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Speaking SafeNickel with Paul Soucy, Trainer, Underground at Raglan Mine

Author: Glencore Canada | Date: 22/05/2018

Glencore’s first priority is to protect the health and wellbeing of its employees. To achieve this, we must identify and manage health and safety hazards in our workplace. In order to help realize this goal, we launched SafeNickel to provide a common global foundation to build our culture of safety worldwide. 

At our nickel assets, SafeWork has been adapted as SafeNickel, which supports the operation’s individual safety programs and protocols. 

Speaking SafeNickel connects with Glencore employees asking them about SafeNickel, and safety in general. In this interview, chat with Paul Soucy, Trainer, Underground at Raglan Mine, in the province of Quebec.

Glencore Canada: What does SafeNickel mean to you?

Paul: It is something embedded in our core. We work in an extreme, isolated northern region, so employees who suffer certain types of injuries can take hours, if not longer, to obtain the necessary external medical attention. We know that workers around the world suffer injuries while on the job; we want to do our part to avoid these incidents from taking place to our workers.

Now when an incident occurs, we try to eliminate that from taking place again based on the requirements outlined in the Fatal Hazard Protocols (FHPs). We’ve also created an environment that allows people to report dangerous incidents. We had more than 7,000 dangerous incidents reported, so it is about getting different eyes on these situations, as people will see things from different perspectives.

Paul Soucy, Trainer, Underground at Raglan Mine

Glencore Canada: What changes are resulting from using safety standards such as the fatal hazard protocols (FHP)?

Paul: A larger focus. Now when an incident occurs, we try to eliminate that from taking place again based on the requirements outlined in the FHPs. We’ve also created an environment that allows people to report dangerous incidents. We had more than 7,000 dangerous incidents reported, so it is about getting different eyes on these situations, as people will see things from different perspectives. 

Also, SafeNickel is a forever growing, evolving entity – standards change as we seek better performance. For instance, working at heights is a fatal hazard present at Raglan Mine and, generally, the protocol is put in place at a height of two metres; we go beyond that norm and implement the protocol at 1.8 metres in particular situations.

Glencore Canada: Do you have an example of how safety standards and/or the FHP approach has added value at Raglan Mine?

Paul: If we back up a few years, if we had three consecutive months without a reportable incident at one mine, we thought we were doing well. In 2017, we went all year without a reportable incident across all four of the mines on site. We have never seen such a strong health and safety performance like this before. Specifically, Mine 2 is at 1,233 days without a reportable incident, which is incredible and underlines the value of the approach. I am confident saying that Raglan Mine makes every effort to remain one of the safest mines in Canada.

Glencore Canada: What are your current concerns regarding safety and how do you contribute to preventing a safety incident?

Paul: The combination of employees having a rotation schedule and other personal reasons to be away from work, means employees may not be up-to-date with the latest information when they arrive on site. So, we refresh employees regarding updates to their workplace environment. SafeNickel evolves as we strive for better and better safety performance, which means we need to make the effort to bring everyone to the same plateau.

Given my role, I view training as a big part of addressing our concerns regarding communication. Training ensures that, regardless of the background of an employee, everyone is on the same page, and referring to the same processes and practices, which are affirmed through theoretical training and practice.

Being a father has pushed me to be safer too. I love my kids and cannot wait to go home and spend time with them. I do not want to go home with a hurt hand or broken leg; I want to dedicate my time to them and my wife.

Paul Soucy, Trainer, Underground at Raglan Mine

Glencore: Has your behaviour regarding safety evolved since you joined Raglan Mine? And what events have influenced you positively?

Paul: We are a family at Raglan Mine. If you have a child and they get hurt, it hits you to the core. I feel the same way when one of our colleagues gets hurt. These type of events cause me to make my work area safer, not just for me, but for the next person who will work in the same environment. 

Being a father has pushed me to be safer too. I love my kids and cannot wait to go home and spend time with them. I do not want to go home with a hurt hand or broken leg; I want to dedicate my time to them and my wife. 

And having shifted roles from a miner to a trainer has brought change too. Now, I have to make sure that the workers have understood the instructions and safety requirements before leaving them to themselves. I really analyze my work and strive to get others to see things the same way I do. Safety has become second nature.