From Muskrat Falls, where workers are currently building 1,500 kilometres of transmission lines across Labrador, to 1,200 rooms at the workers lodge of the BC Hydro Site C dam site in British Columbia, ATCO’s Structures & Logistics business provides workforce housing for thousands of employees in a range of industries across the country. And while the work being done may vary, one principle is always the same: safety.
Recently, ATCO’s Camp Services team celebrated an enormous safety milestone: five million man-hours without a lost time incident (LTI). The achievement comes on the heels of other awards recognizing ATCO’s commitment to safety, including Best Implementation of Project HSSE Program, for Shell’s Carmon Creek facility in 2015, and recognition of ATCO’s safety programs at the Husky Sunrise Lodge and at K+S Potash Canada’s Legacy Project.
Together, these milestones and awards represent the success of a set of health and safety programs designed to permanently improve the workplace for thousands of Canadian workers. And those programs begin with ATCO’s own workers.
“In 2012, we started our training on behaviour-based safety,” says Ermin Arnautovic, Senior HSE/Food Safety Specialist with ATCO’s Camp Services team. “Ninety per cent of incidents are based on unsafe behaviour. Reporting hazards or unsafe behaviour prevents injuries, and we’ve been able to make that an essential part of our safety culture. Our workers avoid any unsafe acts or any unsafe behaviour.”
Behaviour-based safety also means that employees are actively working to help others. From wearing proper equipment, like cut gloves for chefs, to staying aware of their surroundings, ATCO’s intervention program means that workers are specifically encouraged to look out for each other on a daily basis.
Arnautovic explains: “When I see you doing something unsafe, I’m free to approach you and say: ‘You shouldn’t be doing that. You could hurt yourself and lose your job. Put your cut glove or safety glasses on.’ People are buying into that attitude every day.”
Workers can also earn rewards by completing observation cards or by participating as members of the safety bodies, such as volunteering to be fire wardens. It’s a fun reminder of ATCO’s consistent safety culture, with prizes ranging from t-shirts and jackets, all the way up to kitchen appliances and TVs.
And while employees are helping each other at any one of ATCO’s nearly dozen work camps, managers are coordinating their health and safety efforts across the country, sharing practices and tips. Weekly reports exchanged through conference calls and emails keep ATCO’s health and safety operations coordinated across the country, and the results continue to speak them for themselves.
“The first thing a customer looks for is safety stats,” says Arnautovic. “They want to see the number of lost time, recordable incidents, their frequency and behaviour-based programs. And achievements like five million LTI-free man-hours give us that.”
Five million hours across thousands of kilometres of Canadian operations and safety awards from customers – it’s been a good year for ATCO’s safety programs. But what about their future?
“We hope to get to six million man-hours without an LTI sometime next year,” says Arnautovic.
See you in 2017. It’s going to be a safe year.
ATCO is a diversified global corporation delivering service excellence and innovative business solutions in Structures & Logistics, Electricity, Pipelines & Liquids, and Retail Energy. More information about ATCO can be found on www.ATCO.com.