Mining engineer views health and safety as centre of workplace culture
Workplace Safety North (WSN) is pleased to welcome its newest board member mining engineer Tim Bremner.
“I’ve been in the industry since 1974,” says Bremner. “I began working in the field as a driller’s helper during summer breaks, and worked my way up through the field, put myself through mining engineering, and then started working full time with Longyear Canada in 1980.”
Mining runs in the family and Bremner’s father spent his whole career at Boart Longyear in North Bay, Ontario. Bremner holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Mining Engineering from Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario.
“I worked my way up through various management positions, not only within Canada but also around the world. I lived in Australia and South Africa for a while, and then in 2006, I decided it was time for a change and started Foraco Canada here as a start-up company, affiliated with a parent company France – which was really the most difficult thing I’ve ever done in my life,” Bremner says with a laugh. After establishing operations in eastern and western Canada, Bremner is currently Senior Vice President of North American operations and involved in building Foraco’s presence in the United States.
One of the things he and business partner Rob Steadman wanted to ensure, right from the start, was to place health and safety at the very heart of their workplace culture.
“Rather than have it evolve within the company, our mission was to put the health and safety culture in place first, and build the company around that culture,” says Bremner. “It’s been an extremely successful strategy for Foraco Canada, and it’s something that I feel passionate about in the industry. I really see the need for the whole industry to adopt more of that approach, rather than just having a variety of safety programs.
As the independent, not-for-profit health and safety association for Ontario mining, forestry, paper, printing, and converting, WSN provides occupational health and safety training and specialty services including expert advice and information, classroom and online training programs, on-site consultations, audits, industrial hygiene testing, ergonomic assessments, and specific problem-solving.
“The logging industry is certainly different in that it has different metrics and different requirements, but it is men and women and equipment all working in remote areas, largely on their own, so there are similarities between mining and forestry in that regard,” notes Bremner.
Although Workplace Safety North is just five years young in 2015 – its legacy health and safety associations share more than 370 years of experience. As a prevention partner, WSN's mission is to make workplaces safer and help ensure every worker returns home safe and healthy at the end of each work day.