Members of Laterrière Works’ health and safety committee (HSC) recently visited the Voie Maltée production plant in Chicoutimi to put into practice the knowledge they have acquired in the course of their duties. It was an enriching experience for everyone involved.
When Marc Belley, Prevention Representative, returned from a meeting at the Manoir, he wanted to organise an activity that would be both practical and fun to highlight the involvement of HSC members in the casting, electrolysis and maintenance sectors. Visiting the Voie Maltée facilities seemed like the perfect choice.
“Our two organisations work with processes. Voie Maltée produces beer, and we produce aluminium. I wanted us to capture the essence of health and safety in an activity that would take us out of our usual setting. The aim was to show our HSC members that, with the knowledge and tools they have, they can identify hazards even in an environment that is not theirs and that they know little about,” says Belley.
This activity away from work was an opportunity for HSC members to take a fresh look at the hazards they encounter on a daily basis. Members took turns touring the facilities at the Voie Maltée production plant.
As soon as the tour began, their health and safety skills kicked in. “Spirits were high. It was exciting for the members to see that they were good at identifying potential hazards in a different context from the factory they had become used to over the years.”
At the end of the tour, they had to share their observations and make recommendations. The whole experience took place in a friendly atmosphere. The conclusions of this constructive exercise will eventually be shared with the management of Voie Maltée.
“Our goal wasn’t to criticise, but to share best practices and identify areas for improvement. It’s a very nice plant!”
“It’s a rewarding experience that allows us to see how much we do in terms of health and safety at the plant. Getting people involved is key,” says Simon Ouellet, Smelting Operator.
Back at Laterrière Works, the benefits of the visit can still be felt. “I encouraged our team to try to recapture the feeling they had during the visit to see if there were things at our plant that we had missed over time that we could address,” concludes Mr. Belley.
The health and safety of employees is a priority for Rio Tinto. Visiting the Voie Maltée production plant was a concrete way to keep these elements at the forefront of the company’s priorities.