Team spearheads innovative safety improvement

At a team meeting in late November, the rotating equipment engineering group heard from Danny Rowan, engineer in training, who wanted to talk about safety on the highway during the safety moment. (Safety moments happen at the beginning of every meeting of four or more people at TransAlta). His partner had been travelling down the highway when the wheel from another car came off and collided with the front of her car.

“This generated a lot of discussion, particularily when Danny mentioned the police on the scene were not wearing high visibility jackets and walking across the highway,” says Paul Roper, manager of the group.

Danny’s safety moment led the group to discuss other recent road traffic accidents and led to some initial ideas on how TransAlta could improve our roadside safety. The group approached the safety group at the Calgary head office with the idea to have all rental vehicles equipped with a roadside safety kit.

Five roadside safety kits are now located at security at the Calgary office. When keys to rental vehicles are picked up at the security desk, a roadside kit is provided as well. The kits are sealed, so if the seal is broken, an incident has occurred and a yellow card is included so the safety incident can be documented and reported.

“I visited Sundance again last week and was pleased to report that security packaged me off with the rental car and the safety kit,” says Roper.  “On my return, I noticed there was only one kit left, which means they’re getting great up-take.”

The kits include high visibility vests, reflective triangles and booster cables among other items to make sure you stay safe if anything happens on the road.

“This is a great example of how safety moments can lead to discussions that result in ideas that really make a difference in how we can improve safety at TransAlta,” says Cynthia Johnston, executive vice president, Gas and Renewables.

“We are an innovative company at TransAlta and this is just one example of how ideas can turn into actions that make a big difference.”

Group photo (left to right): Danny Rowan, Dwayne Brown, Paul Roper, Mark Shoup and Luis Sanchez with one of the safety kits