A Passion that Brings Together Father and Son
Health, Safety and Environment (HSE) is how they have chosen to make a difference. Read the story of the Janelles and the Tremblays, two father-son employee duos who share a commitment to human relations and helping others.
Denis and Mathieu Janelle, who both work as health, safety and environment (HSE) advisors for the P155 group, are bonded by their family ties and by a shared commitment to human relations and helping others. For as long as Mathieu can remember, his father has always been a prudent, well-prepared man. The image that comes to Mathieu’s mind is that of his father wearing safety equipment while mowing the lawn. Today, their close relationship leads them to discuss their practices and help each other, as their experiences and the cases they deal with are similar. Conversations around the family dinner table are often fuelled by the passion that drives them in their work, which is a true calling passed on from father to son.
A bit of history
Denis, like his son Mathieu, also followed in his father’s footsteps by first working as an operator at the Port Alfred plant. A significant event occurred in 1992 when he suffered an accident at work. This event sharpened Denis’ awareness of his work environment and his growing interest in health and safety. In addition to being involved in various departmental committees at the plant, he obtained a health and safety certificate. In December 2000, he became a potline operator at Alma Works. Still involved in various committees, Denis, in collaboration with colleagues, set up a mutual watchkeeping program. This program was well received by management, and Denis was offered a position as a health and safety technician. Having already worked directly on the floor, he knew the operations and functioning of the equipment. His work as an operator had taught him how to analyse, understand, and detect risk factors. After 17 years at Alma Works, he now works for the P155 group at Grande-Baie Works, where he continues to promote and implement a safety-oriented corporate culture.
With a bachelor’s degree in human resources and a certificate in health and safety, Mathieu has always been drawn to the human side of things. He considers his role as an HSE advisor to be the perfect blend of management work and floor work, with a focus on human relations. It was Agence SST that gave him his first job opportunity. He carried out contracts for the various plants of the Rio Tinto group, then made the big leap in 2019 by officially becoming a full-fledged Rio Tinto employee. Whether by coincidence or by fate, he filled his father’s position after his father was transferred to Grande-Baie Works. Although he is Denis’ son, Mathieu has developed his own management style and does not work in his father’s shadow; rather, he is carrying forward the work that his father started, building on what has already been done to continue to perfect his own work.
The two men value their respective strengths, inspire each other in their work, and continue to nourish this special bond through stories shared over a good family meal.
Éric and Olivier Tremblay both work as safety and environment advisors at Rio Tinto. When they talk shop together, we can immediately see the enthusiasm they have for their job, but more importantly we get to know two men who care about the wellbeing of the people around them. They have everything it takes to excel in their work: a sense of responsibility, strong analytical skills and, above all, an ability to relate to people.
A bit of history
In his early twenties, Éric found out about a program in sanitation technology and industrial safety at the Cégep de Jonquière. He was drawn to the human aspect of this program and its focus on support and assistance as a way to contribute to the elimination of health and safety risks for workers. Éric is very much a people person, which made him an ideal candidate for health and safety. While working for external HSE firms, he began consulting for several organisations, including Rio Tinto. He ultimately joined the team at the AP40 plant when it was just starting up.
Éric continues to be part of the plant’s HSE advisory team and has worked at all levels of the company to help establish a sustainable HSE culture. Needless to say, this is a source of great pride.
Éric sees a 2.0 version of himself in his son Olivier, who today is following the same career path. Éric hopes that Olivier can find fulfilment through his work, as Éric has been able to do for over 30 years now.
Olivier first became interested in health and safety when his father gave him a tour of the casthouse at Alma Works. Although at the time he was considering a career in wildlife, the visit to the plant sparked his interest in working in the industrial sector. He then decided to follow in his father’s footsteps and, in 2013, completed the same program.
Olivier was a consultant for two years before joining the ranks of Rio Tinto in 2018. He is now a part of the Vaudreuil Works staff, and he has also had the chance to carry out a few mandates at Alma Works and to work alongside his father.
It is not uncommon for Olivier and Éric to consult each other regularly and share thoughts, advice, or information about their practice. Family dinners inevitably include conversations about health and safety, but both men agree that this topic is only discussed over appetizers and that the rest of dinner is about family, since they are, after all, family first and foremost.