Safety Talks with Ainslie White
Thanks for taking some time to talk with me Ainslie.
Oh, it’s no problem.
So, how long have you been doing safety with us?
Have you enjoyed doing safety with us?
Yeah, I do enjoy it. You’re actually one of my favourites to work with.
I feel I have family relationships here. You know, lots of close relationships. It’s more like “Oh we’re having the Christmas party” and I love going to them.
We consider you family too.
Good! It’s great working with you guys.
Greatness aside, what’s one of the biggest challenges of the job?
I’d say one of the biggest challenges, or one of my most focused areas is making safety practical and realistic. Because if you’re just throwing forms at people, always making a new form or a policy, that’s not the solution all the time. We have to comply with legislation, but it has to be right sized for what we’re doing.
I know talking to other people I know in fields like oil patch and construction, they say things about how their safety meetings are terrible and so long and boring.
Well, often it’s just a preach. The safety person does the meeting. And I like to facilitate and provide an agenda but it’s our safety meeting. It’s not my safety meeting.
We talk a lot and it’s actually enjoyable.
What about the industry itself? What do you personally feel like some of the biggest safety issues that are encountered?
I know. There’s a lot. It’s probably going to be hard to pick one or two.
Well, driving of course I think would be number one because we do that the most frequently and that’s one of the most dangerous things we do. There’s always driving. Then there’s always H2S, and hydrates and chemicals on site. High pressure is another big one for us. Working alone is a big one.
Many of the hazards our employees encounter, like driving, can’t be avoided. Any sort of general advice on how to reduce risks and potential injury?
That’s why we have our Safe Operating Procedures for people to follow specifically for each individual task. Within those procedures are listed “task steps” as well as hazards and hazard controls. If we are doing a new task, a changed/altered task, or as conditions (including the environment) changes, we need to be doing field level hazard assessments.
Hazard assessments are something that should be done regularly. I don’t mean always filling out a form but taking the time to stop and think. Even at home, before I do something, I’ve neglected to stop and think, and then hurt myself, and thought “You’re an idiot. You’re the safety person. Why didn’t you stop and think?” You don’t always have to write it down but you should always take the time to stop and look at the situation.
It’s a good point. Sometimes we just rush in.
We’re all guilty of that once in a while.
We mentioned the work alone thing. Can you explain our policy for that? What sort of measures we take to keep people safe.
Well, our work alone system has just greatly improved with the new four-head monitors/BlackLine Safety GPS system. That is our new big system.
We’ve always had tracking on the trucks but not on the people. Now we have tracking on the trucks and the people. So that’s a huge improvement. It’s nothing extra our field workers have to wear because it’s their four-head monitor too.
If they have a fall, if they’re knocked down, if they’re exposed to something, it goes off. There are so many benefits to those monitors. We’re way ahead of the game on those. They work as our four head monitor, as our work alone protection, as our call and response, and our emergency device.