Heavy Machinery – It Always Wins

We have been making great progress on the development of our Heavy Machinery – It Always Wins course, thanks in no small part to our supporters who have provided the sites, machinery and workers necessary to capture film footage for the course.

Dale explains the various hazards and safety protocols used on site.

Dale explains the various hazards and safety protocols used on site.

Our videographer, Tim Carlielle (Progressive Media Video) has been doing some fantastic work obtaining the footage from these sites and we are grateful to be working with such a talented young man.

We would like to say a big thank you to both the Olds College Heavy Equipment Operator Program and BURNCO Rock Products for allowing us access to their sites, equipment and manpower to make this course happen. We had the opportunity to film young, new equipment operators learning while doing on the Olds College site, and to film seasoned operators at work at the BURNCO site.

At Olds College, we had the opportunity to speak with Dale Vine, the instructor for the Heavy Equipment Operator Program and a man with years of experience in the industry.

Kevin explains to Ross how the rock is crushed and washed on site.

Kevin explains to Ross how the rock is crushed and washed on site.

Dale and his students taught us about the importance of learning by doing and how they stay safe while doing so. Safety is the top priority on Dale’s instructional sites.

BURNCO’s Kevin Hickey took the time out of his day to show us around their Springbank rock products site, explain what different machines and employees were doing, and walk us through BURNCO’s general and site-specific safety programs. Kevin also provided us with safe access to film various types of equipment at work.

If there was one common theme throughout everything he showed us and told us, it was that worker safety is number one. Minimum PPE requirements cover the entire worksite, regardless of what a worker or visitor is actually doing at any given time. From there, different jobs require additional PPE, protocols and procedures.


About the Course

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A student at Olds College practices using the excavator.

Heavy Machinery – It Always Wins focuses on the very real dangers of working with and around heavy machinery. Basing lessons off of real-life incidents,  Heavy Machinery teaches students how to identify hazards in different types of jobs that involve heavy machinery.

Heavy machinery is a factor in a disproportionate number of severe injuries and fatalities. Of 51 convictions in Alberta between 2010 and 2014, 30 incidents involved heavy machinery, resulting in 16 fatalities. We can prevent more of these injuries and fatalities from occurring though early education.

By engaging youth with real-life examples of the risks heavy machinery poses, we can send them into the working world aware of the risks, engaged with their surroundings and knowledgeable about the role they play in their own safety and that of those around them.

Students taking Heavy Machinery will be introduced to the concept of a Job Hazard Analysis (JHA), and will be given the opportunity to approach a series of scenarios through the lens of a JHA – identifying hazards, recommending controls, and determining the safest way to complete a task.

In each of the scenarios presented, a worker was injured, and in each scenario there were decisions made at different points in the process that could have changed the outcome. Students will have the opportunity to explore for themselves how the outcomes could have been avoided.

Students who take this course will learn how to behave around heavy machinery and, more importantly, they will walk away with the understanding that heavy machinery is unforgiving and if you try to argue with it, it always wins.