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Keep up-to-date with what's happening at Taurus Projects Inc, construction news in the region and local community news and events.

We recently completed our Quarterly Safety Symposium and it was attended by over 180 staff, craft and client representatives. We had two speakers attend the symposium. 

 

Shawn Farquhar

 

Shawn Farquhar has been entertaining audiences around the globe for over two decades. His magic has been seen on television, in motion pictures and on the most luxurious of cruise vessels.

 

His recent appearances on television, including ELLEN and Penn & Teller's Fool Us, have garnered him a worldwide following.

 

He has been given Lifetime Achievement Awards by the Pacific Coast Association of Magicians and the Vancouver Magic Circle, twice named Magician of the Year by the Canadian Association of Magicians, Grand Prix D’Honneur by the Pacific Coast Association of Magicians.

 

He has been awarded both Stage Magician of the Year and Sleight of Hand Magician of the Year by the International Brotherhood of Magicians – the only person to win both of the top categories in the history of the organization, and has won the highest award in magic the Grand Prix World Champion of Magic at the Olympics of Magic in Beijing, China.

 

He is one of the world’s top lecturers in Magic, has his own company that designs, manufactures, and sells illusion equipment, is a frequent performer for the Disney Cruise Ships, including the Disney Magic, and has performed for Queen Elizabeth and the Hell’s Angels – although not at the same gig.

 

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Our second speaker was Robert Day

 

Robert Day is a recently retired Senior Regulatory Advisor, licensed investigator and paralegal with over 21 years experience in multiple aspects of risk management in jurisdictions including, but not limited to, Canada and the United States, the United Kingdom and China. Robert started his career working as a Canadian Armed Forces Fire Fighter and Emergency Medical Technician. He holds numerous designations in the fields of health and safety, emergency response, human resources and security.

 

He was retained by McLennan Ross LLP (leading OHS law firm in Western Canada), until he retired, as a resource relating to the provision of legal advice and opinion on the interpretation of existing and proposed occupational health and safety legislation.

 

Rob directed the Office of Regulatory Change Management, whose activities include monitoring the regulatory change processes prior to proclamation. His work includes introducing proposed legislative wording and determining the operational impact of proposed legislative change.  He also works with both regulatory bodies and industry/standard setting organizations that endeavour to have legislative input.

 

The theme of the symposium was "The Magic of Competency." Magic, like any other profession, requires the development of a specific set of competencies - to hold the title of World Champion of Magic, a level of mastery is demanded. This keynote presentation looks at commonalities in assessing and developing functional competency in the areas of health and safety risk management and magic. 

You can view more here: www.themagicofcompetency.com

 

The feedback from the event was very positive. We look forward to the next one.

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In every industry, an effective project management system will be a crucial factor in successfully completing any and all tasks. Without it, your project can break down, creating problems among your client, your company, your team, or anywhere in between. 

No matter what position you are in your company, whether front line worker, or background project manager, follow these 5 tips for managing your projects. 

Schedule weekly meetings

When something goes wrong with a project, the culprit can often be traced back to a lack of communication between team members. One way to combat this is by having weekly meetings where you discuss the progress, problems, and solutions of current projects. It’s also a great time to set future expectations for the members of your team and allows team members to voice their opinions and feel empowered in the development phases of a project. 

During each meeting, make sure you have dedicated one person to recording the notes for the meeting, so that suggestions and ideas aren’t lost to chatter, but are recorded and considered later. 

Set out clear expectations for your team

In project management, there’s a term that is thrown around quite often: scope creep. It generally occurs when the scope of a project is not properly defined, documented, or controlled, and can end up costing you and your business a significant amount of money, as the scope increases, but the budget does not. To avoid project creep, setting clear expectations, outlining the required tasks, and tracking the amount of work going into a project, will be your course of action. 

Understand that things will go wrong and plan for it

No matter how much planning you do, there’s always a very good chance that something will go wrong. Always anticipate the road blocks that could go wrong, even if you believe you’ve planned enough that they won’t, and have a plan b in the event that they do. It’s simply not realistic to think that every project will go seamlessly. 

