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How to Prosper in a Downturn

The price of oil can be a scary thing to watch here in Alberta. So many of us depend on it for our livelihoods…

…or do we?

Believe it or not, it IS possible to prosper in an economic downturn, even if you work in oil and gas. Our clients are proof of that, and we’re so proud to serve such a creative and industrious group across multiple industries.

We’re particularly inspired this month by the group at Octo Mechanical, who have been growing steadily through the downturn and have been partnering with Boreal for safety program maintenance for several years now. They’re hard at work across Alberta (on oil and gas sites and elsewhere), and they show no signs of slowing down any time soon.

Acting general manager Vern Johannson is here to share exactly how you can do it, too.

Vern, tell us about Octo Mechanical.

We’ve been around since 2012,  doing millwright and onsite machining work. We’re based in Leduc, Alberta, but we do...

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How to Save $21,600 on Your Next Project

In January 2015, Occupational Health & Safety (OHS) introduced new and controversial legislation. You’ve probably heard about it by now: peace officers can show up to your jobsite for unannounced safety checks, and can fine you and/or your workers on the spot for up to 67 infractions. Ranging from $100 to $500 each, the tickets are another way to approach safety enforcement on Alberta jobsites, and while they are expected to be revenue neutral for the province, they collectively amount to over $20,000.

Consider the $500 fine you could get if your workers don’t have immediate access to emergency washing equipment, or the $100 fine your worker could get for not having an entry permit for a confined space. In many circumstances, such as if workers are not wearing visible clothing while exposed to traffic, both you and your workers can be fined for the same offence.

The new legislation has been largely well received by employers and unions, and we all know this is about...

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4 Problems You Didn’t Know Boreal Could Solve For You

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Happy spring from Boreal Services Group! We have been so pleased to be part of your professional success and growth over the last few years, and in response, we have grown, too. What used to be Boreal Safety Consulting Inc. is now Boreal Services Group Inc., reflecting that we can now support you with more than just safety.

Over the last year, we’ve heard from you about your biggest business challenges, and we’ve responded with fresh solutions. In particular, we are now offering four new services that might surprise you.

1. Construction Engineering

Senior engineer Dean Chan joins us from Canada’s largest general contractor, where he spent 16 years solving construction engineering problems with practical solutions.

2. Drafting

We offer drafting to support construction engineering projects requiring stamped drawings.

3. Quality Management Support

We can also assist you in developing your quality management system to meet your needs and the needs of your clients....

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You take stuff off the truck and put it up?

I have attended many career fairs selling engineering students on the merits of a career in construction. At one such fair, a student said to me “Construction? All you do is take stuff off a truck and put it up” after which they walked away. While the work of the Hole School of Construction has helped to change some of the negative attitudes, the stereotypes still persist.

I’ve worked in the construction industry for over 15 years, and I can say that is a constantly changing and challenging career, but also a highly rewarding career. Full disclosure: I am an engineer and don’t typically perform any tasks requiring manual labour (I don’t think anyone wants me to do any of that anyways), but I have the utmost respect for the skilled trades that execute the construction projects I’ve been a part of. Construction isn’t for everyone. Here’s how I explain construction to non-construction types (and the under-informed job...

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