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Training that puts health and safety first

September 26, 2023

GNI’s lead trainer talks health, safety, and the company’s commitment to keeping our employees, customers and communities safe every day.

In the construction industry, getting hurt on the job is a real risk. Whether it’s being mindful while you’re up on a ladder, knowing how to deal with extreme heat when you’re insulating an attic in mid-summer, or understanding what to do when you encounter asbestos in an older building, staying safe, healthy and injury-free takes focus – and solid, consistent training.

Meet Bernie Borman

As GNI’s lead trainer and health and safety manager, Bernie makes sure GNI crew members have the knowledge (and frequent refreshers) they need to prevent accidents and work safely each day.

“We need to be very conscious of all the hazards that could appear on a site,” he says. “Especially when it comes to working alongside other trades, like electrical. At GNI, we have a serious focus on mitigating risk and staying compliant on every job site.”

Read more: Industry-leading training program

That’s why GNI provides in-depth training, plus frequent refreshers, reminders and informal talks that ensure safety is always top of mind.

“You can climb a ladder safely a hundred times,” says Bernie. “But if you're distracted or complacent that hundred and first time, that's when accidents can happen. I can speak to that first hand.”


Health and safety training at GNI: the best in the industry

Training happens in GNI’s state-of-the-art training facility and out in the field. GNI installers receive the following training opportunities, fully-paid by GNI:

  • Certification for working at heights
  • Specialized equipment training, including Power Elevated Work Platform (PEWP), as required by jobsite or scope of work
  • WHMIS training for chemicals including designated substances such as asbestos, benzolene and isocyanate, the hardening agent inspray foam

Bernie helps with skill building, emphasizing safety through everything from quick info sessions to formal certifications. But it’s the less formal training opportunities that really drive the important knowledge home.

“I'm in the field quite a bit with new workers and those who have moved to new roles,” he says. “I'm constantly reinforcing safety protocols, looking at the equipment, seeing if there are issues and showing the crew how to identify and report problems. I like to think of it as ‘guided mentorship.’ And while crew-to-crew training is important, that tends to focus on how to hold the hose and things like that. I'm there to remind them to look for live wires, ensure their ladder is set up correctly, and confirm they're wearing the right safety gear.”

Bernie’s safety talks are always timely, looking at specific risks installers might face at different times of year. Like being extra vigilant on the roads when kids have gone back to school. Dealing with heat stress and dehydration when it’s hot out. Coping with cold and ice in the winter. Safe driving is also a key focus: workers are trained on road safety, and only those with clean driving records and proper certifications can operate company vehicles.


A commitment that stands apart

As the largest insulation company in Ontario, GNI has the resources to make health and safety a true priority.

“That’s one of the things that sets us apart from other operators,” says Bernie. “It's a lot harder to manage health and safety to the same degree in a smaller company. Owner-operators are typically stretched thin, dealing with sales, dispatching crews and tackling other challenges – they don’t have a lot of time to dedicate to safety training. Plus, there is no official oversight in the industry: it’s up to individual companies to train their staff. Our comprehensive training program is a huge differentiator for GNI. Fostering a safe environment is at the core of our business.”


We’re hiring crew members in Ontario!

Looking to join a company that supports you with all the knowledge you need and puts your health and safety first? Great Northern insulation is hiring crew members across our Ontario locations – apply today.