Create milestones

Progress begets more progress. Having milestones and accomplishing them will revitalize your team to keep going, improving moral and worker satisfaction. What are milestones? They’re specific progress points in your timeline of a project that represent the success of your project. When your team members are aware of how far they’ve come, they’ll have a clearer understanding of the work that has gone into the project, and how far is left to go. 

Remain Positive

As a project manager, you should be a source of positivity for your team members. There will be difficult points in the project, ones that are filled with frustration and negativity. Your job will be to turn that negativity into optimistic positivity. As a leader, or someone in a position of authority (even if you aren’t, this is a good time to create an air of authority through positivity), it’s important to lead by example. 

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In any industrial field, project managers should place a high priority on the safety and security of workers. Unfortunately, safety boots and equipment best practices aren’t all that workers need to stay safe.

Encourage Sleep

Sleepiness on the job, especially in a demanding job like earthworks or heavy civil construction in Alberta, can be extremely detrimental and very dangerous. Oftentimes, sleepy employees will lose focus during detail-oriented work, become more easily distracted (on events around them or with wandering thoughts), or have concentration lapses. It has been shown that losing even an hour of sleep can cause a significant amount of accidents.

To avoid a sleepy crew, a project manager should avoid working “lean” (not to be confused with the philosophical construction method of LEAN). This means that working with the absolute bare minimum amount of employees should be avoided. Also, allowing for shorter days so that employees are well rested is beneficial. Finally, developing seminars and trainings on the benefits of “sleep hygiene” will allow employees to gain more restful sleep.

Encourage Fitness

A healthy crew is a happier crew. An employee shouldn’t just be healthy enough to get the job done. Ideally, an employee should be healthy enough to do their assigned tasks and enjoy life after the workday is done.

Encouraging a physical fitness program at work - through classes, seminars, or competitions – can help crew members be healthier and happier. Many of these programs can take place on-site and will be a benefit to the business and the staff.

By encouraging health and fitness in every aspect of your employees’ lives, a project manager is helping decrease heart disease and blood pressure, increasing lung capacity, helping the employees’ bones and muscles, alleviating depression, and improving stamina and strength. This will in turn improve productivity, self-reported happiness, quality of work, efficiency, and most importantly, their safety!

Encourage Suicide Prevention

Suicide prevention is an oft-overlooked facet of many workplaces, but it is especially important in the construction industry. Many businesses don’t consider this aspect of worker health because suicide is more likely to occur off work hours, but it is directly related to workers’ well being on the job.

Read our blogpost on mental health!

The construction industry is in the top ten most at-risk industries for deaths by suicide and are 1.5x more likely to die by suicide than males in other industries.

There are several ways that a project manager can set up a suicide safety and awareness program. Promoting safety, emphasizing teamwork, encouraging employee brotherhood, cultivating a culture of wellness, and allowing workers access to insurance and mental health care can help crew members on and off of jobs.

 

What is one overlooked part of safety that you think most people miss? Let us know on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIN!

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During the first week of May, the North American Occupational Safety and Health Week (also known as NAOSH Week) strives to promote safety practices in and around the workplace. Now in it's nineteenth year, the event is not just limited to the construction and heavy civil industry.

According to the NAOSH, the goal of Safety Week is to "focus employers, employees, partners and the public on the importance of preventing injury and illness in the workplace, at home, and in the community. To do this, they've partnered with some of Canada's most notable safety-related organizations, including the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety and the Canadian Society of Safety Engineering. 

Regardless of your position, it's important that we all take the same approach when it comes to safety. That means following the tried and true practices to ensure we're not putting ourselves and those around us at risk. By holding each other accountable, we can prevent bad habits from becoming accidents waiting to happen and can set a good example for those around us.  



But what is Taurus' relationship to safety? Ask any of employees or contractors and they'll tell you that promoting safety is our highest priority. Our one-of-a-kind safety program, designed by our corporate safety manager, Floyd House, combines the concepts of health, safety, and the environment to achieve the best possible system for employee wellness. Read this blog post to get an in depth look at our safety process.

 

We start each and every day with a morning stretch lead by a supervisor. Besides getting the blood flowing, these stretches help prime the joints and muscles for what's to come on the job. To learn more about the benefits of stretching, make sure you read this post.

