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Speaking SafeNickel with Brad, Senior Project Geologist, at Sudbury INO

Author: Glencore Canada | Date: 11/10/2019

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 SafeWork 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. 

In the Speaking SafeNickel series, Glencore Canada connects with employees asking them about SafeNickel, and safety in general. In this interview, we connect with Brad, Senior Project Geologist, at Sudbury INO.

Glencore Canada: What does SafeNickel mean to you? 

Brad: SafeNickel enables me to pursue my career and return home to my family every day in the same condition as when I left for work. The term also gives me confidence that I have the tools and support readily available to ensure that my colleagues and fellow contractors at all levels can experience the same. A program like SafeNickel is appealing to young professionals as it represents a culture to succeed in without sacrificing, but rather embracing, the well-being of the workplace.

I hope to contribute to a culture where workers feel they can share and discuss any safety related issues openly and transparently. To me, helping create a culture where workers take ownership over their own safety and feel motivated to find and communicate hazards and issues is the best way to help prevent safety incidents.

Brad, Senior Project Geologist at Sudbury INO

Glencore Canada: What changes have resulted from using safety standards such as the fatal hazard protocols (FHPs)?

Brad: In Exploration, the FHP approach and related observation tools have forced us to start looking at more risks. From personal experience, when doing a field visit at our drill sites or an observation a lot of times you go to your comfort zone and focus on hazards and risks that you understand. 

The benefit of implementing the FHPs into your safety system is that it gives you a platform to help focus on, and start understanding, different hazards and risks in your workplace. We have seen positive changes resulting from this from: a better understanding of all different workplace hazards from our supervisors, more focus on high-risk tasks when we do inspections, audits and observations, and improvements in our procedures and best practices at site.

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

Brad: The nature of Exploration is that we are always on the move and aren’t locked into a specific site. When trying to control hazards at our sites, as well as in a changing natural environment, you have to dig deep into every single task that is performed on a daily basis. The FHP approach, along with other tools such as procedural observations, layered audits, emergency simulations, safety meetings, inspections, and daily visits, have helped us really understand the specifics of every task performed at our site from diamond drilling all the way to trail maintenance.

One example of how we have used this gained understanding of hazards and tasks is through the implementation of contractor work slips. This forces any contractor coming to our sites to sign off on their personal protective equipment, procedures, and controls specific to their task before beginning work. This has added value as it acts as a level of security because we don’t have an employee at site 24/7. The contractor work slip applies to everyone and could be as simple as someone coming in for five minutes to remove garbage or for an extended period to re-fuel the drills.

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

Brad: My biggest concern right now is making sure all of our learnings and findings are followed-up on. We do a good job at finding hazards, but are we making sure that each issue is being followed up on thoroughly? And that the correct changes and controls are being implemented? I think that putting effort into finding an effective and efficient way to address and manage these changes will help us make sure they don’t get lost and will prevent any incidents from reoccurring. 

I think the biggest thing that I do to prevent a safety incident is making the effort to have one-on-one safety discussions with colleagues every time I’m on site – and encourage and reinforce these discussions in a positive manner. I hope to contribute to a culture where workers feel they can share and discuss any safety related issues openly and transparently. To me, helping create a culture where workers take ownership over their own safety and feel motivated to find and communicate hazards and issues is the best way to help prevent safety incidents.

The thing that has had the biggest positive influence on my view of health and safety since joining Sudbury INO is the relationships I have developed with my fellow colleagues – employees and contractors alike. We may work for different departments or different companies, but over the years, we have developed a passion for our own personal well-being and that of others.

Brad, Senior Project Geologist at Sudbury INO

Glencore Canada: How has your behaviour regarding safety evolved since you joined Sudbury INO? What events have influenced you positively? 

Brad: The thing that has had the biggest positive influence on my view of health and safety since joining Sudbury INO is the relationships I have developed with my fellow colleagues – employees and contractors alike. We may work for different departments or different companies, but over the years, we have developed a passion for our own personal well-being and that of others. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter what company you work for, or what your job title is, it is the sharing of the same objective of going home safely while working towards whatever business objective exists in your workplace. Seeing this first hand has really shown me the power of building a positive safety culture where everyone is equally working towards the same goal – zero harm.