Safety is Osum’s greatest responsibility. We want to ensure our employees and contractors make it home safely every day. By creating an open environment of understanding, team members are encouraged to identify health and safety issues and take action to prevent or mitigate potential hazards. Everyone on our worksites is trained to follow Osum’s Health and Safety Policies as well as industry regulations and best practices. All employees receive regular training, experience and tools to conduct their tasks. Reports or concerns about safety are taken seriously and all incidents, including near misses, are investigated and reviewed extensively to determine the root cause and ensure the necessary corrective actions. Contractors are held to the same high safety standards as our employees. We utilize ComplyWorks to aid in finding contractors that meet our health and safety requirements.
A Health and Safety Audit is a thorough, objective assessment of an organization’s efficiency, security and effectiveness. We participate in a number of these audits each year. They focus on specific activities, such as safe work permitting and practices. These audits identify areas for improvement and ultimately lead to advancements in our safety culture.
Since 2014, Osum has qualified for a Certificate of Recognition (COR) which confirms that we have met Alberta’s Occupational Health and Safety Standards, after being evaluated by a certified auditor. Our internal management system sets out a process to enable us to identify, assess and address workplace hazards, ensuring the security of all our people, with a goal of achieving zero incidents.
Since prevention is key to avoiding emergencies, our employees are prepared should one occur. Osum’s team members routinely engage in Emergency Response Plan training and drills to stay well-prepared to protect themselves, their coworkers, the public and the environment in the event of an emergency.
Osum monitors and reports on all aspects of the business that have a potential impact on the environment. We work within a well-defined and extensive set of federal and provincial environmental regulations. Osum has a proven history of adopting and implementing new technology and practices to reduce any impacts to the environment.
Osum’s development planning prioritizes keeping surface disturbance to a minimum. We place our developments in locations away from sensitive ecosystems such as wetlands, areas with high rare plant potential and old growth forests. During our Phase 2ABC expansion, extended reach wells were drilled from existing Phase 1 well pads, resulting in a 74% reduction in surface disturbance compared to the original Phase 2 design.
Our Orion facility is currently one of only four operations in Alberta using no fresh water for steam or processes. Our water recycle rate is almost 90% with the remaining 10% supplied by brackish water, which is unfit for human consumption. Osum constantly pilots and investigates new options to further improve its recycle rate.
Osum works within a regulatory framework that requires tracking and encourages the reduction of air emissions intensity, most notably of greenhouse gases (GHG), sulfur oxides (SOx) and nitrogen oxides (NOx). Since 2014, Osum has made improvements to the thermal efficiency of its operations, which have resulted in reductions to GHG intensity. In 2018, we achieved an 11% reduction in GHG intensity compared to 2017 and aspire further to reduce our emissions intensity going forward. We also closely monitor and use advanced technologies to ensure our SOx and NOx emissions are within regulatory standards.
Osum ensures potential impacts of our operations on wildlife are mitigated. Undisturbed corridors and pipeline crossings are specifically designated and designed to provide opportunities for wildlife migration through our project areas. We work to schedule our activities to avoid periods of the year when wildlife would most be affected.
Osum’s environmental program monitors and progresses timely reclamation and restoration of our project areas. Once a disturbed area is no longer in use, decommissioning occurs under regulated abandonment practices, which includes removing facilities, conducting site assessments and verifying the absence of contamination. If contamination does exist, we conduct a detailed site inspection to delineate the extent of contamination and then conduct remediation activities. Following this, the site is planted with native trees and shrubs and monitored for up to five years. Once the reclamation is deemed complete, we apply for a reclamation certificate.
Osum understands that the trust and support of its stakeholders are foundational to our success. Our mantra is to communicate “early and often” so that residents feel informed about our activities and have an opportunity to ask questions or raise concerns. From our annual town halls to stakeholder letters to kitchen table meetings, we are always pursuing opportunities to connect with our neighbours.
Osum recognizes the important roles land and water play in the lives and history of First Nations and Métis groups. Indigenous connections to the land are deeply spiritual, historical and of great cultural significance. We are committed to following appropriate consultation policies as well as building strong relationships with Indigenous groups and individuals.
Meaningful, two-way engagement based on mutual respect is essential to Osum’s positive relationships with these groups. Our work with Indigenous stakeholders is based on our company pillars of trust, honesty and integrity.
Osum is proud to be part of the communities in which we operate and where our team members work and live. Our goal is to enrich these regions and help build capacity for long-term positive impact by investing in students’ interest in science and innovation, scholarship programs and regional events, as well as providing funding for local sports teams. Osum aims to enable youth to develop into extraordinary people.