Paving a path to safer mining in remote locations

How one rising star is finding ways to stay connected to frontline workers

Paving a path to safer mining in remote locations

From the remote northern landscapes to the bustling workstations, Jasmine Ramrup’s career has taken her through diverse challenges and has led to great accomplishments. Ramprup’s journey in occupational health and safety has been guided by a maxim: "It's your responsibility to stop unsafe work. Speak up, make it right, and save a life." These words have become the driving force behind Ramrup’s dedication to promoting safety in the workplace.

Embracing the remote

Working in the mining industry, Ramrup is no stranger to remote locations. From DeBeers Canada to Barrick Gold Corp, she has spent a significant portion of her career supporting mining operations in far-flung regions. Ramrup’s expertise is invaluable, considering the unique challenges remote settings present for health and safety.

"You could only access it by either the winter ice road or by plane," Ramrup recalls about her time with DeBeers. This highlighted the importance of adapting to a changing world where technology enables virtual interactions and efficient coordination despite vast distances.

"A lot of what I do is mostly computer-based," she explains. While she enjoys the occasional face-to-face interaction, Ramrup embraces the flexibility that remote work offers in the systems world.

Preserving the past, embracing the future

Barrick Gold’s Hemlo mine is in Northwestern Ontario, nestled about halfway between Sault Ste. Marie and Thunder Bay. It has a rich history in pulp and paper and is now renowned for its mining endeavors. As the mine’s senior safety specialist, Ramrup finds it fascinating to be part of a community that has industrial roots but is also a recreational haven. With her passion for safety, she navigates the challenges posed by an aging workforce and the entry of new, inexperienced personnel.

"Dealing with those challenges of how we used to train people," Ramrup explains, "and the loss of knowledge as seasoned workers retire." She emphasizes the significance of capturing oral histories and undocumented knowledge before it vanishes with the retirees, ensuring a smooth transition of safety practices across generations.

Advocating safety education

As a safety professional, Ramrup believes in the power of education and training to create safer workplaces. She recently spoke at the Safety Innovation Summit, showcasing ways to harness emerging technologies to enhance safety training.  

Ramrup commends the Ontario government's push to encourage younger individuals to consider skilled trades as a viable career option. Ramrup believes that embedding occupational health and safety courses into high school curriculums, as Newfoundland and Labrador have done, can have a profound impact on future workers' safety awareness.

"We need to dismantle the idea that trades are seen as less prestigious," asserts Ramrup. "Trades are positive and can lead to successful, fulfilling careers." Her commitment to empowering the workforce with safety knowledge remains a central tenet of her advocacy.

Recognizing excellence

Ramrup’s dedication to occupational health and safety has not gone unnoticed. She was recently awarded the prestigious Young Achievers award, a recognition of her outstanding contributions to the field. However, Ramrup modestly admits that she often overlooks personal achievements and is humbled by the support and encouragement she receives from colleagues and peers.

Looking to the future

As Ramrup ponders her next steps, she considers pursuing a master's degree in occupational health and safety, adult education, or folklore to further contribute to her field. The future remains open, but one thing is certain: Ramrup’s passion for safety and her determination to make a difference will continue to pave the path for a safer and healthier workforce.

"For me, it's not necessarily a five-year plan, but rather, I always keep my options open. My end goal is to ultimately be happy and healthy, wherever life takes me."

Ramrup’s belief in the power of taking responsibility, both at work and at home, reflects the essence of a true safety leader. As she continues to embrace challenges and inspire others, the world of mining safety can look forward to a brighter and safer future with Ramrup in it.