Author Archives: Pollyne

WHAT WE CAN BRING TO YOUR NEXT PROJECT.

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YOUR CHALLENGES:

In today’s economy many companies are faced with enormous challenges.  We understand that clients are looking at deploying capital strategically to mitigate downside risks, control costs and remain competitive in a tight margin market, yet still deliver on the project.

OUR EXPERTISE:

Major Projects:  Facility, Pipelines, Oilsands (Construction & Maintenance), Transmission & Distribution, Exploration, Drilling and Completions, Civil & Highway Projects.

Commercial & Small Contractor Services:  Bronze, Silver and Gold Contractor Packages (including SECOR, COR & ISNET Registries.

First Nations Partnerships & Alliances:  XI Safety is active with several First Nations groups and we are seeking additional joint venture partners and assist them in understanding and taking them through the required pre-qualification processes to attain potential work and demonstrating their efficiency as a safe, reliable workers and contractor(s).

Licensed Recruitment Agency:  When you need temporary personnel for any short term work, Xi looks after ensuring your are receiving a vetted professional from our candidate databank. XiSafety & Labour understands your challenges in obtaining the right candidate.  We look after the rest, including payroll and back office support.

IF YOU HAVE IMMEDIATE CHALLENGES WITHIN YOUR ORGANIZATION, TAP OUR EXPERTISE TO ATTAIN DELIVERABLE AND REAL TIME SOLUTIONS.  WE CAN HELP.

 CALL US AT 587-390-7483

“no job is so important, no task so critical, that time cannot be taken to do it safely and in an environmentally responsible manner.”

 

Xi Safety Welcomes Ms. Kristien Davenport to the Role of Business Development and Communications Manager

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The Management Team of Xi Safety is pleased to welcome the addition of Ms. Kristien Davenport to our team as our new Business Development and Communications Manager.

Ms. Davenport has over 20 years of increasingly responsible positions in corporate communications, public relations, advertising and marketing, project management and business administration. Ms. Davenport was a partner with B&D Capital Partners for 9 years, focussing on the public market sector and worked on a diverse mix of projects and clients from several industries including mining, oil and gas, bio-tech projects and the Staffing Industry. Ms. Davenport also has a background in green technology, new media and software.

WELCOME ABOARD KRIS!!

 

Xi Safety Inc blogs about the Canadian Utility Safety Professional Designation

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Xi Safety Inc today looks at the Canadian Utility Safety Designation presently being offered in Canada.

Certified Utility Safety Professional – The Defining Benchmark
If you have dedicated your career to providing safety and operations leadership in the utility industry, now is the time to enhance your professional status with the CUSP certification. Join a distinguished group of hundreds of individuals who have demonstrated their job safety knowledge.
The Certified Utility Safety Professional certification program is the only program that offers safety credentials to utilities, related contractors and communication providers. It is designed to provide a career path and individual growth for employees and increased value for employers.
In partnership, employers and employees promote a culture where safe utility work practices are the standard.

There are two designation that can be attained and are as follow

For more information you can follow this link over to the good folks at CUSP

https://www.usoln.org/cusp-certification/canadian-cusp

 

Bridge The Generation Gap With This Simple Pre-Job Question

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I don’t believe in silver bullet safety, but this one simple questions seems to spur an incredible amount of discussion and knowledge transmission at just about every single safety meeting I attend. I ask this question to mitigate inter-generational effects in the workplace, or to bridge the generation gap. Continue reading

 

Are Cognitive Biases Impacting Workplace Safety?

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If the world were full of rational people who make rational decisions based on complete and accurate information, would the likelihood and severity of workplace incidents be increased, or would it decrease? In the real world, we know that each person has a different set of intellectual gifts and tendencies, not all people make rational choices, and we often have to make decisions based only on partial information. Here in the real world, we often find ourselves asking why a person would take the course of action they did. If they only had more information or were more aware of the hazard, they might not have made the choices they made that resulted in a tragedy. Congratulations, you have just discovered the 20/20 Hindsight Bias!

nicholson_hindsight

– Nicholson of “The Australian” newspaper: www.nicholsoncartoons.com.au

Consider the following problem: you observe that your company is not in compliance with “Regulation X”, the minimum standard set out by law in your jurisdiction. In order for the situation to be addressed properly, Management will have to allocate resources to equipment design, training, PPE, or administration. Depending on the management in your organization, the person pulling the purse strings may prefer to ignore the problem. Usually you will encounter one of the Top 3 Excuses for not working safely: Time, Lazy, Cost. Implementation always involves a resource allocation of time, effort and budget. If people can find a reason not to believe it, then there is no effort required to address the issue. Here are some examples of limiting beliefs HSE professionals run into out in the field:

