Health and Safety Coordinator – The Seed

Please consider me in your search for a Health and Safety Coordinator.

After completing my Art Education degree at the University of Alberta, while also serving as a writer/production editor for the Students’ Union, Gateway, I joined The University of Calgary as a Communications Officer. In this position, I worked with university administrators to develop and implement strategic communications plans for students, staff, faculty and the public. As co-editor of the U of C bi-weekly, Gazette, I sought to write engaging, creative copy. My article, New ways to slice the mapping pie and its accompanying commissioned illustration and my profile of new staff member, Beatrice Medicine, are two examples. I also supplied photography, illustration and design skills.

Moving to Vancouver, I joined Southam Business Communications as Western Editor for Canadian Forest Industries Magazine, providing copy on all aspects of the business including safety, harvesting, and milling. When that position was made redundant, I settled in Nanaimo and freelanced as writer for The Nanaimo Business Examiner, among others, covering business related stories, like the development of a submersible camera. I also worked as a supply teacher and operated my own direct-mail advertising franchise.

I then joined forest equipment manufacturer T-MAR Industries in Campbell River as the company’s Marketing Manager. This was an industrial manufacturing plant and here, as in virtually every industrial environment I’ve been, safety was an overriding concern. My many duties included conducting customer surveys; producing advertising copy, brochures and videos; establishing and maintaining a customer database; project management for exhibitions, like the Truck Loggers Convention and Demo 2000, and launching the company’s newsletter, The T-MAR Times.

A downturn in the industry led me to spend 10 years overseas teaching in Libya, Mongolia, Saudi Arabia, Norway, the UAE and Japan. In the UAE, I taught mathematics to adult vocational students.

Returning to Canada in 2012, I launched my WordPress website to highlight my creative abilities in writing, photography, art, music and video production. I use my website and blog to promote my belief in a more positive world. I have a working knowledge of WordPress, MS Office (including PowerPoint), Illustrator and Photoshop and have used a number of video editing programs.

Moving to Prince George, BC, I worked as a Care Provider in group homes serving adults dealing with various cognitive and physical challenges for the Prince George Association for Community Living (AiMHi) and Thompson Community Services. Informal counseling was a significant part of my role and I worked with clients (many of Indigenous descent) dealing with drug and alcohol dependencies and mental health issues, including autism and depression. For my work with AiMHi, I completed a five-day training program that included: St. John’s First Aid Certificate (CPR), CPI Nonviolent Crisis Intervention, Foodsafe Level 1 and WHMIS.

In May, 2016, I joined Pace Property Management in Prince George, BC and was immediately enrolled in the Residential Property Management Course offered online by the Sauder School of Business at UBC. I successfully passed the exam on my first try and received my two-year license, to “Provide Rental Property Management Services”, that October. My duties at Pace included all aspects of property management referencing the BC Residential Tenancy Act: showing properties, vetting tenants and entering them in the databse, preparing leases, calculating and properly implementing rent increases, handling collections, arranging for maintenance (including getting quotes), safety testing with the fire department, managing disputes (including hearings with the Residential Tenancy Board), and conducting move in and move out inspections.

While in Prince George, I was introduced to the safety culture of Canfor while wrapping seedlings for tree planters at the JD Little Forest Centre. Canfor has one of the best safety records in that industry and it was immediately obvious to me why. No work could be done without proper PPE and a rigorous training program took place before we were introduced to the production line. Every shift began with a “tailgate” meeting and was incentivized by the weekly award of a gift card to the employee who came up with the best idea for a safety improvement. To avoid repetitive stress injuries, employees shifted positions in the production line every fifteen minutes. This attention and concern for safety had an impressive effect on me and I often talk about it in casual conversation.

In 2021, I returned to Edmonton and, that winter, served as a custodian for the Mustard Seed’s homeless shelters, completing the required online WHMIS course. In the spring of 2022, I joined Horizon North, a division of the Dexterra Group of companies that specializes in camp catering. Horizon North is passionate about safety and a positive employee culture, which led me to complete courses in Bear Aware, Diversity and Inclusion, HSEQ Employee Orientation, Kitchen Worker Gluten Awareness Training, Minor Spill Response, Respect in the Workplace, WHMIS 2015 and Workplace Violence, Harassment and Bullying.

Horizon North has a “Don’t Walk By” program that uses a QR code scanned on a smart phone and requires every employee to daily identify a safety hazard and submit a report. It also requires employees to fill out a daily form noting the expected tasks for the day and identifying potential hazards. As tasks change, the employee is required to note “what’s changed” and what adjustments for safety were made. Employees are also required to carry a “Stop, Think, Plan” card at all times while on the job and to refer to the card when a new task is encountered. Failure to comply with these requirements can lead to disciplinary action.

Horizon North’s initiatives are an admirable effort to address the perennial question: How do you keep safety at the top of mind of your employees?

When the fire season ended, I was trained as an Industrial Janitor at the MEG Energy site near Conklin, I completed Energy Safety Canada courses in H2S Alive and Common Safety Orientation as well as an AMA Defensive Driving Course. Our extensive orientation to the MEG site included learning about lockout protocols and, since we serviced washrooms in “live operations” areas, the use of H2S sensors and bump testing was part of daily routine. While with MEG, I filed a daily report on safety issues as per MEG guidelines. Most recently, having been assigned to the Cenovus Sunrise camp north of Fort McMurray and working as a Second Cook, I completed Cenovus courses in Life Saving Rules and Sunrise Site Orientation. In all these locations daily and weekly “all staff” safety meetings were required. At all of these locations, but especially the MEG Energy site, numerous physical safety and mental health notices and posters were displayed.

A gallery of photos of many of these postings appears below on my web page application for this position, which illustrates my natural interest in wellness, health and safety.

The health and safety of employees are incredibly important. I believe the varied work experience I’ve described (including many positions concerned with wellness and safety) when combined with my abilities and experience in communications and education make me an ideal candidate for this position. I also believe my creative abilities will help The Seed in its efforts to foster a positive occupational health and safety culture. Accordingly, let me suggest we meet to discuss the contribution I could make to The Seed in filling the role of Health and Safety Coordinator.