Staff input a key ingredient for Health & Safety

Chris McNeill and Elliott Thorne take time to discuss a task before getting started.

Having an open door for staff input is a key to the strong health and safety record at Mowi Canada West.

Chris McNeill, who has been with Mowi for 19 years, including the past eight as Manager at Big Tree Creek Hatchery, notes receiving valuable input from employees makes a big difference, as “we face multiple potential hazards on a daily basis. Anything from machinery, chemical use, confined space, repetitive strains, slip trip and falls.” Hazards can be identified by assessing the site, the job itself, and any changes that may have occurred – as well as consideration of the time allotted for each task.

“As a manager, it’s important to allow the staff the time to look at any job before they start and have that in your plan, so as to not be rushing them to meet their deadlines,” McNeill says. “It’s always important to have the right materials and equipment, and we have that here.”

McNeill says worker and equipment safety is paramount, adding “Mowi has done a great job rolling out and supporting the managers financially to protect our workers. To get buy-in from staff, it has to come from the top down and the staff can see that is what’s happening.”

Monthly meetings where topics are discussed and tracked from previous meetings, morning ‘coffee pots’ (tailgate meetings) to discuss the days’ work, and contractors that come on-site and offer their observations are all taken into consideration.

“We also have tools at our disposal that help us track safety on the site,” McNeill adds. “DATS is a computer-based program that allows us to input safety concerns, tasks identified with correcting the concerns and follow up to ensure jobs have been completed.” Eye Observe is a booklet that identifies the tasks workers are doing and creates an itemized list to go through and check off on how he/she is performing each task.

The commitment to health and safety provides peace of mind and security to Mowi employees, and McNeill adds that at the end of the day, “we all want to go home and be with our families and enjoy our life adventures.”