Make it Better initiative is growing our safety culture at our oil sands operations

August 2020 – Make it better (MIB) is making a big difference when it comes to growing our safety culture at our Foster Creek and Christina Lake (FCCL) oil sands operations. The initiative began in 2019 and is a program focused on giving staff the ability to identify safety concerns, effectively communicate them to Cenovus leadership and develop collaborative solutions. Through the efforts of our operations staff, momentum is building and multiple opportunities have been identified to bring positive safety changes to site.

“For the MIB team at Foster Creek, we believe the initiative has been more about opening a path of honest communication between front-line personnel and various levels of our leadership, rather than tackling any one single safety issue,” says Kelsie Danson, Plant Operator. “There’s a real sense of accomplishment when someone is given the opportunity to identify, pitch and implement an idea that positively impacts their work environment and that of those around them.”

One area FCCL sites identified as an opportunity for improvement was shifting the focus of our safety metrics from quantity to quality. This change has put the emphasis on reviewing and investigating incidents and looking at ways to visibly engage and support workers as the biggest factor in improving safety performance.

One specific change identified at FCCL was improving the ventilation at sampling stations in our processing facilities to help ensure vapours are more effectively exhausted, further protecting the health of staff.

“The FCCL teams identified the upgrading of fume hoods and sample station fans as a significant opportunity for improvement early on,” says Ashley Sochatsky, Plant Operator, Steam Co-Gen Utilities at Christina Lake. “It’s a large item to tackle but a lot of progress has been made. The field managers are engaged in reaching a solution and provide regular updates.”

The FCCL teams believe the stage has been set for the further evolution of our safety culture and credit the commitment of the Cenovus Leadership Team for building trust and fostering an environment that encourages candor and transparency.

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Eye injuries can happen anywhere - but they don't have to
For more than 15 years we have partnered with the Canadian National Institute for the Blind in Newfoundland and Labrador to help develop their Industrial Eye Safety Program. Learn more about the partnership.
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