Canada Safety celebrates 50
Sponsored Content - Mar 08, 2023 - Think Local

Photo: Contributed

Luis and Diana Santos can hardly believe it when they think about the fact that their company, Canada Safety Equipment, is celebrating its 50th birthday on Wednesday.

It was March 8, 1973, when the original owners, Frans and Rita Frake, opened Canada Safety Equipment out of their home in East Kelowna. Let’s just say safety was not foremost on a lot of minds in the early 1970s.

“If somebody would have told me in 1973 that they wanted to open a safety company, I would’ve said they’re crazy,” Luis says. “Because in 1973 there was almost no safety equipment to speak of. There was some traffic control stuff, some respirator masks for painting and gloves. That was kind of about it. Now it’s a massive animal.”

Photo: Contributed

The Santos couple is the third duo to own Canada Safety Equipment, which moved from the Frake home to Ellis Street shortly after its incorporation. Wayne and Diana Bruce were the second couple to own it, and the business had moved to St. Paul Street by the time the Santos couple purchased it in 2012. In 2017, they moved Canada Safety to its current location 105-171 Commercial Drive.

The latest spot allows Canada Safety Equipment to have a warehouse that holds an impressive amount of stock, making it the go-to business for safety supplies from Salmon Arm to Osoyoos.

“When WorkSafe comes and knocks on your door and advises you need to make modifications or have a certain product our clients need to be able walk in, get their stuff to make sure they are compliant and get their business back up and running for the day,” Luis says.

“If you saw the products that are in our warehouse, you would be shocked by how much is related to safety. … Every year rules and regulations change to make the workplace safer. Products evolve, which in turn means we need to make adjustments and keep up with the changes. That means there are more and more products required every single year.”

You name it, and Canada Safety Equipment has it when it comes to safety supplies. It offers everything from medical supplies to traffic control, construction and manufacturing supplies, fall protection, and every kind of personal protective equipment you can imagine. It also sells, rents and services gas detection equipment. There are nearly 600 pages of products on its website, and the business has more than 6,000 stock keeping units, or SKUs, when all is said and done.

Canada Safety Equipment does not just sell equipment; it also offers training. Employers and their employees take classes such as fall protection, confined space and respiratory in accordance with the guidelines to ensure that everyone gets home safely after a job well done. 

“Canada Safety is thrilled to have been a part of the community for so long and would like to thank all our clients and friends for their continued support,” Luis says. “Also to our amazing staff: We could not do it without you. We’ve been around for a long time, but at this rate we’ll be around for another 50.”

Canada Safety is celebrating with the public through giveaways. It will be conducting draws for five $100 gift cards to Midtown Station and Train Station Pub. Check out the contest info on its Facebook or Instagram pages, respectively.

Photo: Contributed
The first Canada Safety Equipment.

This article is written by or on behalf of the sponsoring client and does not necessarily reflect the views of Okanagan Edge.

All Think Local Stories