1. The Gambler’s Fallacy – An industry Veteran will try to put your idea of regulatory compliance into his own 37 years of experience by stating “I’ve been doing it this way for 37 years and haven’t gotten hurt”. This is a glitch in human thinking related to how we weight events in the past and come to erroneous conclusions about the future. It is akin to believing that a VLT machine is “due” for a payout because you’ve already sunk $1500 into it. The perfect example is a coin toss. If we flip a coin 5 times and get heads on every flip, it would be easy to think that the 6th toss will be Tails. In reality though, it’s still 50/50.

2. Reduction to Absurdity – While this is more of a rhetorical device than it is a type of bias, it is still rooted in bias. Opponents will take your idea for complying with Regulation X beyond its most logical extreme and then turn it into a Straw Man that is easily demolished. “If we put a guard on that machine, we’ll have to put a guard on this machine. Maybe we should all wear faceshields, and while we’re at it, cover ourselves in bubble wrap, too. You see how stupid this is, see what you’re saying here?

3. Projection Bias – A worker sustains an injury in the workplace, and people are more than willing to point out “He chose to do A, when he should have done B”. When you hear people using the word “should” with respect to a workplace incident, they are imparting a value judgement based on their own set of experiences. The Projection Bias is the false assumption that other people think just like us, and that we, in the same set of circumstances, would have responded differently. Most often, the Projection Bias show up when individuals make an appeal to “Common Sense”.

4. Observation Selection Bias – The Observation Selection Bias occurs when an event has an effect on your perceptual filter that causes you to notice something more than you did previously. For example a pregnant woman will notice more pregnant women around her. Or the guy who bought a lime green Jeep suddenly notices more lime green Jeeps on the highway. Most people don’t notice this as a bias. Nothing has changed. This bias isn’t always a bad thing. Just be aware that when you talk about a topic in the work place (ladder use), individuals will start reporting hazards related to ladder use.

5. 20/20 Hindsight Bias – After an incident occurs, it’s usually very obvious what a person could have done differently to prevent the incident from occurring. But just because the course of action is obvious after the fact, it does not follow that it was obvious at the time for the person who made that decision. It’s the tendency to see events that have already occurred as being more predictable than before they took place. You’ll see the 20/20 Hindsight bias when people say “I told that guy not to do that, I knew it all along, it was inevitable”.

6. Conservatism (Bayesian) – Thomas Bayes is one of those historical figures who deserves more credit that he has received. His simple concept states that when we receive new information, the rational person should always be updating their prior assumptions and beliefs in light of the new information. So let’s say an industry workplace fatality occurs, and a safety alert is issued, and the root cause was related to the worker wearing loose clothing while using a grinder. If we fail to examine grinder use in our own workplace and take measures to prevent a similar incident, then we have not updated our prior assumptions about the probability of it occurring at our own company. The consequence of a conservatism bias may show up within the law courts as “negligence”.

7. The Curse of Knowledge – The Curse of Knowledge will cause experienced workers to falsely conclude that the next generation of workers just doesn’t get it and any training efforts are not worth their investment. The result is that the workplace loses out on the transmission of knowledge from experienced workers to the younger generation. In every work place, more experienced workers will lament the younger generation’s lack of skills or ability to learn on the job. These experienced workers may have simply forgotten that one day, they were a neophyte tradesman, too. Instead of going back in time and remembering their first day on the job, the more experienced workers will blame some outside force such as video games, divorce, the school system. It’s easier to do that than it is to empathize with the new worker and remember the days when you didn’t know the difference between a crescent wrench and a pipe wrench.

8. The Money Illusion – This is the tendency of people to think in terms of the nominal value, rather than the real purchasing power of money. You’ll see this at work when old timers tell stories like “I remember back in 1982, I was earning 8 bucks an hour as a Roughneck. I worked 8 weeks straight in the bush, went to the truck dealership in Wetaskiwin and bought myself a new Chevy, fully loaded. Paid cash.”. However, when you look at the facts, $8 an hour in 1982 is only $18.87 in 2014 dollars. See it for yourself at the Bank of Canada. In reality, Roughnecks on the Drilling Rigs are earning $30.70 as a *minimum* wage, according to the CAODC. Furthermore, new vehicles today have more bells and whistles, they get better mileage, and have more safety features. Then there’s televisions. The 80 inch plasma television of today simply didn’t exist in 1982, along with a whole host of technology that just gets cheaper by the day. The reality is that a roughneck working today has a far higher standard of living than the roughneck of 1982. When these stories are told in the workplace about how good it was in the old days, it leads the younger workforce to conclude that it’s time to find another industry.

