Canadian Mining Journal

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SAFETY: A life saving model for oil sands operations

CALGARY – Injuries to workers in the oil sands are on the decline, but using data analysis tools and making some cultural shifts can help make workers even safer, says a new report released today from Visser Deloitte.



CALGARY – Injuries to workers in the oil sands are on the decline, but using data analysis tools and making some cultural shifts can help make workers even safer, says a new report released today from Visser Deloitte.

The first of the Gaining Ground in the Sands 2015 series of reports – Predictive Site Safety: People and Culture For Life – says that even though injury accidents on oil sands sites have decreased by 14% since 2009, 2014 has been a difficult year for the mining and petroleum industry. Alberta Occupational Health and Safety’s most recent study notes five fatalities in the first nine months of this year for the mining and petroleum industry.

Geoff Hill, Deloitte’s national oil and gas Sector leader in Canada, authored the report, and says that site safety begins with building a culture of safety.

“At any industrial site, there’s really no such thing as having too much safety training,” he said. “As the labour crunch in the oil sands continues, you have more and more inexperienced people working with machines they might not have even heard of before they were hired.”

The report also outlines how new data analysis tools can be used to predict where accidents are most likely to take place, and measures can be put in place to prevent those accidents.

“In the report, we emphasize the importance of building a culture of safety, but we also think operators should live that culture as well,” Hill said. “Safety analytics – looking at and studying how accidents have happened in the past so they can be prevented in the future – is a critical new tool operators have at their disposal.

“Safety analytics can also be used to really sharpen and focus safety training. It’s a cycle. The more we study accidents, the better we can become at predicting and preventing them.”

Predictive Site Safety is the first report in the Gaining Ground in the Sands 2015 series focusing on issues of critical importance in the oil sands industry. Subsequent reports will be released over the next few months.

Predictive Site Safety represents the first major undertaking of Visser Deloitte, which came to be after Deloitte Canada acquired leading safety and compliance firm Visser Consulting Ltd. this past August. Visser Deloitte’s mission is to bring safety in the oil sands to the forefront, and will incorporate Visser Consulting’s 20 years of safety and regulatory compliance experience to Deloitte’s client base.

Visit Visser Deloitte on Linked In or Facebook.


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