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‘Why’ we need to go HomeSafe

November 10, 2021

Karla Costello, Health and Safety lead in Long Harbour, shares her reasons to go HomeSafe. Photos: Karla Costello

The rollout of Vale’s Base Metals’ HomeSafe program, which kicked off during Prevention Week at the beginning of October, has been heartily embraced by our teams in Voisey’s Bay and Long Harbour in Newfoundland and Labrador. 

Simply put, HomeSafe is a call to action designed to focus us on creating a safe work environment for everyone. It’s our personal reason for why we work safe and go home safe. The why can be a visual reminder in the form of creating poster collages of personal photos and other activities. 

To me, HomeSafe relays a message that while we have a job to do, the main objective of our company is to have every employee return home safely,” said Caitlin Lyall, Safety advisor, Voisey’s Bay.

Long Harbour-based Karla Costello, lead, Health and Safety, added: “It’s about looking at our ‘why’ – the specific reasons why we want to go home safe. It’s a very personal touch that tugs at the heartstrings.” 

For Caitlin, her main “why” is her five-year-old son Rowan. “He’s my big reason to get HomeSafe. I think of him a lot when I’m up here,” she said. 

For Karla, it’s her five-year-old daughter, Kate, and husband Chad. “My husband works in construction and he’s away two weeks at a time. [Kate] is waiting for me to come home.” 

Learning about each others’ whys has helped team members forge stronger bonds. Karla said that after her manager, Carl O’Brian, got things rolling with details about his family and downtime activities, “everyone started sharing.” 

There was a similar moment at Voisey’s Bay. Each person was asked to write down their “Three Whys” for going home safe. Said Caitlin: “Health & Safety manager James Cartwright shuffled up everyone’s answers while delivering the HomeSafe presentation, and it was interesting to see that all of our answers were the same for the most part: family, health, enjoying time at home.” 

To help encourage participation, Caitlin also developed a word search using key terms from the program – plan, care accept, lead and so on – complete with prizes. 

“It’s all about driving home our core company value, Life Matters Most. We do have a job to get done,” said Caitlin, “but it’s our people, our communities, who are most important.” 

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