Western Ontario

935 Keyes Drive
Woodstock, Ontario
Canada N4V 1C3

Phone: 1-800-265-1914

Fax: (519) 539-7946
TOLL FREE: 1-800-265-1914

Muskoka, Haliburton, Northern Ontario

1027 Elwell Park Road
Gravenhurst, Ontario
Canada P1P 1R1

TOLL FREE: 1-800-265-1914

Central Ontario

29 Ferndale Industrial Drive
Barrie, Ontario
Canada L4N 9V5

TOLL FREE: 1-800-265-1914

Greater Toronto Area

2 Guided Court
Etobicoke, ON
M9V 4K6

TOLL FREE: 1-800-265-1914

GTA East

103 North Port Road
Port Perry, Ontario
Canada L9L 1B2

TOLL FREE: 1-800-265-1914

South Central Ontario

450 Industrial Dr,
Toronto (Milton), Ontario
Canada L9T 5A6

TOLL FREE: 1-800-265-1914

Eastern Ontario

1035 Moodie Dr #1,
Nepean, ON
K2R 1H4

TOLL FREE: 1-800-265-1914

Niagara Region

25 Lincoln Ave
St. Catharines, ON
L2P 2C7

TOLL FREE: 1-800-265-1914


Great Northern Insulation - Better Business Bureau Profile.

Homestars Best of 2021 Award

Best of 2021

HomeStars has ranked Great Northern Insulation as a company that goes above and beyond in every aspect of business for the year of 2021.

Homestars Best of 2022 Award

Best of 2022

HomeStars has ranked Great Northern Insulation as a company that goes above and beyond in every aspect of business for the year of 2022.


GNI is the Authorized & Trusted Insulation and Air Sealing Installer for Lowe’s

Trusted for Over 40 Years

Over 40 Years in Business

At GNI, we service your project with the most experienced staff in the industry. Ongoing professional development is an obsession at GNI and we will not compromise at any level to bring to our customers the very best Installers, Sales Representatives, Customer Care Personnel, Field Superintendents, Estimating and Technical Support to your project.

100% Canadian

100% Canadian

Great Northern Insulation is recognized as Canada's largest full-service insulation contractor. GNI is 100% Canadian owned, proudly serving Ontario customers since 1980.

Foam Masters

Do it right the first time
- with foam mastersTM

January, 2021 regulatory phaseout of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) with the introduction of WALLTITE CM01. Using hydrofluorolefins (HFOs) with lower global warming potential (GWP) compared to HFCs, WALLTITE CM01 is the next generation of spray foam insulation.



Heatlok® Soya HFOTM leverages Honeywell’s latest Solstice® Liquid Blowing Agent technology. This new hydrofluoroolefin (HFO) blowing agent is the most environmentally conscious blowing agent produced to date, with a zero ozone depletion potential (ODP) and a global warming potential (GWP) of 1, which is more than two orders of magnitude (99.9%) lower than HFCs used in this industry.


3MTM products.
Quality + Performance = Savings

3MTM energy-saving products are designed to keep warm air in, and cold air out, while keeping energy bills down. Products optimize energy efficiency in buildings and homes; improve indoor environment for occupants; and effect the reduction of seasonal energy costs. 3M products are authorized for LEED credits (Leadership in Energy/Environmental Design).

Holmes and Holmes

Holmes and Holmes


Mike Holmes and his son Mike Jr. (MJ) convert MJ’s bachelor bungalow into a two-storey home for MJ and his girlfriend Lisa. Choosing the newest materials and build techniques, the father and son team follow Mike’s famous motto – “Make it right.” The show can be watched on HGTV and DIY Network.


Enbridge Incentives

The Home Efficiency Rebate Plus program offers up to $10,000 in home reno rebates – and Great Northern Insulation can pave the way.


Great Northern Insulation proudly abides by a renovation-specific Code of Conduct set by RenoMark™.


We are Verified & Bonded by eRenovate. When you choose to proceed with our services through their platform, you receive the gaurantees set forth through their program.

As Seen on Love It or List It

The GNI crew have been featured installing insulation on Love It or List It - have you seen our logo in an episode?

Climatizer Cellulose


CLIMATIZER PLUS cellulose insulation is manufactured from a minimum of 85% locally-sourced post-consumer recycled newsprint. Non-toxic additives are applied to the uniquely fiberized paper generating a building material with superior thermal and acoustic properties, as well as exceptional resistance to fire, moisture, mould and pests.

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