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Colouring contest reminds Syncrude employees of importance of being safe at work and home

May 21, 2019

Colourful and creative drawings done by children have inspired Syncrude employees to think of safety in new ways. Myra Chippett, Senior Administrative Assistant, Maintenance Services, orchestrated a contest which involved children submitting illustrations of what safety means to them. The images serve as reminders that safety is not just contained at work, as well as ways to think think outside the box.

Myra became especially interested in making safety personal during facilitation of weekly safety meetings. The meetings gave her an opportunity to listen, learn and engage in discussions about safety.

“Many people share their personal stories during the meetings which gives you a better understanding of the real impacts an injury can have. It can put a halt on a person’s life and also effect the people around them as well,” says Myra. “After attending many of these meetings, including the 2019 Safe Start Presentation that included family pictures, I was inspired. I just thought – we have to do more. I wanted to find another way to bring awareness to simply make you stop and think about safety and encourage those conversations at home.”

The children’s contest also inspired other teams. Jose Alvarado, Area Leader, Hydrogen/Environmental Maintenance, believes that people like Myra play an important part in motivating others to also do their part.

“We don’t need to look far for safety inspiration at Syncrude. Myra and others challenge us to think about the importance of safety. It’s not just about understanding how to execute tasks safely, but it’s about understanding why we need to.”

Myra also demonstrates safety in a number of other ways; from volunteering as a fire warden, to participating in the United Way fundraiser to provide tuques, gloves and scarves so the less fortunate can be safe from winter elements. Recently, she also sought medical advice before signing up for an upcoming half marathon to ensure she was ready to race.

“No matter what your role is, everyone can play a part in safety,” says Myra “I also think it’s important to understand that making the workplace safe is not really even about work. Yes, there are systems and processes in place so we don’t hurt ourselves or others, but it’s so we can all go home safe and enjoy time with friends and family – that’s what it’s truly about.”