 

PPE is also a crucial aspect of safety, as we all need the right tools for the job. From hard hats and hand protection to the proper footwear and safety glasses, wearing personal protective equipment is a crucial aspect of staying safe at work. See the PPE guidelines we give everyone at Taurus HERE.  

 

But this is just the tip of the iceberg in terms of how we're continuously improving our safety systems. For more on our approach to health and safety, visit this page. What are you doing for Safety Week? Let us know on Facebook and Twitter today! We encourage you to spread the world about NAOSH Week online and amongst your co-workers!

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Many people believe that the construction industry is resilient to change, but this simply isn't the case. We've shown you three advancements that have already made a mark on the industry, but we want to make sure you're aware of these emerging new technologies that are sure to be commonplace in the world of construction. Not only will these technologies improve productivity and safety on the job site, but they will also cut costs and improve overall efficiency of every job. 

Augmented Reality 

 

Imagine being able to see the length, width, depth, and weight of a particular structure or building material without having to use any measuring devices. While it might sound like a stretch, this will soon become possible thanks to technologies like Google Glass and the Oculus Rift. These devices will also be able to work in tandem with specialized software that can serve as an alternative means of communication between members of a team via instant message and even recorded videos. But this is only the tip of the iceberg in terms of what's possible—as the demand increases, so does the incentive to create solutions to lingering problems.   

 


3D Printing 


Although this innovation has gained attention thanks to its possibilities for residential construction, 3D printing also has applications for the heavy civil industry. Planners and contractors can now bring their projects to life by creating models that display the finished project for their clients and team members. 3D printing also enables equipment to be fixed and replaced at a fraction of the cost of traditional means. Most recently, the Centre for Compact and Efficient Fluid Power revealed a working excavator printed using 3D technology.


"Smart" PPE 



What if technology was able to track and analyze everything from core body temperature and repetitive motions to the location of a team member on the job site? Thanks to the latest advancements in PPE, this will soon become possible for every construction company around the world. New hard hats and safety vests are revolutionizing the way workers approach their job duties. UK based Laing O'Rourke has developed a sweatband that can be retrofitting on any existing hard hat that tracks the wearer's temperature heart rate, and surrounding humidity: an essential resource during the summer months. Using data collected by these new forms of PPE, supervisors, management, and OHAS advisors can design and implement programs that can specifically address their company's problems.  

 

What did you think of these emerging technologies? Is there one that we missed? If so, let us know via Facebook and Twitter today! 

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If there's one thing that Taurus takes seriously, it's safety. As a company that is constantly seeking to improve our safety processes, it's something that each and every member of our team holds in high regard. That's why we have to shake our heads these photos. We know how much our readers love seeing safe one of our most popular series, The Best Safety Fails Around the World, so we brought it back to show you what not to do. If you haven't seen the last 3 editions, make sure you check them out Part 1 HERE, Part 2 HERE, and Part 3 HERE to get up to speed! 

 

 

1) Have some cinderblocks lying around? Take a page from this guy and use them for a boost! 



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2) This must be some new PPE in the works!  

 

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3) We can't even begin to describe what's wrong with this one! 

 

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4) We're pretty sure the Occupational Health and Safety Association won't approve of these safety glasses!  

 

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5) Need some shade on a hot summer day? This probably isn't the safest place to cool off!

 

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6) We wouldn't want to be around when that load is in the air! 

 

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What did you think of these safety fails? If you've come across a picture of a safety fail, feel free to send it to us on Facebook or Twitter!  

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April is Safe Digging Month and part of our job at Taurus is to promote safe working practices wherever possible. Part of this commitment means being proactive and knowing the area we're working on before we start working on it. Although this is standard practice in the construction industry, this also applies off of the job site. 

 

According to the Alberta Common Ground Appliance, there are more than 1,500,000 km worth of buried lines throughout Alberta, including 400,000 km of high pressure pipelines. These lines are used to distribute everything from water, oil, and electricity and can easily be tampered by digging. What most people don't know is these lines are located underneath urban, suburban, and rural parts of the province and puncturing a line is one of the most common ways of putting your life and property at risk!


