Canadian Occupational Safety

January/February 2020

Canadian Occupational Safety (COS) magazine is the premier workplace health and safety publication in Canada. We cover a wide range of topics ranging from office to heavy industry, and from general safety management to specific workplace hazards.

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Page 22 of 27

23 2020 JANUARY/FEBRUARY "Any community is really no dif- ferent than any company out there — safety has got to remain the first priority," says Doyle, who holds the Canadian Registered Safety Profes- sional designation. "Just ask yourself, 'Would I want to live in an unsafe com- munity?' It has a direct reflection on the economic development and poten- tial of that community. As the mayor, I made safety our number 1 priority." By day, Doyle is the team leader for safety, strategy and operations ser- vices at Suncor Energy in St. John's, N.L. One of the main reasons he is so successful as a safety leader is his exceptional interpersonal skills. "It's his approach. He is a good lis- tener, relationships matter to him, he has a positive attitude and he is just easy to talk to," says Shawn Lang- don, offshore installation manager (upstream) for Suncor in St. John's. "He has a good ability to relate to people and I think it allows him to get his messages out to people fairly easily and I also think, more importantly, to have them well received." Doyle's approachability is further demonstrated by his open-door policy. "We can drop by at any time. He is always willing to provide sup- port to his team and provide advice. He is always open 24-7," says Steve Kavanagh, senior advisor for health, safety, strategy and operations services at Suncor East Coast. "His phone is always readily available, and he will always make time for any issues or concerns that are brought forward." If workers at Suncor have a safety concern, they have no problem approaching Doyle about it because he is always looking for opportunities for improvement, says Langdon. "He makes them feel comfortable, makes them feel safe. He understands the message they are bringing. It's not about repercussion; it's about learning and getting better," he says. "There's a comfort in his presence." Doyle is very committed to getting out in the field and talking to work- ers about safety. He regularly visits the offshore installation off the coast of Newfoundland and meets with workers. His ability to build these relationships is his "most powerful skill set" — whether he realizes it or not — because it allows him to get buy-in and commitment for his initia- tives, says Langdon. Stephen Full, EHS director, explo- ration and production, at Suncor in Calgary, recalls one evening when Doyle took him to the Fort McMurray oilsands site at 2 a.m., in -40 C, in the middle of winter. Normally, executives would visit the site when it was a nice, warm, sunny day, but Doyle already knew what took place in the day shift and he wanted to pay a visit to the night shift. (Doyle worked for Suncor in Fort McMurray before being trans- ferred to the East Coast operations). "They were quite surprised we showed up in the middle of the night, but they were very appreciative to see we were interested in what they were doing. And they showed us they are following the same policies and pro- cedures as day shift," Full says. "Mike definitely wants to see the folks, try to get the feel for what's going right and what's going wrong." One reason why Doyle is so good at engaging the workforce is because he used to be on the front lines himself. He has worked for 23 years in the oil and gas industry, starting in the mid- '80s when safety was nothing more than a hard hat and steel-toed boots, he says, adding that the prevailing atti- tude was "get 'er done." When the oil industry took a downturn, he went back to school to obtain a certificate in behaviour modification, which led him to working with special needs adults. In 2005, he decided to get back into oil and gas for financial reasons. While working as a service rig opera- tor for Concord Well Servicing, the safety manager saw Doyle's passion for safety and offered him a role as a safety lead. And it wasn't long after that he realized he was "exactly where he belonged," he says. "When mixed with the fact that I have a background in behavioural modifica- tion and I love people, safety became a natural fit for me," Doyle says. 4 PINC In 2011, while working in Fort McMur- ray as the EHS manager for Silverstar Well Servicing, Doyle was contracted to work at the Suncor facility. He came across some interesting statistics that related hand injuries to breast cancer: There were 104 hand injuries every day in Alberta, 104 people were diagnosed with breast cancer every month in the province and 104 women would die of breast cancer every week in Canada. He developed a program that would shine the light on all these statistics, and Suncor (specifically the late Marty Mudryk) was eager to put it in place. "At the time, it was all primarily men working on the rigs and the one common denominator was women in their lives. Each of them has a mother, an aunt, a sister, a girlfriend, a wife, a daughter and it was really, at times, heart-breaking when we first rolled this program out and people shared their stories, how [breast cancer] had affected them," Doyle says, who has also been personally affected by breast cancer. If a worker witnessed a colleague putting their hands in danger, they would stop the task and give them pink gloves and a pink hard hat. The worker would then re-enact the situ- ation showing how it should have been done safely and "before and after" photos were taken to be used for future teachings. That individual would need to wear the pink items BRINGING SAFETY TO THE PEOPLE Mike Doyle, the 2019 Safety Leader of the Year, practises what he preaches on and off the clock

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