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Working in the Canadian oil sands: 6 figures in 6 months!
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scotian Offline
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RE: Working in the Canadian oil sands: 6 figures in 6 months!
Safety: Ok so here's the low down on safety as it applies us working in the oil sands and probably every other job site out there, its a pain in the ass but a necessary evil. I did yet another contractor safety orientation yesterday and asked the guy whats the best way to get into the safety trade (I use the term trade loosely).

Basically he said that in Canada, a person needs to take a course called "National Construction Safety Officer", as a minimum requirement, a person needs at least 3 years of construction experience to take this course.

Now, construction experience could mean a lot of different things, it could be residential, commercial or industrial construction and if you're ultimate goal is to work in the oil industry as a safety officer, then you should get that experience in a relevant role. I wouldn't want to work under a safety guy at a refinery who spent his three years building residential houses.

So, basically you have a couple of options to get this experience, you can:

A) Take any skilled trade, welder, pipe fitter, scaffolder, electrician, crane operator, etc. All of these trades take about 3-4 years to become a journey man, they are all high paying and in high demand and you will see high numbers of all of them on a job site (especially the first 4). If at the time you get your JM ticket, you still want to go into safety (something I doubt you will by then), you can go get your NSCO ticket. You'll always have your JM ticket and if you don't like safety or it gets slow, you can always go back to welding pipe or wiring panels on site. An interprovincial JM ticket is recognized throughout Canada and in some cases, around the world.

B) You can also get one of the grunt safety jobs at a place like United Safety, you will get some safety training but will not be considered "skilled" in the sense that a registered apprentice would be. These are among the lowest paying jobs on site and some of the jobs are brutally boring, such as confined space watch, where you would sit outside the entrance to a vessel while guys like me work inside. You'd sit there on your ass for 10-12 hours per day, no smart phone (not allowed on site), nothing to do but make sure we're okay in there by radio and do gas testing. Then after 3 years of these shitty jobs you can go write the NSCO ticket. Yes these jobs are "easy" because you will sit on your ass doing nothing all day but trust me, it gets boring, I would rather be doing something more stimulating.

So, its up to you but like I say, go for the skilled trade, its much higher paying and in more demand. Plus no one really likes safety people, they are considered rats and you won't have many friends, basically its like being a cop, no one is comfortable around safety because we can't tell all the dumb stories about the shit we do at and out side work, and you'll have to deal with pricks like this guy all day, ol' Harry Sach:

Don’t sweat the petty things, pet the sweaty things.
06-29-2012 08:32 PM
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RE: Working in the Canadian oil sands: 6 figures in 6 months! - scotian - 06-29-2012 08:32 PM
Risks, opportunities, import/export - OSL - 03-16-2013, 06:58 AM