Small but mighty ETF team 1,830 days incident-free and counting

Employees and contractors at the East Tank Farm talk to each other daily about all aspects of safety

Safety above all else rings true to every Suncor employee, and the small but mighty team at East Tank Farm (ETF) is no exception.

The 30 Suncor employees and contractors at the site have reached a huge accomplishment - 1,830 days, and counting, without a single incident to report. Since July 8, 2015, the team has avoided all kinds of injuries - from slips, trips and falls to cuts and pinch point wounds.

But it’s not just about the milestone; the team’s focus is on ensuring everyone goes home safe at the end of every shift, and that employees and contractors feel empowered to take a leadership role in safety.

“The expectation at ETF for everyone working, including external contractors, is that you are coming to the toolbox talks in the morning,” says Mark Heinish, director, ETF asset management, Suncor. “We have the same concerns for the whole team, regardless of who makes up the team that day.”

Throughout the downturn and the pandemic, ETF has seen increased safety measures and protocols to ensure all essential and front-line workers are protected. And a lot of those enhancements came from operators, who brought their own ideas to the table, like only using one door for entry, and another as the exit, and adding arrows on the floor to indicate the direction of traffic.

“Our operators go around the facility to increase cleanliness by wiping down surfaces to make sure the facility is as safe as possible for all that work in it,” says Mark. “I have never seen a facility as clean as this one currently is.”

One employee even went above and beyond and cleaned the control room to ensure the control room operator, a critical position on the team, was safe, and acknowledged that “my job is to protect him as well as myself.”

The team at ETF demonstrates that safety starts at the front line and continues with the team looking out for each other every day. Ensuring all who show up to work live our values has led to an impressive five years without a single incident.

Congrats East Tank Farm!