9. Pro-Innovation Bias – Be careful of this one the next time you go see the vendors at the safety conference. You go to a safety conference and find the “Hot-Damn Widget”, it’s called that because it works like a hot-damn. It’s the silver bullet to a significant workplace hazard. They even have Vince from the Slap-Chop commercials, so you know it’s going to be good. Imbued with this new sense of enthusiasm, you buy a dozen Hot-Damn Widgets. You deploy them in the workplace and the result is a total failure. The pro-innovation bias can lead us to conclude that the newer product is indeed better than the old one. The best way to mitigate this bias is through research, case studies and customer references (not testimonials).

10. Status Quo Bias – We’ve all heard the cliche’s: Change is inevitable, The only constant is change, Change for the sake of Change. This is the flip side to the pro-innovation bias: If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Let’s say you’re on a drilling rig and you have some ideas around how to mitigate hand injuries. Management is opposed to the idea based on the limiting belief that when you combine heavy iron and people, someone will always get hurt. However, if we simply chose to believe otherwise and looked at the drilling rig in terms of what we would have to do to limit or eliminate worker exposure to hand injuries, we would have to think about it, make modifications to equipment, buy new equipment, change job procedures. All that takes up resources (again, Time, Lazy Cost). Instead, we tell workers to “be more careful” or “don’t put your hands where you wouldn’t put your johnson” in the hopes that this will drive down incident rates, result in lower WCB claims costs and somehow impact our TRIF.

 

Before Day’s End & Xi Safety Inc

Before Day’s End; this tremendous safety documentary has a personal connection to some of us at Xi Safety Inc and one of the injured workers.

TORONTO, Aug. 20, 2012 /CNW/ – 25,000 accidents are reported each year in the construction industry. Many of these are life-changing or even life-taking events. Before Day’s End, a new documentary film commissioned by CLAC, provides deeply emotional first-hand accounts from victims and family members, chronicling the details of five separate accidents and their devastating aftermath.

“I never had a meaningful conversation with him after that day,” says a father whose son was pinned and suffocated by a malfunctioning lift, leading to a coma, and eventually, death. “There was a point in time where I guess my prayers might have turned from ‘Let’s get him back’ to ‘Let’s let him go.’

“I can’t take that day back, I cannot reverse time”, says a young man who was seriously injured on a job site.

As the film progresses, its message becomes clear: There is much in our lives and our work that we take for granted. This poignant documentary helps its viewers become conscious not only of daily blessings, but of the importance of following safety precautions and of exercising care when working.

CLAC is an independent Canadian labour union representing over 50,000 workers in a wide range of sectors―construction, health care, service, transportation, manufacturing, and others. Based on principles that promote the values of respect, dignity, fairness, and integrity, CLAC’s approach to labour relations stresses membership advocacy, cooperation, and the long term interests of the workplace community.  CLAC Training is committed to supporting the overall health and safety of our members by providing courses that are in high demand in Canada’s rapidly changing workplace.

Video with caption: “New film “Before Day’s End” explores job site accidents”. Video available at:

 

Alberta Traffic Control Services

Traffic Control Services and Personnel are now available through Xi Safety Inc for Alberta road and infrastructure contractors.  In addition to certification our Flagging Traffic Control personnel are instructed in Best Practices for Traffic Control Operations for day and night work, have the correct safety equipment and PPE and possess construction experience.  We provide all back-office support that includes payroll and insurances.

For those seeking certification in traffic control courses, please  see our website

 

The Elevator Speech

Elevator_Speech_is_Nonsense

Recently I had the opportunity to give a totally unrehearsed elevator speech to a inquisitive person while riding up to see another client. He saw a brochure that I was carrying and it piqued his interest. The conversation went like this…….”So, what does the Xi stand for in Xi Safety?” Without an ‘er’ or an ‘ah’ I immediately launched into my hook, replying, ” I help people and companies make the right choice when they arrive at a crossroad.” And then I stopped talking. After I delivered my hook it’s important to simply be quiet. You need to give the listener time to contemplate what you just said, get inquisitive, and want to know more. When they ask, “what do you mean,” they’ve invested in the conversation giving you permission to give them more details. Without the silence the hook won’t work.

