. It started as a small family operation that was dedicated to service, quality, and innovation.  Every customer was treated like Ervin and Elmer would want to be treated, with respect and care.

Over the years Riverside Brass has grown into a respected leader and innovator among Ontario’s non-ferrous foundries, providing advanced capabilities in brass, bronze, aluminum, and zinc castings.  Because of our knowledge and expertise we can advise you on product design, casting optimization, choice of alloys, and the cost saving advantages of our manufacturing process.

We built our reputation and company by finding good people, one at a time. We’ve grown from just Ervin and Elmer serving two customers, to over 125 dedicated and highly skilled workers and over 100 clients, many of whom have stayed loyal for years.

As we’ve grown, Riverside has been able to innovate for the future without losing our strong family values. Riverside has developed a great deal of proprietary technologies that allows us to do things like sandcast to tolerances that are not easily matched by the competition. All while retaining honest, face to face customer service.

Recently, Riverside has consolidated its focus on the manufacturing sector producing a wide range of quality industrial castings for major North American customers, primarily serving the water and electrical markets.  In 2010, Riverside developed and opened a brass, bronze and aluminum plaque division.  It serves government, heritage, special event, cemetery and memorialization markets.

In the end, Riverside Brass has lasted and thrived for over 50 years because we’ve never wavered from three overarching ideas:

  • To fulfill the expectations of our customers by manufacturing quality non-ferrous castings, supported by technical services in a state-of-the-art facility
  • To operate a profitable, growth-oriented company, creating career opportunities and financial rewards for our employees and our shareholders
  • To manage the company using innovative strategies to improve the quality of life locally, nationally and internationally
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