Regina-based mining contractor Thyssen Mining crossed a major threshold in December 2019—one that is worth celebrating. The company’s equipment shop has had 20 years without a lost-time incident.
20 Years in the Making
“I was really nervous that last month before we hit 20 years,” says Dwayne Metz, Thyssen’s shop and equipment manager. “December 10 was the day we did, and it was such an achievement for the team. Without them, we would have never done it.” Metz leads a team of ten full-time staff in the shop that often sees team members from other mining sites dropping in to work.
He credits the team’s commitment to safety as the reason they have made 20 years without a workplace incident leading to time away from work. “You can see the dedication to safety that my team has every day. We start the day with a safety share, and have regular safety meetings to address concerns,” says Metz. “Plus, Thyssen Mining as a company cares about safety. We’re all encouraged to be safe at work and at home, and to speak up when we see a potential issue.” Metz’s team celebrated their safety milestone with a company-wide barbecue, and as a team took in Saskatchewan Rush game. “The shop staff are more than just co-workers. We’re like family, and we look out for each other,” says Metz. “The team’s safety is part of that.”
Safety is All Around
A commitment to safety is found in more than just the Thyssen Mining shop. It’s in the very fibre of the company. “I think our safety record, and the work we do to be safe is why our workplace culture is outstanding,” says Carmen Firlotte, human resources manager at Thyssen. “People need to be and feel safe at work. Thyssen lives its safety values, and you can see that in our low turnover and the number of long-term employees we have. People don’t stay with companies that they don’t trust.” Firlotte also credits the company’s commitment to continuous improvement for its high level of employee engagement. “We work in a fast-paced environment that offers a lot of opportunity to grow,” says Firlotte. “Our employees have a voice that is heard.”
Lisa Burko, Thyssen’s director of finance, sees the Thyssen difference every day. “We’re a diverse company in many ways,” says Burko. “We’re involved with projects spread out across the Americas, doing many different things, with vendors and stakeholders from all over the world.” The company’s collaborative approach to work as led to a growing number of ventures including Jetcrete North America in Regina, Mudjatik Thyssen Mining in northern Saskatchewan and NorthWest Fabricators Ltd. in Athabasca, Alta. Even with the growth, Burko notes that “the one thing that never changes is that we know our people are our greatest asset.”
Innovative and Dynamic
Jim Haines, the company’s CEO, has been with the company for more than two decades. He’s seen firsthand Thyssen Mining’s growth to the organization it is today, with 1,500 employees spread throughout North and South America. “Since Thyssen’s start in Canada in the 1960s, we have grown our expertise and our diverse base of services in the mining industry,” says Haines. The company arrived in Saskatchewan to help the mining industry deal with water in potash operations. Thyssen has grown as a mining construction firm, building and maintaining mines across the Americas. One thing has never wavered, however. The company wants everyone they work with to be safe at work and at home. “Our safety record stands out. And, Thyssen’s commitment to safety doesn’t stop at the end of the day because we want people to take it home with them,” says Haines. “Our safety culture is more than a good business practice; it’s simply the right thing to do. We want everyone we work with to be safe all the time.”
Ryan McHale, Thyssen Mining COO, echoes Haines’ sentiments. “We practice what we preach when it comes to safety,” says McHale. “Safety is taken very seriously on every project, not just for our staff, but for everyone we work with on a site.” McHale also sees Thyssen standing out in the marketplace because of the company’s approach to doing business. Thyssen Mining sees itself as more than just a mining contractor—it’s a partner with every client, to ensure that the focus is always on what’s best for the project. “We’re forward thinking with our clients,” says McHale. “Because mining often involves planning for years or decades, we’re always looking ahead to make sure what we provide will be meeting the needs of the project now and for years to come.” Plus, the company is always on the lookout for innovative technology that can benefit clients. “We’re testing technology in sites that will not only improve productivity but that will better protect workers and enhance safety. Our work always circles back to people, and how we make sure that the work we do is safe all the time,” says McHale.
“No matter what we do, safety is always top of mind,” says Dave Speerbrecker, director of safety for Thyssen. “It’s integral to our company’s values and you can see it in our offices and our site operations, wherever they are.” With the 20 year no lost-time milestone reached in the company shop, Thyssen has shown their safety commitment is very real. “Our innovative mining expertise, our talented team and our exceptional safety record have brought us to where we are today,” says Haines. “With those things, we’re ready to see where the next 20 years takes us.”
2409 Albert St. N.