Through the project to modernise the wharf and alumina unloading system (MQDA) at Port Facilities, workers at Rio Tinto and partner companies have donated $12,860 to three organisations in the region. The money was raised through the Stop and Seek Help program and given to the Centre de prévention du suicide 02, Maison Le Rivage and Soupière de La Baie.
The goal of the Stop and Seek Help program is to encourage workers to report anything that could be harmful to their health and safety on worksites. For each report made, a corrective measure is quickly put in place, and the worker receives an aluminium token as a reward for their diligence and engagement. The tokens are then placed in boxes and turned into donations. For each token, Rio Tinto donates $5 to organisations chosen by the work team.
“The program has been very well received by employees,” said Nathalie Desmeules, MQDA Project Lead. “Everyone understands its importance for health and safety on worksites, but they also feel really motivated about giving back to the community directly through their donations.” She added, “As the project is coming to an end, a special event was held on 18 October to present the cheque. Nearly 80 workers were present. The three organisations receiving the donations each gave a brief account of how they would be using the money, which gave the workers a real sense of the difference they were making.”
Maison Le Rivage, which provides shelter for women experiencing violence, will be able to purchase an outdoor play structure for the children living there with their mothers. The Centre de prévention du suicide 02 will be able to deploy more resources for prevention activities in the workplace. And as the cost of groceries continues to rise and food assistance needs intensify, Soupière de La Baie will be able to buy foodstuffs, including vegetables, which are often more expensive at this time of year. The soup kitchen also plans to purchase a new refrigerator or freezer.
“The Stop and Seek Help program really creates a cycle of goodwill,” said Desmeules. “It is based on protecting workers on the worksite and promoting collaboration and mutual support, but it goes beyond that. We’re taking care of each other, but we’re also taking care of our community. We’re giving back.”
Rio Tinto employees were not the only ones taking action to promote safety and raise donations through the MQDA project launched in February 2021; the workers from partner companies have been doing the same.
“Our partners decided to team up with us for the Stop and Seek Help program,” said Desmeules. “They’ve added an extra $5 for each report. The project manager Hatch also decided to get involved and is adding $5 for each report. This means that every token is equal to $15 in donations, instead of $5.”
In total, 733 tokens were collected during the project for a total of $10,955 in donations. Fabmec decided to increase the amount to $12,860.
The other companies that joined in and showed their generosity are Sirois électrique, Shipshaw électrique, Pomerleau and Claveau et fils.
A SINCERE THANKS TO EVERYONE INVOLVED!