Health and Safety

Heddle Shipyards actively strives to exceed industry benchmarks and foster a strong safety culture with our employees, customers, visitors, and contractors.

All of our employees share our commitment to reducing incidents. We believe that high performance is enhanced by a safe workplace. To that end, we continuously improve our safety programs and strengthen safety leadership at all levels of management.

The success of our business is dependent on the health and safety of our most valuable resource: our employees.

Safety is Heddle Shipyards’ most important project every day. 

Our corporate values reflect the importance of our employees’ safety and their wellbeing: Everyone goes home to their families at the end of their shift – everyone goes home. Period.

Heddle Shipyards actively strives to exceed industry benchmarks and foster a strong safety culture with our employees, customers, visitors and contractors. All of our employees share our commitment to reducing incidents.

The continued objective of Heddle Shipyards is zero incidents.

We invest in recruiting, developing and retaining employees who share and actively demonstrate our safety values.

Heddle Shipyards has developed comprehensive safety inspection programs to identify and address potential hazards over the duration of all projects and across all levels of work. From pre-inspections to final walk-throughs, we ensure continuous safety compliance. 

The success of our business is dependent on the health and safety of our most valuable resource: our employees.

All of our employees work towards identifying and reporting hazards, with active Safety Response Teams to investigate and mitigate developing issues at each site. These dedicated teams also communicate all hazards to all levels of workers at all sites across Canada. Our focus on strong communication and sharing expedites group learning from our pooled experiences. 

Heddle Shipyards has developed, educated and trained on-site Safety Response Teams.

These teams coordinate with accredited third-party assistance to ensure 24-7, cross-Canada response and deployment in the event of an emergency situation.

Each Safety Response Team undergoes routine testing and evaluation of skills and abilities, to ensure that they deliver the service required to uphold the requirements of Heddle Shipyards and meet regulatory standards.

Patricia Reles, Heddle Shipyards’ Vice President of People and Culture, is responsible for overseeing Health Safety and the Environment at Heddle. Patricia works with a dedicated team of Safety Managers in order to continuously develop new training programs and procedures to support operational excellence and our commitment to an incident-free environment.

Heddle Shipyards has been a big part of McKeil Marine’s growth and success for the past 30 years.

Paulo Pessoa , McKeil Marine Ltd., Vice President, Commercial


Heddle Shipyards has set a high standard for environmental compliance.

We are in the process of implementing a proactive approach to comprehensively manage and mitigate environmental risks. Our goal is to minimize any environmental impact from our business on the ecosystems in which we operate.

With five facilities across the Great Lakes and Atlantic Canada, we recognize the value of the unique ecosystems in which we live and operate. Canada’s Great Lakes—representing nearly 20% of Earth’s fresh surface water—St. Lawrence Estuary, Gulf of St. Lawrence and the Atlantic coastlines support a diverse array of plants and animals, comprising complex marine and estuary ecosystems, unlike any other. 

As a committed partner in this expansive ecosystem, Heddle Shipyards looks to minimize all adverse impacts. Furthermore, through our Corporate Social Responsibility Programs, we invest time and money to further causes that support the continued success of these waterways. 

Active Environmental Committees at each of our facilities proactively work to identify critical touch points where environmental impacts could occur. We have dedicated on-site teams that are trained in response techniques to mitigate, clean and dispose of material before it is released into the natural environment. In addition, each facility has a structured recycling program to ensure that as many materials as possible can be reused and not end up in our land fills. 

We believe the continued success of our Canadian waterways equals the continued success of Heddle Shipyards.

Over the years, Heddle Shipyards has proven that they are always there to do the job when needed—and do it right as well.

Sylvain Trembley, Desgagnes, Vessel Superintendant

Quality (ISO)

Heddle Shipyards is focused on delivering consistent, high-quality service at all of our facilities.

Our highly skilled workforce adheres to ISO Quality Management Systems standards, with a continuous improvement mindset. We work hard and smart to earn your satisfaction.

Heddle Shipyards is currently certified at ISO 9001:2015. This accreditation ensures our ability to consistently meet customer expectations and adhere to international quality standards, as well as all statutory and regulatory requirements. 

In 2019, Heddle Shipyards highlighted our commitment to quality with a new Quality Assurance Policy. This is our promise that our growing operations have been structured to employ the highest standards of planning, communication, training, and procedural control to provide our customers with the best quality of service, in a timely manner at the most competitive price.

May 4th, 2020


As the global situation concerning COVID 19 continues to develop, the health and safety of our employees, suppliers, customers and their families remains our top priority. To date, no Heddle employee has tested positive for COVID 19. We will continue to keep our people informed on any developments through postings and information sessions. Also, we will provide regular updates on our social media accounts because townhall sessions are no longer possible. We will continue to react to this changing situation taking guidance and direction from Provincial and Federal health and government officials.

Heddle Shipyards has been deemed an essential service. We are an important service provider to the marine industry which is a vital lifeline to the Canadian economy. To date, no Federal or Provincial recommendation to cease business operations has been issued and Heddle Shipyards intends to remain operational until such a recommendation is made. Our business and the re-delivery of our customers vessels remains critical to ensuring the health of trade and commerce in Ontario and Canada. Our business also supports the livelihoods of our people and so we are doing everything that we can to stay open without compromising safety. We will evaluate this decision daily as the situation evolves.

Heddle Shipyards has implemented a number of policies and procedures to protect our people, suppliers and customers. These initiatives include:

  1. The creation of a COVID-19 Response Team
  2. Enforcing Screening measures (i.e. questionnaires, infrared temperature scanning and
    interviews) for anyone entering one of our shipyards.
  3. Hiring dedicated personnel to disinfect high traffic areas in the shipyards continuously.
  4. Educating and enforcing physical distancing.
  5. Educating and encouraging increased personnel hygiene
  6. Communicating our new policies and procedures to all employees

Heddle Shipyards is continually monitoring the situation and is responding to new information on an hourly basis. We will continue to adapt to new directives from public health officials and escalate preventative measures as the circumstances change.

Shaun Padulo
President Heddle Shipyards