Teamwork Makes Health & Safety Goals Attainable
Safety takes teamwork.
Without question, safety is everybody’s responsibility, and Mowi Canada West has numerous programs in place where employees can contribute ideas to make job sites safer and more efficient.
It is the job of people like Graham Byatt, Assistant Manager at Larsen Island, and Andrew Richford, Site Manager in Klemtu, to make sure that those ideas are listened to and implemented, and the company’s strong safety record is testament that safety programs and procedures are working.
They assess sites and make sure progress is entered into the DATS System, making sure the Health and Safety procedures are followed and goals are met.
“I’m responsible for ensuring the site is a safe place to work for all staff and addressing any safety concerns,” says Richford. “The goal isn’t to get people in trouble or to be the safety police. . .it’s to grow our area’s safety culture and try to assist the other managers in the area in creating a safe workplace.”
He explains the goal is to assess sites at least once a quarter, which is done by doing a general walk around, monitor general housekeeping, read equipment logs, check fire extinguishers ensure guarding and other safety equipment is in place, inspect equipment on site and identify any possible failures in the safety system.
“For each inspection, a new DATS investigation is launched and a new task is created for anything that’s found,” he adds. “This allows everyone to be fully in the loop on what was found, and what’s being done to correct it.”
Byatt also has his Level 3 First Aid ticket, as well as Co-Chair of the Health and Safety Committee.
“When I go to a site there are certain administration things that I look at such as the Daily Activity Log and the communications board, fire extinguishers, AED’s and safety gear, check the clearances on heaters, etc.,” he says. “I then go out on the system and do a basic system inspection like we would after a storm.”
He also inspects stanchions, plug boxes, Davit posts, the compressor float, the feed shed and looks for hearing protection/PPE in areas that it is needed.
Both have identified possible problem areas and helped develop constructive solutions.
Richford says the biggest thing they’ve discovered during the inspections is the lack of proper guarding on the loading doors of some of our barges.
“As a team in conjunction with our areas maintenance contractor, we’ve come up with a few different solutions to create a ‘cage’ or box to go around the pulleys which would prevent anyone from getting their hands or clothing caught in the pulleys,” he notes.
Another example of something is being able to see a solution at one site and take that idea to the other sites. An example of this is one site has a system set up where their spill and escape response kits are sealed with breakaway tags like a fire extinguisher would have. This allows them to quickly verify each month that their kits are completely intact without having to empty each one out and check the contents, but still allows the kit to be opened by just lifting the lid.
Byatt shares two examples of collaborative solutions that have been implemented.
There was a concern with employees travelling up and down the highway between Campbell River to Telegraph Cove and Port Hardy, and a device called a SPOT Tracker was introduced.
“When an employee is travelling up the highway, they carry this device and if anything happens they can activate it and someone will be alerted and help will be sent to the closest location. This can also be auto activated if there is an accident,” Byatt says.
The Health and Safety Department had correlated data showing that there was a rise on nicks and cuts so they brought forward an idea to make it mandatory that every employee must wear gloves when performing outdoor tasks. JHSC recommended it to senior management and they agreed with the policy.
A large list of gloves of various types were made readily available to all employees, and he adds “It is now company policy that everyone wears gloves when doing tasks, and for the most part I think everyone is happy that we have the policy,” he says.