Get to know Roger
Roger joined Mattamy’s Ottawa team in September 2021. As a Health & Safety Manager, Roger develops preventative and corrective actions for construction employees, proactively identifies workplace hazards, and controls them accordingly. Since joining, he and his team have implemented Daily Safety Talks, Winter Preparedness Plans and other initiatives to increase safety awareness for on-site employees.
What does a typical morning at work look like for you?
It all depends on my logistics that day. I have 5- and 7-year-old daughters and on the days that my wife works nights as an emergency room nurse, my early morning resembles the amazing race. I usually get the kids dressed, feed them and drop them at pre-care at an early morning hour so I can get to work on time.
My mornings are more easygoing once my kids are set. Once I’m in the office, my morning includes following up with members of our safety team and build teams to check in on initiatives or issues.
I usually start my day on one of our various project sites across the Ottawa area. Quite often I have morning meetings booked. For example, I meet regularly with my director and other managers, our construction coordinator, VP of Construction, and our HR team to discuss matters involving health and safety such as return to work, incidents or incident stats.
My kids describe me as the “guy who keeps workers safe,” and that’s what I try to do. Throughout the day, I’m working on developing new safety initiatives and finding areas in our existing safety programs where we can improve. I spend a lot of time with Builders and other on-site employees to see where I can assist to ensure all safety processes are in place.
What do you enjoy most about being a Health & Safety Manager?
I like being able to help advance Mattamy’s safety culture. In Ottawa, we have a great team of Safety Representatives, a dedicated Safety Specialist, and strong support from our Division President and Vice President, Construction. They're all behind safety 100%, and when you have that kind of support, the sky is the limit.
Tell us about an experience where you were able to take action to make an improvement in your role.
What was it about your current career path that drew you to it?
During my time in the manufacturing sector, I witnessed a critical injury. Going through this experience affected me in certain ways and I was convinced I could make a difference, so I decided to go back to school and study health and safety at Algonquin College. From there, I built up my career by exposing myself to new projects and learning from the people around me.
What are some initiatives you’ve implemented as a Health & Safety Manager?
In February 2022, we introduced the Daily Safety Talk, a daily hazard assessment for our site team members. During the talk, we discuss the tasks at hand, hazards, controls and adequately prepare our employees for the day ahead. We've also introduced a streamlined online orientation for our employees and trade partners, which allows them to scan a QR code to view our company’s safety policies and complete their safety questionnaire. This allows us to track orientation compliance and ensure we are completing our due diligence. Though various initiatives, we’ve seen a dramatic decrease in the number of medical aids sustained.
The ultimate goal is to be industry leaders in health and safety. Throughout our various divisions, and, in particular, the Ottawa area, we are already observing evidence of this, as we have seen a reduction of 75% in medical aids over the same time period last year. At the core of our success is data-driven, evidence-based decision making which results in the development of various initiatives. This is achieved through tracking our health and safety statistics, communication from our management team/field staff, and by analyzing our key performance indicators.
What advice would you give to someone looking to start a career in our industry or in your area of expertise?
Health and Safety enforcement is all about approach. You’ve got to coach, mentor, train and most importantly, foster relationships. When it comes to on-the-job training, learn from the people around you, not just from the Safety team but the Builders and site teams too! They're the ones with the real hands-on experience.
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