Category Archives: Personal Safety

A health and safety executive recounts her son’s injury in oil and gas

First safety was professional. Then it was personal

In the 1980s, safety was professional for Maureen Shaw. And then in the 1990s, it became deeply personal.

Shaw had worked for years in occupational health and safety, including in the oil and gas industry.

But she never imagined those risks would strike so close to home. Continue reading

How to influence safe behaviour through Brain Based Safety

Brain Based Safety comes to Petroleum Safety Conference (PSC)

Safety is complicated and yet for years, safety professionals have looked for magic formulas to reduce workplace injuries, deaths and damages.

Juni Daalmans, the founder and owner of Brain Based Safety in the Netherlands, says effective safety formulas are based on attitudes and behaviours: how we think affects how we act. Continue reading

The fortunate side of Mitch Arsenault’s heart attack

One morning last summer, the night crew on Precision Drilling rig 521 had just finished its shift without incident.

“It was an evening the same as any other,” says Precision rig manager Tim Ismond. “The crew had changed shifts and the safety meetings were conducted. We were going to put our top drive together on the floor of the rig.” Continue reading

How to beat the big ice challenge – on and off the job

Ice makes work in the oil and gas industry bone-chilling for two reasons: one—it’s cold and, two, it’s a slippery and unpredictable hazard.

“The biggest challenge with ice,” says Dave Hanik, a Drumheller, Alberta-based lead mechanic for the Clearwater Business Unit at Encana, “is that you often can’t see it, so you face the unexpected. You may be walking and all of a sudden you start sliding sideways. You might miss an access road in your vehicle and then find yourself sliding on black ice. A pipeline might be frozen, but you don’t know exactly where.”

Continue reading

It’s winter: time to talk tires

Winter, all-weather and all-season tires perform in different ways

The first time you drive on freshly fallen, calf-high snow with winter tires is pretty satisfying. While the car next to you is slip-sliding, your tires grasp the road with a vice-like grip.

It’s like your treads have teeth and they’re chomp, chomp, chomping through snow and slush to gain traction. Suddenly, you are much more connected to the road and a whole lot safer.

Continue reading

Going to pot

Knowing marijuana’s risk

It’s not just a joint . . .

Canadians’ increasingly casual attitude to marijuana has prompted the federal government to promise it will make the substance legal on April 4, national marijuana day, lifting a 97-year-old prohibition on weed.

With its growing acceptance, lots of people might think marijuana is harmless.

But a growing number of experts don’t. One of them is Diana Dow-Edwards, the distinguished visiting research chair in Brain Science and Child and Family Health and Wellness with the Fulbright Canada-Palix Foundation, who’s studied marijuana for more than two decades.

Continue reading

Legalized marijuana will become a matter of policy

This August, Health Canada introduced regulations to make cannabis more accessible for medical purposes. This spring, the federal government plans to make the recreational use of marijuana legal. Continue reading

Marijuana and workplace safety: question and answer with Cameron MacGillivray

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has promised his government will legalize, regulate and restrict access to marijuana. The Liberals announced plans to introduce legalized marijuana on April 20, 4/20, or national cannabis day, and expect to introduce legislation this coming spring. Continue reading

When lightning strikes

It’s true. You’re more likely to be hit by lightning than win a lottery jackpot.

For the record, your chances of being struck by lightning are slim. Still, Environment Canada says lightning kills roughly 10 Canadians every year and injures between 100 and 150 others. Your odds increase if you work outside. And they can soar if you find yourself in the wrong place when a thunderstorm rolls through. Continue reading

Avoid these traps

Some 50,000 commercial trappers harvest about 750,000 wildlife pelts (badgers, coyotes, wolves and more) in Canada every year.

Many work in areas with oil and gas operations: from prairies and foothills to boreal forests and mountains across the country. Continue reading