Regardless of how big your project is, it's important that you take the necessary steps to stay safe. These rules apply whether you're a contractor working on behalf of a client or you're an everyday person looking to upgrade the perimeter of your home with a DIY project.

 

Unsure of what to do before your next project? Before you start planning everything out, use the handy acronym C.A.R.E to make sure that you're not putting yourself or your community at risk:

 


Click Before You Dig is a site anyone can use! This free service offered by Alberta One-Call makes it easy for anyone to get a second opinion before you start digging. 

Allow at least 2 business days for a representative to survey the area and give you the go ahead

Respect the judgement of the operator. If they do not deem the area as safe, don't try to ignore their words. Doing so can lead to dire consequences.   

Excavate safely! If you reach this stage, your representative has deemed the area to be free of buried lines. You are free to start your project!

 

For more information on Click Before You Dig, make sure you visit this link. Not only can C.A.R.E. save you time and money, but you can also protect yourself from any potential underground hazards. What are you doing for Safe Digging Month? Let us know on Facebook and Twitter!  

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Now that the snow is gone, we can finally get outside and enjoy Edmonton's beautiful weather. While many people will spend the next few months fishing, camping, and basking in the great outdoors, we will be participating in one of our favourite pastimes: construction season!


As Edmonton's population grows, so does its demands. That means that companies like Taurus will be spending the season on a variety of projects. Besides larger notable structures like the Bridge Replacement Project from 102 Avenue over Groat Road and the Walterdale Bridge, Edmonton's new development plans also include 217 other projects. These improvements range from pavement renewal and road rehabilitation to LRT growth and neighbourhood reconstruction throughout the city.


Federal Infrastructure Minister Amarjeet Sohi has stated that Edmontonians can expect announcements in regards to funding for specific infrastructure projects during construction season, including more information on repairing the Yellowhead Trail. The City of Edmonton has requested $1 billion from the Building Canada Fund to be used on the highway to reduce traffic jams and accidents. "There are many projects that we are looking at under the national component of the Building Canada Fund," says Sohi. "We will apply the criteria to each project. This is not about picking one project over another."


Once the budget is passed and negotiations with each province are complete, the government will, according to Sohi, "start flowing the money in this construction season." "I know it's an ambitious goal, but my staff is ready to take on that challenge that we do not lose another construction season the way we have lost two previous construction seasons because of lack of commitment from the previous government."

These transportation advancements are based on The City of Edmonton's master plan - The Way We Move. In the document, the City aims to create the resources necessary for our growing population. They also plan on creating "an interconnected, multi-modal transportation system where citizens can walk, bike, and ride transit efficiently and conveniently to their desired location." For more information on The Way We Move, visit this link.    


To get the full list of Edmonton's projects currently underway, visit this link on their website. And if you're not doing so already, make sure you follow Taurus on Facebook and Twitter! That's where we'll be sharing our most recent news regarding construction and safety in Fort Saskatchewan, Edmonton, and the surrounding area!

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Although it only protects a small section of your body, eyewear is a necessary piece of PPE. Having the right form of eye protection can be the difference between a minor scare and a life-changing injury and we want to prevent any accidents before they occur. According to the Canadian National Institute for the Blind, approximately 700 Canadians experience an eye-related injury every day. The consequences of these accidents include an inability to work and in some cases, permanent blindness. Safety glasses are the most common form of eyewear, but they aren't the only ones you should be using. Depending on the job, you may need to protect your eyes by wearing other PPE like goggles or face shields.

 

Not Too Big, Not Too Small

 

The Occupational Health and Safety Administration states that many eye and face injuries occur because workers are either wearing the wrong type of protection or are wearing poorly fitting eyewear. If the equipment is too big or too small, it may leave you susceptible to more injuries. Because you can be exposed to everything from dirt, dust, chemicals, ultraviolet radiation, and material objects while on the job site, it’s important that you have the right type of eyewear for the job. Your eyewear should be snug, but not uncomfortable to the point where it may impact your job. If you’re unsure as to whether or not you have the right type of eyewear, ask your co-worker for a second opinion. 


