In January 2015, Cementation Canada launched an awareness campaign aimed at preventing serious injuries. The underground mining development company, based in North Bay, Ont., started by identifying what it calls the 12 Basic Safety Principles.
These principles became the focus of the first phase of the campaign, says Ray Fortin, general manager, health and safety. For each principle, Cementation created an information poster and PowerPoint presentation. These tools, along with a master campaign poster, were used by each of the project sites across the country to promote the safety principles to its 628 employees. Each month, every site put up the theme-specific poster and organized a safety meeting at which workers watched the presentation and received information sheets on that month’s safety principle.
“The theme for the month — working at height, for example, things you have to do to prevent a fall — is in their face at the site. And the following month would be another theme and another poster,” says Fortin.
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Cementation is now about to launch the second phase of its serious injury prevention program, which will focus on critical controls for high potential hazards, Fortin says. The goal is to have each crew, before the start of a project, sit and discuss what serious hazards the current work entails and determine the critical controls it needs to implement to prevent an injury.
“We don’t want to just give it to them. We want our site teams to be more involved. In other words, it’s not just the safety guy who is going to give you documents,” he says, adding site supervisors will be required to validate that the controls are in place.
Each January, Cementation holds a re-orientation, Fortin says. All crews attend a presentation looking back at their safety performance the previous year and then forward to the year ahead.
“Based on the kind of work we plan to do, what do we need to do this year to make sure we do the work safely?” he says. “It’s our way to kick off the year on the right foot.”
In July, Cementation holds similar “step-down” sessions, where it reviews safety performance so far and identifies ways to prevent incidents, he adds.
“It’s to get that re-focus on safety halfway through the year.”
Cementation is also developing a five-year strategic safety plan, says Steve Wrixon, manager, health and safety. To start, it launched a review of the health and safety plans. Over the past year, it held information-sharing sessions with many clients — and even competitors — that have good safety records.
“We want to see what others are doing, what’s working for them. Maybe the mining industry is missing something and we will get ideas about how we can implement something they’re doing,” he says.
Cementation is now finalizing the implementation plan. Wrixon says the company has a long list of ideas about things it wants to do differently.
“We’re looking four or five years down the road and how we can improve,” he says. “We can’t keep doing the same things over and over and expect better results.”
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