The Horizon oilsands accident is all over the news this weekend. Horizon is a heavy oil refinery in the same industrial sector as the refineries just outside of Montreal on highway 40 close to the St. Lawrence River.
I read a great book during Christmas holidays: The Fall of Giants by Ken Follett. I highly recommend it. It is a fantastic dramatization of the plight of workers in coal mines and WWI trenches at the end of the industrial revolution as well as the forces that led to changing working conditions for the better.
What we need to remember today is that contrary to what some activists would like you to believe, things really have changed dramatically. Industry has made worker safety a prime focus. Accidents like Horizon are — thankfully — uncommon. The oil and gas industry is approximately twice as safe as manufacturing, construction or transportation.
At Questerre we know all of our field employees. Thankfully, in our ten years of history, we have only had one incident leading to an employee being off work for more than one day (an employee stepped in a small hole and broke his shin bone). When it does happen it’s like having a car accident: even when it’s not your fault, you feel bad for anyone who gets hurt.
I am sure the employees and managers at Horizon feel terrible and our thoughts are with them.