Left to Right: Kathy Christmann, Athabasca Basin Medical; Ron Hyggen, CEO; Kendra Vedress, Executive Assistant; Rod Genest,
Director of Operations; Sascha Saskbrink-Harkema, VP; Claire Venne, Controller.
Athabasca Basin Security Nominated for Mission Zero Award
In 2014, Ron Hyggen, CEO of Athabasca Basin Security, pledged his commitment to Mission Zero to improve the safety of ABS employees. At that time, Saskatchewan held claim to the second worst workplace time lost injury record in the country.
Launched in May 2008 as an initiative of WorkSafe Saskatchewan, in partnership between the Worker’s Compensation Board and the Ministry of Labour Relations and Workplace Safety, Mission Zero is a project targeted at working toward zero injuries, zero fatalities and zero suffering.
ABS made numerous changes to ensure employees were safe on the job, with safety jumping to the top of the list as the ABS management team developed a new strategic plan. “We invested by hiring a dedicated safety resource and developing a company-specific safety program rather than continuing the use of the construction-based safety program we had been using,” Hyggen said. “The new safety program has specific items that our team deemed vital to the success of the program.”
ABS developed a safety orientation program and video that clearly explained the importance of working safely, and implemented a management and supervisor training program to ensure a complete understanding of the ABS Safety Program. All staff must now pass a competency test upon completion of the safety program and complete mandatory review of safe work procedures at every weekly toolbox meeting.
As a result of efforts like these, in June 2017, ABS was nominated as one of three companies in the large company category to be recognized for their success in the Mission Zero Charter.
The Mission Zero awards recognize those companies that have shown true leadership and commitment as a Signatory of the Mission Zero Charter. The Mission Zero Charter now incorporates more than six hundred Saskatchewan business who, like ABS, are committed to making preventable injuries a part of their past.
ABS is planning to continue their commitment moving into the future. “We are thrilled to be recognized for our commitment to safety, but that’s not why we do it,” says Hyggen. “We have a moral obligation to return employees to their families in the same health that we received them and it is our responsibility as an employer to do our absolute best in providing a safe place to work.