News

Friday, May 6, 2016

Safety is Everyone's Responsibility at Russell NDE

Russell NDE employees frequently work in remote or industrial areas. Working in these places doesn't come without risk. Russell NDE understands that it's imperative we have an effective plan and a culture that ensures our employees remain safe on the job. To accomplish this our company has a strong management team that promotes safety, we engage employees in our safety program, conduct hazard assessments and ensure employees are properly trained for the safety procedures of their job. That's why Russell NDE has an industry leading safety program.

A Strong Commitment to Safety at the Management Level:

One factor that contributes to a safe workplace for all employees is a management team that is dedicated and actively involved in promoting a culture of safety. Russell NDE's management promotes safety through researching current provincial safety legislation and regulations; budgeting for safety equipment and ensuring that employees are properly trained on safety protocols. Our President, Dave Russell, is diligent about his involvement in every aspect of the business and safety is always at the forefront of his mind. He views it as his responsibility to have the budget in place to provide the company wide training and protective gear that employees need to do their jobs on a daily basis. He never says "no" when it comes to an expense that will keep people who work for Russell NDE safe and healthy at the end of the day because"Employees are our most valuable asset. If they are injured on the job then we have failed our responsibility to keep them safe" states Mr. Russell.

Our Supervisiors also carry the values of safety with them into the field. Paul Ryhanen, our Field Services Project Manager, says that "supervisors are the main providers of support for safety on Russell NDE projects. Their job is to assist in the coaching, mentoring and implementing of HSE programs in the field." This is a complex task that involves:

  • developing a thorough safety plan for a project,
  • providing direction, support and resources to all site managers, supervisors, foremen and safety advisors,
  • ensuring all workers have the proper training,
  • providing the safety equipment (tools/PPE) and ensuring that all safety manuals, safety regulations and forms are available for the site,
  • conducting site walks,
  • informing workers about any known workplace hazards,
  • ensuring that all safety incidents are reported immediately,
  • assisting in the investigation of incidents to determine the root cause and implementing any corrective actions,
  • offering and arranging modified duties for injured workers and following up with these employees regularly,
  • conducting new hire orientations to the Russell safety program and culture,
  • and involving all personnel in the preparation and execution of safety audits (such as COR.)

Employee Involvement and Engagement

Frontline workers need to be consulted and heavily involved in the process of developing safety procedures and policies. On every Russell NDE work site the supervisors, operators and technicians conduct a safety meeting every day. This informs all employees about any hazards and how to work safely on site. We also encourage an "open door" process to report safety incidents. "We educate all of our employees about the rights of workers to refuse work that's unsafe, what to expect on a work site and we will always investigate and stand behind any disclosures of safety concerns or incidents that are made by any employee, " says Carrie Williams, the Manager of safety training for Russell NDE. She adds that "employees are also taught the skills to analyze how safely they are working and how to observe their colleagues as they are working as well. It becomes a team effort to keep each other safe." We also recognize that safety procedures need to evolve. When we hold safety meetings we request feedback regarding safety processes, forms, and manuals to ensure they are relevant and change along with regulations, laws and the daily realities of actual work in the field.

Work Site Analysis:

Russell NDE knows that work site analysis is a cornerstone of a safe workplace. Our company has a clear procedure for the prevention and investigation of safety incidents. We lead all supervisiors through the process of how to conduct a site walk to identify hazards, how to submit a tool box form to document any safety issues and report them to other people on the site and upper management to be rectified.

Our company also recognizes the importance of holding ourselves accountable for safety results and we conduct internal and external COR audits on which we always score above 90%. Carrie Wiliams remembers a COR inpector that "was very impressed with our company because we have an emergency and disaster preparation kit in our lunch room, which also functions as the muster point in case of an emergency. Our company really does think of everything and we are very proactive with safety protocols."

Training of Employees:

Russell NDE believes that information is power for our employees. We understand that our staff can have varying degrees of knowledge about how to work safely, as they have come to us from various companies that may not have the same training standards. We carefully take an inventory of what our employees know about safety, their certifications and determine what training they will need immediately and into the future.

Our company does our due diligence when hiring new employees and we ensure that they have safety tickets that they need to work in our industry prior to beginning their employment. If a new employee requires training we will gladly provide it for them. Every work site has their own specific safety training needs and people that are new to the job shadow a supervisor or experienced employee to become familiar with Russell NDE policies and procedures.

We also have ongoing training for our seasoned employees. We hold company wide general safety meetings once a month that provide employees with information about various safety topics that are well-researched and presented in a compelling seminar. We don't just stop there, supervisors may spot check the knowledge that employees should have taken away through further discussion about these sessions.

For supervisors and upper management, a Health and Safety Supervisor Committee meeting is held once a month. This is when we teach the supervisors how to conduct different tasks related to keeping the people that work under them safe. In this meeting, they learn how to conduct hazard assessments, how to correctly fill out forms related to safety and conduct thorough safety toolbox meetings.

You should work with a pipeline inspection company that prioritizes the safety of their work sites and the employees that work for them. Call Russell NDE at (780) 468-6800 or send us an e-mail at info@russelltech.com to learn more about our efforts to make our sites safe places to work.

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