It’s important that your eyewear is easily accessible and maintained properly when you’re not using it. This ensures that a longer shelf life. When inspecting your eyewear, check to see that it features the Canadian Standards Association symbol. This means that it has been verified by the CSA and is an acceptable form of protection. 

 

What to Do If You Get Hurt


Although we do our best to stay safe, sometimes accidents happen. If you know what to do before you get hurt, you can decrease the impact of your injuries getting worse. If you get something in your eye, resist the temptation to remove it by using your hands or rubbing it out. This can force the object to go even deeper and can lead to more damage. Report the incident to your supervisor and let them take the appropriate actions. We don't have the ability to replace eyes, so be proactive and take the necessary steps to keep them safe.

What did you think of this post? Let us know by leaving a comment down below! To stay up to date with everything going on at Taurus, make sure you follow us on Facebook and Twitter

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Although we're going through some difficult economic times these days, things sound much worse than they actually are. The latest job report from Statistics Canada confirms that Calgary's unemployment rate has risen from 6.9 per cent to 8.4 percent and they've lost 20,000 jobs in the process.

But things are a bit different in Edmonton. The City of Edmonton's chief economist, John Rose, announced that Alberta's capital gained 25,000 jobs in the last 12 months. A good part of these jobs are related to the construction industry and part of the reason why Edmonton has been safe from these downturns is because of these opportunities. According to Alberta Industrial Heartland's website, the following projects are either currently underway or expected to take place soon:



North West Redwater Partnership

Located in Sturgeon County, this project will lead to a bitumen upgrader and diesel refinery that will produce over 150,000 barrels per day. The facility will harness 1.2 million tonnes of CO2 per year per phase and sell it to be used in enhanced oil recovery methods. As it stands, 3,800 people are working on site and the workforce is said to peak between 3,000-5,000 people throughout 2016. The first phase of the project, which costs $8.5 billion, should be operational in September 2017. Visit this post to learn more about a part of the Taurus team who are working on this project. 

 

The Heartland Pipeline 

The Heartland Pipleline is a crude oil pipeline connecting Alberta's Heartland to Hardisty, a town located 111 kilometres from the Saskatchewan border. The proposed pipeline will be 200km long and 36" and will be able to transport up to 900,000 barrels of crude oil per day. This project is expected to cost $600 million and will begin based on market conditions and customer needs. Communications with stakeholders and Aboriginal communities are in process.     

 

Williams PDH & PP Facility

This Strathcona Country-based project centres around the propane dehydrogenation (PDH) facility that will convert propane into higher value products. As the first of its kind in Canada, this facility will cost a combined total of $2.5 billion and will have an initial capacity of about 1.1 billion pounds of polymer grade propylene and 1 billion pounds of polypropylene. The PDH & PP Facility is expected to be up and running in the second half of 2018.

 

Pembina Pipeline Corporation

Pembina's RFS II project, set to be in-service in the end of 2015, is an expansion of the Redwater Fractionator and Storage facility. It involves twinning Pembina's 73,000 barrel per day ethane-plus fractionator in Redwater. The company has also announced that they are moving forwards with RFSIII, a 55,000 bpd propane-plus fractionator. The combined cost of both projects will be $875M and Pembina says that RFSIII will be in service during the third quarter of 2017.

 

ATCO Energy Solutions' Salt Cavern Storage

ATCO Energy Solutions Ltd. is teaming up with Petrogas Energy Corp. to develop four salt mine caverns. These caverns will be able to store about 400,000 cubic metres of butane, propane, and ethylene and will provide Western Canada's Natural Gas Liquids market with an alternative to hydrocarbon storage. Located in at ATCO's Heartland Energy Centre near Fort Saskatchewan, these caverns are secured under long-term agreements. With a combined cost of $200 million, two of the caverns will be available for commercial operation during the second quarter of 2016, while the other two are projected to finish by the second quarter of 2017.

