Safety issues around increased hiring, pot legalization top-of-mind for oil and gas leaders

6 associations declare commitment to reduce worker injuries, deaths

Top executives of six oil and gas associations have signed a statement of commitment to accelerate their efforts to eliminate worker-related injuries or incidents.


“As industry leaders, we have a profound responsibility to promote and inspire a culture of safety that will better protect the workers and communities in which we work,” said Jim Donihee, COO of the Canadian Energy Pipeline Association.


The statement recognizes that creating and advancing a safety culture and effective safety leadership are critical to further improving the industry’s safety performance.


The statement of commitment also focuses the industry on emerging safety issues and concerns. In particular, as activity and hiring ramps up following the last two years of layoffs, there is concern over the potential for a rise in the number of incidents or injuries with workers.


“We saw this trend occur when we came out of the last downturn in 2009. The change in the size of our industry has a strong correlation with overall claim rates. This means that now more than ever, we must continue to work collaboratively and proactively to protect our workers for a stronger and safer industry,” said Enform’s president and CEO Cameron MacGillivray, who helped to spearhead the initiative.

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As well, both employers and workers are concerned about how marijuana legalization could affect the workplace, especially in safety-sensitive areas.


“We’re not for or against the legalization of marijuana. We just want answers to what we think are fundamental questions that affect safety. We want to understand what controls are being put in place, such as defined limits measured with tools like the breathalyzer for alcohol, and what duty of care obligations employers will have for ensuring a safe workplace,” said Mark Salkeld, president and CEO of the Petroleum Services Association of Canada.


With federal legislation to legalize marijuana expected to come into force in July 2018, as the industry’s safety association, Enform is calling on all levels of government to work together to address concerns on this and other important safety issues.


“Over the last few years, we have seen this industry successfully navigate unique challenges, including; volatile markets, ongoing industry consolidations, the Fort McMurray wildfire, expanding and contracting workforces and new technologies and regulations. And, we want to see that kind of success continue,” said MacGillivray.


Signatories to the document include the Canadian Association of Geophysical Contractors (CAGC), the Canadian Association of Oilwell Drilling Contractors (CAODC), the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP), the Canadian Energy Pipeline Association (CEPA), the Explorers and Producers Association of Canada (EPAC) and the Petroleum Services Association of Canada (PSAC).