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Workplace safety and you: A day in the life of an employer.

By Angela Unsworth

Renee’s scar is a constant reminder of what it means to be safe at work.

On a Friday night shift at Cargill Canada—and only 20 years old at the time—she was chopping meat products when the knife she was using slipped from her hand. As she reached out to catch it, the knife flipped, hitting the table top and piercing her right hand. Immediately after her accident, Renee went to the on-site nurse and was escorted to the hospital to receive stitches.

She was back at work on the production line the following Monday, and when she was asked to use the knife again, she did so, despite some misgivings.

Says Renee: “That would never happen today.”
She should know–Renee is now the organization’s Process Safety Manager.

Moving on up

At the time of the accident, she had been working at Cargill—one of Canada’s largest meat processors—for less than a year. Through the years, she made it her mission to learn a variety of roles, rising steadily through the organization.

Safety integrated into every role

Renee dedicates herself to ensuring Cargill’s safety programs and training are in place for all new workers.

Not only that, but safety is integrated into each stage of learning for each role, with a specific focus in aligning safety with leadership programs.

“We believe it’s important everyone knows that safety is everyone’s responsibility,” Renee emphasizes before listing some of the safety initiatives they have for their workers:

  • Initial safety orientation, including a comprehensive 50-page orientation safety guide.
  • Cargill Lifesavers programs, which includes 16 separate safety training modules such as proper knife handling, machine operation and animal safety.
  • Utilizing a Management System Safety calendar.
  • Mandatory monthly safety meetings.
  • Safety messages shared from corporate leadership throughout the organization

For Renee and Cargill, safety is always evolving.  Safety must be an effort of continuous improvement.

They are always learning and growing and looking for feedback, ideas and suggestions.

Join in on the safety conversation and talk to your employer.

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