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Dredge with a difference: teamwork in action

Photo — Dredge team poster

A unique poster has captured the story of Kearl’s first dredge move, as told through quotes and photos from team members.

Dredges are an important part of safe environmental management and faster reclamation for tailings ponds. Dredges help pump water from the tailings pond to the plant for recycling and reuse in our operations. Pumping out water creates ‘dry’ tailings which, in turn, allows us to ‘reclaim’ or restore natural habitat much faster.

Over time, as the tailings pond fills, the containment area (berm) needs to be built up, which requires the dredges to be moved. The process and technical structure of tailings ponds and dredge moves are highly regulated.

Kearl’s first dredge move in the early summer of 2017 was completed with zero hurts, on time and on budget. Here’s how the team worked together to make the difference:

  • “The kick off meeting for the dredge move stated the importance of the Kearl house and to abide by it throughout the project. One Team, One Goal. We did not ever feel rushed or the need to accept risk in any way, shape, or form.” – Denis Perreault, D Crew Tailings HEO
  • “The move was challenging. It was the first big move for a lot of the contractors, employees and supervisors. The team was always ready to face the challenges and pull together to get the job done safely.” – Larry Park, C Crew Tailings Lead Hand
  • “We updated JSAs regularly as job scopes changed throughout the day. Sometimes we were on land, and sometimes on the water so we had to constantly add and change the JSA as new hazards were present.” – Les Whalley, D Crew Tailings HEO
  • “We paused for a lot of ‘Stop & Thinks’ when taking on new parts of the project. We would meet, discuss and take expertise from all different levels, and then proceed. I loved the team aspect. Everyone was well suited from the top down. We worked really well together. This was one of the best projects I ever worked on.” – Rodney Costain, D Crew Tailings HEO
  • “The project’s success was based on safety leadership being demonstrated by all people involved from the planning through to the execution.” – Rodney Black, Tailings Superintendent
  • “Everyone gave their one hundred percent and it was one hundred percent the right people to take on a project of this magnitude.” – Mitchell Roth, Tailings Planning
  • “We made a difference as a team. We raised the bar on safety and all four teams are proud of this amazing accomplishment. Thank you all for your contribution and professionalism.” – Lee Boyce, Tailings General Foreman
  • “The wind was a challenge. Instead of risking any damage or injury, we shut down crane operations until the wind subsided, but still worked on other aspects of the move until it was safe to proceed. Safety was definitely at the top of everyone’s priorities.” – Lucas Weber and Wade Murray, Sterling Crane
  • “The whole project would have meant nothing if someone got hurt. Tailings operations executed over 8,000 hurt/incident free hours during this project. The amount of interventions that occurred every day was directly associated to the success of the move and keeping everyone safe and hurt free. We are very proud of this accomplishment.” – Barry Osachuk, Tailings Superintendent
  • “It was a challenging project but we collaborated well with the whole team and never hesitated to have a stop and think whenever necessary.” – Nick Diebert, Plant Maintenance
  • “Everyone was pitching in to get this project done. All four tailings teams participated in the move, including those who were indirectly covering regular duties while this project went on.”
    – Ron Turnbull, Tailings Coordinator
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