 

Enbridge Norlite Pipeline Project

This pipeline is expected to start at Enbridge's Stonefell site and will end at Suncor's East Tank Farm, located on Fort McMurray. Enbridge is proposing a create and operate a 24" diameter pipeline about 447km in length in order to transport diluent, an umbrella of light liquid hydrocarbons used to dilute heavy oil to make it lighter. A new pump project for the Stonefell site is also included in the project. Construction for this project started in 2015 and should be in working order by spring of 2017 

 

To stay up to date with the latest news, make sure you're following Taurus Projects Group on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn

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Part of doing the job right involves using the best safety practices at all times. Although we do our best to follow these rules both on and off the job site, accidents do happen. According to the Infrastructure Health & Safety Association, 25% of all construction injuries involve the back. Over half of these incidents are caused because of improper lifting techniques and lifting objects that are too heavy to handle properly. By following proper lifting mechanics, you can drastically reduce your chances of being injured. To keep your back at its best, make sure you follow these tips.  


Pushing & Pulling


Whenever possible, try to push loads rather than pull them toward you. When you pull objects, you're putting your arms in an unnatural position. This increases the odds that you'll get hurt because you can easily over exert yourself when pulling. Numerous studies have also confirmed that it's easier for you to push something away than pull it towards you. 


Stop Being so One-Sided

Carrying objects on one side of your body is a habit that can lead to nasty results. By having an uneven weight distribution, you're forcing the muscles on one side of your body to do all the work. This also causes you to twist your spine for prolonged periods of time and puts pressure on the vertebrae.


Twist & Shout

If you need to move your body while carrying a load, use you feet to pivot. When you twist with your back, you run the risk of putting it in an unnatural position. Too much twisting can cause muscle strains and herniated discs, two injuries that may stick with you for a long time.  


Don't be a hero.

If you've got a load that is too heavy or has an awkward weight distribution, ask a co-worker to give you hand. Taking the time to do will reduce your risk of injuring yourself. Also, if you see someone struggling with their load, be proactive and and give them a hand. Like the old saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure/  

 

Back Belts Aren't the Answer

Back Belts have become a popular option for those with lower back problems. But according to a recent study, there is no conclusive evidence that suggest they help with safety. Besides not being PPE, the problem with back belts is that they do not encourage proper lifting techniques. According to the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health & Safety, back belts can give the wearer a false sense of support and mislead the you into thinking that you can handle a heavier load. The only way we can safely decrease the rate of getting hurt is to follow the rules when it comes to lifting mechanics. 



What did you think of these back safety tips? Do you have one that deserves to be mentioned? Let us know on either our Facebook page or our Twitter page

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Recessions affect companies, but they also hurt the people in the job market. With wage cuts and lay-offs, it's a tough time for everyone. But finding work during a recession isn't impossible. Positions are becoming more competitive and companies are expecting more from their workers, but by following these 5 tips, you'll improve your chances of finding a job:


Sell Yourself:


Did you take on an extra project that saved the company thousands of dollars, lead a presentation, or represented the company at an industry event? Make sure you showcase that in your resume. Although many of us consider these types of highlights to be insignificant, employers love seeing anything that goes beyond your job description. This demonstrates confidence and expertise and shows that you Instead of listing your day-to-day duties on your resume, include the results of what your actions lead to. "Leading a team of 8 people during a project that led to 2 new clients" is much more effective than writing "strong people skills." 

 

Watch What You Share Online:

Companies are becoming more aware of your online activity, and you better believe that they'll Google you and see what you're up to on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and every other social media platform when you apply for a job. Before you send in your resume, make sure that your online activity is appropriate in a business setting. That means no party pictures or ill words about your past employers. 

 

Spelling is Everything:


Correct spelling and proper punctation cannot be stressed enough. According to a study done by Job Dig, typos are the biggest turnoff for hiring managers. If the person in charge of hiring notices errors on your resume, there's a good chance that you won't be considered for the position. Before you hit send, pass your resume along to a friend or family member and ask them to take another look and make the necessary changes. Editing your own work is incredibly difficult, so your best bet is to get a second opinion from someone else.

 

Tailor Accordingly


The "shotgun" approach of sending out the same resume to 100 different companies won't get you far. Each company will be looking for different things and if you don't take the time to answer their objectives, you will most likely be forgotten. In order to make your resume more personalized, take a look at the job description. Besides showcasing your skills and experience, your resume needs to show your potential future employer that you can meet their demands. 

