Stephanie Raill

Incident Management Specialist - Health, Safety and Environmental Compliance at Tervita Corporation

Describe a typical day

As an incident investigator, my day is highly reactive and depends on what’s happening in the field from coast-to-coast. My “typical” day can span from writing reports or developing training material at my desk, to jumping on a plane at a moment’s notice to respond to and investigate an incident from Vancouver to Halifax, and anywhere in between. Once, on a day off, I was snowboarding and at the top of “The Great Divide” at Sunshine Village when I received a call to report to Pennsylvania, USA within the next 24 hours.

Perks of your job and things you like about your current company.

I could talk about this all day! In the five years I’ve been with Tervita, I have had the opportunity and privilege to provide health and safety support and advice for a wide variety of different special projects in the energy and environmental services industry. As an emergency response contractor, Tervita is at the frontline, supporting many emergency situations within Alberta. When I was in the field, I responded to many different and interesting jobs, including an industrial fire in Calgary and flood support initiatives for Exshaw, Canmore, Banff, High River, the Calgary Stampede and the Saddledome.

The most memorable special project I was involved with was the train derailment and Bonnybrook Bridge collapse in Calgary shortly after the 2013 floods. I assisted in developing Tervita’s safe work procedures to empty the rail cars and provided health and safety oversight to ensure everyone’s safety. Since moving into a new role in early 2014, I’ve had the opportunity to develop training programs and share incident learnings, which impacts everyone across the company in some way or another. I’ve investigated high-potential incidents and had exposure to well servicing, demolition projects, waste management and areas of process safety that I would have never thought imaginable in such a short time. I’ve also had multiple opportunities to present incident investigation findings to the executive committee and CEO.

I would have to say that the best part of my job is the insight I’ve gained by completing incident investigations about health and safety best practices, as they relate to the business and the ability to make practical recommendations for continuous improvement.

Proudest accomplishments both in and outside of work.

At work, we’ve developed and implemented our incident management program, which allows us to track and investigate serious incidents. We track serious incidents which had the potential, within reason, to result in a serious incident, such as a permanent disability, a life-altering condition, death, significant damage to the environment, etc.  In developing and implementing this program, we are now able to drastically improve our processes and HSE performance.

Additionally, I attained a Canadian Registered Safety Professional (CRSP) designation in early 2015 and more recently, have completed the Health, Safety and Environment (HSE) Certificate from the University of Calgary and enrolled in the Human Resource Management Certificate program.

Outside of work, I’m the proud “mom” of two rescue dogs. I adopted Luke and Brody, both shepherd cross breeds, from Alberta Animal Rescue Crew Society (AARCS) and they keep me entertained and active.

Thoughts on the future of the industry as it relates to your field.

I foresee Alberta’s occupational health and safety legislation becoming more stringent; this has been demonstrated with the recent amendment where the government introduced administrative fines and penalties for noncompliance to both employers and employees. Since incidents can be indicative of a breakdown or deficiency in a company’s health and safety management system, I believe employers will be further under the microscope with respect to incident investigations and overall competencies of the investigators to ensure they learn from their incidents to prevent future recurrence. Other provinces have already started to make significant changes in regards to incident investigation, raising the standard of investigator competency, thorough causal analysis and adequate corrective and preventive actions.

Current community involvement efforts.

The majority of my time is spent on the ice. I’m currently a hockey coach for kids 7 to 8 years old. I recently completed a spring development session, coaching eighteen young girls and it was an unbelievably rewarding experience. Having grown up playing hockey, the hockey community shaped much of my character and taught me about hard work and respect on and off the ice. My motto is that all skills learned on the ice translate to real life scenarios and personal development – I often say “you take a shortcut on the ice; you take a shortcut in life”. As my time permits I also volunteer at the Drop-In Center.

Why YWE?

YWE is an organization of young women who support each other and build each other up. As a young woman finding my way in the energy sector, I find it extremely beneficial to learn from others - not only from their successes but also their challenges and how they overcame them.

What are you reading?

My Fight / Your Fight” by Ronda Rousey. It’s a good read about motivation, perseverance and hard work!