Karan Patal – From India to Esker

Karan Patel

Thunder Bay

Job Position:
Health and Safety Coordinator

What do you do at Noront? 

I am currently Health and Safety Coordinator, a role I moved into after a co-op placement that was part of my post-graduate program in Engineering Business and Safety Management at Confederation College.

What does a typical day look like for you? 

I start by checking and responding to emails, then I plan the rest of my day. This usually involves preparing Job Hazard Analyses for non-routine work packages, assisting the Site & Project Manager Mike Desilets, and planning wellness programs and activities. I also keep track of employee training records and roll out training packages.

What was it like to visit Esker Site?

I’m from India where a cold day is 10 degrees and we never have snow, so I barely knew what to expect. There are many things I’ll remember for a long time…

  • My first time on a small plane
  • Landing on a frozen lake
  • Feeling like I was in the middle of nowhere during the snowmobile ride to camp
  • It was strange but great to need sunglasses despite the cold
  • My first up close encounter with the fox in the middle of night on my way to the kitchen for water. I was a bit scared, but later felt so comfortable with her around
  • The well-equipped kitchen was amazing, as were the healthy meals served three times a day
  • I had delicious vegetarian food made specially for me and felt so welcome
  • Everybody was so friendly, it quickly felt like home away from home

What do you like best about working at Noront?

I’m honoured to be a part of a growing company and love working with the team. It’s been really interesting doing week-long rotations at site. After every successful meeting and project launch, I get more excited about Noront’s future. The best part is being around the wonderful people, surrounded by nature and having a chance to spot wildlife – it’s not just a job!

What are some of the differences between working in India and working in Canada?

One thing that’s great is in Canada we get the weekend off! India has a six-day work week in almost every Industry. Also, in Canada there is greater importance on employee and workplace health and safety. Another difference is the formality. In India, we address managers and senior management with “Sir” or “Ma’am”, and we never call them by their name as that would be considered rude, whereas here in Canada it is the opposite.

What is your top safety tip?

Always be aware of your surroundings, no matter where you are. With good presence of mind one can avoid accidents. Dress according to the weather and never underestimate the power of nature!