REEL THEM IN

Once his interest was shown, I didn’t jump on him with some boring sales pitch. I eased into the next part of the Elevator Speech with what I like to call the reel. I began to tell him how we do what Xi does, but didnt give away the movie. No good mystery movie starts out with, “the butler did it.” The movie keeps you in suspense until you’re dying to know. You want to do this too. A hook/reel combination like this will normally lead to the question, “what do you mean.” Now you’ve earned the right to give them details.

I went into slightly more detail regarding his query, “what does the Xi stand for in Xi Safety?” I was able to quickly describe that the “I” represents a person or a corporate entity and that the “X” represents a crossroad where both arrive at. Their decision, whether as managers who represent the Incorporate Entity or the Individual Worker will determine the safety culture of the company depending on what road they take. At Xi Safety, we help them make the correct path choice.

It turned out he was a project director for a midsized alternative energy company and asked for a card exchange, the brochure and stated he wanted to discuss what I had just elaborated on with his project team. I will follow up next week.

SERVE YOUR PROSPECT, DON’T SELL THEM

If YOU’VE DEVELOPED a good hook and reel you should now have them securely in a conversation. However, ALWAYS the mindset of “how can I serve you,” not “what can I sell you.” Remain focused on your listener’s needs, not on your needs. The more you give, the more you’ll receive.

 

What do traffic lights and gas masks have in common?

 

Not many folks have ever heard of Garrett Augustus Morgan even though most of us frequently usually use the latest version of one of his inventions many times a day.
Garrett A. Morgan

Garrett August Morgan, born March 24, 1877, the son of a slave invented and in 1923 patented the first intersection traffic signal that had the added feature that it could be manufactured cheaply. The Morgan traffic signal was a T-shaped pole unit that featured three positions: Stop, Go and an all-directional stop position. This “third position” halted traffic in all directions to allow pedestrians to cross streets more safely. His hand-cranked semaphore traffic management device was in use throughout North America until all manual traffic signals were replaced by the automatic red, yellow, and green-light traffic signals currently used around the world.

Morgan never went beyond elementary school. He did later hire a tutor to work with him on English grammar. This is most interesting because Cowboy Safety and other versions of 21st century safety depend heavily on the proper use of language.

Garrett Augustus Morgan photo On October 13, 1914 Morgan got a patent for his “safety helmet” as he called it. It was designed to filter out smoke and cool incoming air. The problem he addressed was that of firemen in Cleveland, where he lived at the time, being overcome by smoke. A test of his product came on July 24, 1916 when a tunnel explosion trapped 32 workers 200 feet underground. Rescuers went in and did not come out. Morgan and his brother went in and brought out many survivors.

Fire departments around the country purchased the device. Refined versions have had important roles in military combat. It was used by the U.S. Army in World War I to protect soldiers from chlorine gas fumes.

Morgan developed many other safety products. It was something that he felt compelled to do.

He was the founder of the Cleveland Call newspaper.

Morgan died on August 27, 1963.
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courtesy of cowboy safety

 

Kinder Morgan Canada/Black Gold Inspection (Trans Mountain Pump Station Expansion Project)

The Trans Mountain Pump Station Expansion Project was successfully completed in 2007. It added 10 new pump stations along the existing TMPL system from Stony Plain to Surrey, BC. which increased its capacity by 5564 m3/d (35,000 bpd). As with the TMX Pipeline Project this position responsible for the portfolios of Safety and Emergency Response. Work closely with regulators including National Energy Board (NEB), BC Parks Service, BC Ministry of Forestry (Fire Protection Div.) and local emergency services along the project in Alberta and British Columbia.

Although Xi Safety was not directly aligned, the Project Safety Manager who is now a managing partner, developed project safety execution documents including Emergency Response Plan, HESS Management Execution Plans, Contractor Selection, HSE subject matter expertise to the Project Director, Chief Inspectors, 6 field safety advisors and regulatory liaison. In addition the Project Field Safety Lead position is the most senior health and safety subject matter expert at site and provided extensive guidance and support to the Project Management Team, project spread safety advisors, inspection personnel and project contractors. When required acted as a liaison with regulators including the National Energy Board (NEB).