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Tripartite Initiatives

For many years, the Building Trades of Alberta and its affiliated unions have worked successfully with owners and contractors in tripartite initiatives focused on productivity, shut down coordination and safety. Major players include Suncor, Syncrude and Shell.

As a proud partner in the Shell Tripartite Initiatives, the Building Trades of Alberta are pleased to provide the following pages to support sharing of information to all those involved and to those who would like to learn more.

                                                 Shell Scotford Tripartite Safety Initiative


Origins of the Shell Scotford Tripartite Safety Initiative

Since 2011, Shell, their contractors, and Building Trades Unions have come together to work collaboratively with front line leadership and trades professionals - to strengthen safety and caring toward a Goal Zero mindset. This work includes a variety of initiatives such as union site visits, monthly tripartite safety meetings, tool box talks training and monthly newsletters.

Check out the folders below for more information.

What is Goal Zero?

Shell's Goal Zero captures the belief that we can operate without fatalities or significant incidents despite the often difficult conditions in which we operate. Initiatives like the Tripartite Safety Leadership Initiative at Scotford aim to strengthen our safety culture on site.

The Shell Scotford Tripartite Safety Leadership Initiative is essentially Shell, their contractors and Building Trades unions coming together to work collaboratively with front line leadership and trades professionals to strengthen our safety and caring mindset  - "The key to achieving goal zero"!

How did "Tripartite" get involved in Goal Zero?

In late 2010, a couple of Shell and Building Trades leaders met over coffee and started talking about how to really make Goal Zero happen. They agreed to make a safety culture change. Shell, contractor and Building Trades leaders needed to work together and lead the way - it was the only way. They also agreed that the place to start would be to have a real dialogue and really listen to the front line leaders at Scotford. So this is exactly what they did. They invited Building Trades leaders from across Alberta and Canada to join Scotford contractors and Shell leaders and they hosted 3 dialogue sessions with approximately 200 Foreman, General Foreman and Job Stewards. A vision of the Ideal Safety Culture was created by and they started working on more than 20 action items created from those meetings. That was the beginning of Tripartite.

What is the Vision of Goal Zero?

Here is a summary of the vision that Scotford front line leaders created. A full description of what the "Ideal Safety Culture" at Scotford looks like can be found here.

  • Great Teams - Safe work builds strong teams.
  • Open Communication - It's OK to question "why?".
  • Solid Planning - You always know what you are doing and you are ready to do it.
  • Common Goals - You know what the target is.
  • Safety is Part of Everything We Do - You would be happy to send your child to work here.
  • We are Highly Trained and Learning is Valued - Competence versus control.
  • Standardized Practices & Accountability - Shared accountability for safety.
  • It is a pleasure and we are proud to come to work here. It is a safe and secure workplace where we will know we will go home safely to our families everyday and where everyone is a leader and our leaderships walks the talk.

How are we checking our progress?

Every 2 years the Tripartite group conducts a site wide survey to see how we are doing achieving the Goal Zero culture. You can find the results of the 2014 survey here, and the results of the 2015 survey are here.

Goal Zero Workshops - "Making Safety More Relevant, Important and Personal"

Goal Zero is about making safety personal - where each person WANTS to and CHOOSES to do the SAFE thing - ALL THE TIME! It's about looking after your own safety and the safety all of those around you - no matter who they are and what their job is. As part of making it personal, everyone at Scotford (including those coming for turnaround) discuss making it personal and a 4 hour Goal Zero workshop. Foreman and General Foreman attend a 1 day session. For more information see the November 2014 newsletter.  

Who is involved?

A number of committees support tripartite initiatives and work on various activities throughout the year. Each year the group reviews accomplishments and sets a plan for the upcoming year. The current team members are listed here.

What are we doing?

Adopt A Crew

Adopt-a-Crew is a program started at Scotford during the Fall 2015 Turnaround. It involves pairing up a Shell leader (adopter) with a contractor crew. The "adopters" visit the crew every day (at Toolbox Talks and in the field), and get to know one another and exchange information and ideas...and build relationships. You can read about Adopt A Crew in the March 2016 Newsletter and see how it works in the video below:



Goal Zero is on the Road!

In July 2015, the Tripartite Team started piloting Goal Zero presentations as part of apprentice training at Building Trades' Halls. See the Summer 2015 Update for more information and watch the video presentation below.

"Close the Loop" Initiative

The Close The Loop initiative was launched in May 2015. Feedback from Scotford front lines indicated that simply getting back to someone who has a safety concern, thanking them and letting them know what would or could be done, goes a long way to support a caring culture.... and we could all do this a lot better. Close The Loop is about consistently providing people who raise HSSE concerns or ideas with feedback. For more information check out our June 2015 update and November 2015 update.  You can also watch a video about how it works below.

Standardizing safe work practices at Shell Scotford:

Amalgamating Safe Work Practices (SWPs) between two key operations at Shell Scotford, Upgrader and Manufacturing, is a long term effort! Since 2012 when Contractor Foreman Dialogue sessions identified this is a key area to work on. The Tripartite team knew this would be a long term and challenging initiative. By 2013 six SWPs had been standardized. In 2014 efforts were renewed with 31 SWPs being amalgamated and the effort continues! See the March 2015 newsletter about an award received by the SWP team.

Monthly HSSE Tripartite team meetings:

Since 2012, a Tripartite group of contractor managers and HSE leads, Shell managers & HSSE Leads and Building Trade/Union representatives meet monthly to share safety related information and experiences from the previous month. From these discussions the Big 3 safety actions are identified and assigned for site delivery at safety meetings for the following month. Check out our March 2016 Update for the latest Big 3.

Leadership walks:

Leadership walks have been a regular practice at Scotford since 2012. Building Trades leaders tour the site with Shell and contractor leaders to check in with front line workers every 3-4 months. Have a look at the October 2015 Update or the January 2016 Update to see what the team learned on their last visit.

Tripartite tool box talks workshops:

To date, about 170 frontline leaders have participated in these workshops launched in 2015. A Tripartite task team developed these workshops as well as the new Safe Start Form (with lots of input from foreman and trades professionals). Volunteer facilitators were trained to deliver the workshops (see photo below). The need to provide this type of support to frontline leaders was identified at Tripartite dialogue sessions in 2011 and Tripartite Craft Engagement dialogue sessions in 2012. See the February 2015 Newsletter for more information.