The ARHCA has appointed a new chair-person
to its Safety Committee – Lauren
Nickerson, CRSP, safety manager for the
Greater Calgary Area with Lafarge Canada Inc.
Nickerson started her career in safety working
for the Interior Health Authority as a musculo-skeletal
injury (MSI) peer leader at the Kelowna
General Hospital, practicing rehabilitation therapy,
educating nursing staff on safe patient handling
and leading a fall prevention program. After com-pleting
the occupational health and safety pro-gram
at BCIT in Vancouver, she joined Lafarge
Nickerson has been with Lafarge for 10 years,
first hired as a safety coordinator for the Vancouver
Market Area, supporting the asphalt and construc-tion
product lines, later transitioning to an opera-tional
role for the Ready Mix product line. For
the past 3.5 years, Nickerson has been the Greater
Calgary Area safety manager, overseeing various
product lines from construction, concrete prod-ucts,
ready mix, aggregates and asphalt.
Nickerson spoke with Alberta Heavy about her
career so far.
What inspired you to want to get into the
Lauren Nickerson: Construction is a dynamic
and rewarding industry. You are part of a large,
diverse team, everyone working together on one
common goal. It is very satisfying to contribute to
building a better, more efficient community.
What challenges do you typically experience
in your role as safety manager with Lafarge?
LN: Finding ways to ensure we equip our people
to practice what we preach and to slow down. This is
difficult in construction, with such a small window
of time to do what others do in a whole year. There
is always pressure to “get it done,” and although
people have good intentions, it takes a fraction of a
moment for a situation to become fatal.
Another part of that challenge is to identify the
roadblocks for those doing the work. If we under-stand
these better, we can avoid making the work
more demanding and therefore minimize the need
to take shortcuts.
Can you describe your involvement in ARHCA
and its Safety Committee so far?
LN: Over the past couple of years as a member of
the Safety Committee, I have been working with
the group to help increase public awareness to
minimize speeding through construction zones,
helping develop a communication process to con-sistently
deliver and receive health and safety mes-sages
and contributing to a large-scale proposal to
revise the Roadbuilders Safety Training System
(RSTS) – a computer-based program specifically
designed for road construction workers.
What interested you in chairing ARHCA’s
LN: I strongly believe that safety should not be
proprietary, especially if it will help keep all our
workers safe. As a committee, our goal is to pro-vide
support and resources to our industry mem-bers,
and I always want to be a part of that success.
What goals do you have for the Safety
Committee in 2020?
LN: The committee will continue to work on
developing a communication strategy as well as
the initial stages of revising the outdated RSTS
platform. We can create greater awareness by
capitalizing on more communication channels
by utilizing social media, different campaigns and
posting “Toolbox Talks” on the ARHCA website.
It’s important for companies to have a voice
at the table when it comes to what’s happening
Meet the new chair of ARHCA’s Safety Committee
By Deb Draper