Accounting Paperwork Flow – J. Stanton
Published: December 06, 2018
The holidays are quickly approaching, and our to-do lists are not getting any smaller; field jobs are winding down for the season but there’s still so much to do. Stress creeps in, the urge to rush becomes stronger, and there are just not enough minutes in the day to get to that mountain of paper!
In this month’s H&S meeting we held a crash course on the inner workings of our accounting department, from receiving vendor invoicing to tracking costs and hours to gift-wrapping them in our signature Nichols client invoice. It’s a team of four individuals working together to keep the flow going of what some might consider a headache – paperwork. As a cost-plus business, we want our staff to know what we do and why. By being transparent we are able to collect costs, get all hours entered, and compile time-accurate billings as close to when the work was completed as possible.
It is our goal to help each other minimise stress by working together to keep that flow going, making sure that everyone can have a happy holiday.
"Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success." – Henry Ford
During our latest monthly HSE meeting, we facilitated an open discussion regarding issues involving winter safety. The discussion was engaging and topics ranged from identifying the signs of hypothermia to ensuring your emergency roadside kit includes snacks and water. Remember to look out for each other and embrace winter... because it's here to stay (for the next 6 months anyways)!
Published: November 09, 2018
Winter Driving – B. Rakewich
Published: October 02, 2018
It's October 1st and here in Alberta, we have already experienced several snow events and even driving conditions you would expect in the middle of January! Now that summer is behind us and with real winter just around the corner, we took the time to outline some safe winter driving practices during our monthly HSE Meeting this morning. We discussed the importance of planning ahead, being prepared in the event of an emergency and how to handle adverse road conditions. We also discussed the risk associated with carbon monoxide poisoning, which increases during the winter months. We encourage everyone to plan ahead and make sure your vehicles are winter ready!
Understanding Guidelines - T. Anderson
Published: September 04, 2018
Our job is to determine if a site has been returned to a suitable condition, and understanding provincial guidelines and standards is a part of that. While not entirely health & safety related, it is still important to ensure that the health of site occupants is being protected and that contamination is not putting people/animals at risk. To do this, our personnel need to understand the ‘how’ and ‘why’ behind guidelines, and what else needs to be considered.
Today we reviewed how water pH, temperature, hardness, and chloride concentrations can all affect guidelines for different metals and nutrients parameters in groundwater. At different pH and/or temperature levels, different metals parameters become more or less soluble in groundwater. This is very important to know when we are working near water bodies that could be impacted by a release, or when we are working with releases of fertilizer.
We also discussed the importance of a proper background soil sampling program when dealing with releases of fertilizer and/or salt into soils. There are no provincial standards in place in Alberta for many nutrient/salt parameters in soil, but that doesn't mean that it's ok to not remediate the issue. In instances such as this, taking samples from areas outside of the area of impact and using statistics to generate background guidelines is the best approach.
Safety of New Workers on the Job – K. D’Silva
Published: August 11, 2018
Workers new to the job are three times as likely to injure themselves during the first month of the job than experienced workers. New workers may be at a greater risk on the job due to several things, including a lack of experience, a lack of understanding and preparation for the workplace, being hesitant to ask questions when needed, and not being aware of their rights as a worker. Whether young or old, new workers may not be aware of the hazards in their workplace and they may feel pressured to work quickly to keep up with experienced workers or to adapt to their new work environment with little guidance.
To address these risks, supervisors and employers must spend ample time training and supervising new workers, provide safety training before any work is assigned, pair them with experienced, safety-conscious workers, instruct and encourage new workers to report dangerous work and health concerns, and encourage young workers to ask questions and talk with their supervisors. Additionally, allow new workers to fill out pre-job safety sheets to familiarize themselves with the potential hazards on site. The most important aspect is to lead by example such as wearing protective equipment and demonstrating safe work habits around new workers. By doing so we can create a safety-conscious habitat not only for the new workers but every employee
Field Safety Tickets - D. Nuell
Published: July 04, 2018
Safety tickets (i.e., H2S, First Aid, TDG, WHMIS, Ground Disturbance, etc.) should not be considered a shield against potential risk. Certification for many safety tickets is every three years; can you remember everything you learned one month ago - let alone three years ago? Do you take opportunities to review or practice what you’ve learned ahead of planning your field activities?
At July’s H&S meeting, we conducted a short quiz to demonstrate not what is learned, but what can be forgotten with time. Continued learning and review of safety is a pillar at Nichols Environmental so that our staff can complete their programs safely.