Suncor claims 2023 is its safest year

No life-altering or life-threatening injuries recorded that year, claims company CEO

Suncor claims 2023 is its safest year

The year 2023 is Suncor Energy Inc.’s best year, in terms of safety, it claims.

“We had no life-altering or life-threatening injuries for the first time since 2015,” said company CEO Rich Kruger in a report from The Canadian Press posted on Global News.

“We had a nearly 50 per cent reduction in lost-time incidents year-over-year and we had our best-ever recordable incident rate in the downstream and our second-best-ever in the upstream.”

Suncor’s record of workplace deaths

Back in 2022, then Suncor interim CEO Kris Smith noted that the company must start putting solutions in place to address workplace safety problems.

"We completed an independent safety assessment last year, and we're clear on what we need to do to improve our safety performance," Kris Smith said during his first quarterly conference call with analysts since assuming his new role, reported CBC. "We do not need more diagnosis, but what we do need to do is execute."

Smith temporarily held the position following the resignation of previous CEO Mark Little, who left his chief executive and president posts after a worker died at a Suncor worksite. On July 7, 2022, a 26-year-old worker died after being struck by equipment at Suncor’s Base Mine in Alberta.

Since 2014, 13 employees or contractors have died at Suncor sites, Edmonton Journal previously noted in January 2023. 

Between 2014 and 2022, Suncor had at least 12 workplace deaths at its sites, more than all the rest of its oilsands peers combined, according to The Canadian Press’s report posted on Global News.

Kruger has implemented a number of changes at Suncor during his approximately one year on the job. These included reducing the company’s employee headcount by 20 per cent, or 1,500 people, in order to eliminate unnecessary or “unaffordable” work, according to The Canadian Press.

Despite this, the company will not make any cuts that could affect worker safety, Suncor spokeswoman Sneh Seetal said in 2023.