For over 65 years the CWB Group has been protecting the safety of Canadians by ensuring the welding work done on critical building and infrastructure projects conforms to Canadian codes and standards. For most people, welding is an unseen industry; it creates the structures, products, and infrastructure we all take for granted but is typically not directly seen, or its importance recognized, by the end user. This fact was recognized early on when welding started to replace riveting and bolting as the primary method of connecting metal. As a result, Canada was an early adopter of a uniform national welding standard and a body to administer it – through this process the Canadian Welding Bureau (CWB) was created. Much has changed in the welding industry since then, but through it all the CWB has always been there to ensure welding work, the people doing the work, and the companies that employ them always meet Canada’s high welding standards.
Up until 2012, the majority of CWB’s work was industry focused but as the industry becomes more global there has been a growing need to drive public awareness around the work we do for the “public good”. To this end, the CWB has created the Office of Public Safety to administer a number of programs that aim to inform and educate the general public, industry, engineers, educational institututions, and various levels of Government about the services CWB provides and the important role CWB plays in maintaining Canadian’s welding codes and standards and protecting the safety of the public.
In a globally competitive business climate there is sometimes a willingness to accept other standards as equal, substituting other countries standards and systems for our own. In this climate the Office of Public Safety plays a key role in helping to ensure that industry, education and the government make the right decisions and that the high standards set out by Canadian welding codes are always followed. Welding is everywhere and CWB’s number one goal is make sure that the safety of the public is never taken for granted when it comes to welding and welded products.
The mission of the Office of Public Safety is not solely to advocate for public safety. It has also been set up as a resource for individuals, government and industry to better understand standards related to welding, manufacturing and construction – and how the effective implementation of those standards can assist industry become more competitive, improve quality and reduce risk. Good welding begins with good education and the Office of Public safety is committed to working with both industry and education providers to ensure current, as well as the next generation of welders, has the knowledge and experience to be a productive and safe welder while working in Canada.
The CWB has its roots in the public safety organizations that have helped make Canada one of the safest countries in the world. Starting in 1919 with the Canadian Engineering Standards Association, the forerunner of the Canadian Standards Association (CSA), welding was recognized as an industry that needed governing standards uniformly administered across Canada. In 1947 these standards were put into action, including the inclusion of specific welding codes and standards in the National Building Code and the creation of the Canadian Welding Bureau (CWB) to administer the then new CSA welding codes and standards. In 1991 the CWB was spun off as a free-standing not-for-profit organization with the mandate to continue its role. At that time a new corporation was created under the name the CWB Group, of which the CWB was setup as a operational division. The CWB Group is a not-for-profit organization that ensures best practices among all welding establishments and educational institutions across Canada. The CWB Group further strengthened its Canadian welding focus by acquiring the Canadian Welding Association and then launching the CWB Institute which created an organization that touches all aspects of the industry. From membership, to company certification and welder testing, to welding education, the CWB Group focus is always on public safety, and the recognition that safety comes from the uniform delivery of education and certification services across the whole industry.