 

No Bad-mouthing 

 

Hiring managers will often ask you about your boss from your last job. If you did not work well together, the worst thing you can do is criticize them. Hiring managers will interpret this as someone who cannot work well with others and may lead them to believe that you'll say bad things about the company. Instead of being negative, frame the answer in a positive way by saying something like "While my boss was good at X, I felt that Y was an area of growth. Having a boss with Y is very important to me." This shows that you can handle challenges that come up in the workplace and you can address concerns in a positive manner.    

 


What did you think of these tips? Do you have one that we didn't mention? Let us know by on our Facebook and Twitter pages today! 

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Welcome to Taurus Projects! With all of the newcomers to our website, Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn, we thought we would provide some information on the company as a whole. 

 

A History of Taurus Projects Group Inc.


Forming in 2006, Taurus began operating in Fort Saskatchewan because of its location to industrial plants and projects and its proximity to Edmonton, and its close ties to the Fort Saskatchewan construction community. Our management team has more than 80 years in the construction industry, and we're confident that we can handle anything that comes our way. We've got more than 175 skilled professionals and each one of them is committed to providing the best possible care and quality with every project that we take on.

In the year and a half since we created our social media accounts, Taurus has quickly become a hub for construction information. To date, we've got nearly 5,000 followers on Twitter, 1,374 on Facebook, and 186 followers on LinkedIn (and if you're on those platforms, make sure you follow us!) We use these tools to stay up-to-date and share news about the industry, as well as for advertising career opportunities and updating the world about everything Taurus-related.  

Some of the services we do at Taurus include installing and maintaining trailers, waste management earthworks, laydown management, snow removal, building erection, and many other (visit this link to see a full list of our services).

 

How We're Committed To Safety 

With all of these services offered, it's important that we stay vigilant and committed to a safety culture. With programs like our Behaviour Based Observation Program, we're constantly looking to educate each other as to why safety is so important. Recently, we held our quarterly Safety Symposium (like this one with former Edmonton Eskimo Dan Comiskey) and invited many people within our industry, including workers, sub-contracts, supervisors, client representatives, and the entire Taurus management team.

By following the latest safety practices and regulations, our employees are able to stay accountable, which gives our clients peace of mind. We also spend lots of time showing our employees how they can make a difference. Whether that means explaining the benefits of ergonomics or giving them a daily stretching program, investing in safety programs means that our employees will be more prepared and more effective at work.

 

Winner of the Contractor of the Year Award!

This past year, Taurus was recognized by Alberta Venture's Contractor of the Year Awards. We won the award in the Heavy Civil category and we couldn't have done it without our hardworking team (to see our recap of the event, read this post). We're proud that our organization was honoured for supporting projects in the community and that we got to celebrate amongst our friends and colleagues in the industry!

Do you have any questions about Taurus, our equipment, or our services? If so, visit our Contact page. We pride ourselves on answering any questions that we receive and we promise to respond to you as soon as we can.  

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In the construction industry, we're told from day one how important work safety is, but sometimes it's hard to get that fact across. Platitudes like, "safety is number one" or "Always Be Safe" are strewn around the job site, trying to remind people to be safe, but sometimes the best way to keep your employees safe is with some cold hard facts on safety. Here are 9 highly tweetable facts that put your safety and the safety of your staff into perspective! 

  1. Falls are the #1 cause of construction site injuries. 

  2. There were 169 fatalities in Alberta from workplace related incidents in 2014.  

  3. Over a 40 year career, there’s a 1 in 200 chance that a worker could die.
    1. http://www.safetyandhealthmagazine.com/articles/construction-workers-experience-higher-rates-of-injury-premature-death-study-2
  4. From 2002-2012, 20% of all work-related fatalities in the United States were in the construction industry. 

  5. Studies show that in the heavy industries up to 25% of injuries (every fourth worker) will be injured within the first 30 days of starting their new job. Think of that — the first 30 days! See how you can protect your new workers HERE.
  6. Currently, 21% of the working population in Canada experiences mental health problems and / or illnesses. See our blog on mental health HERE
  7. Some good news! Road construction fatalities have declined 36% since 2005.

  8. According the American Society of Safety Engineers a comprehensive workplace safety program can decrease the likelihood of a workplace injury by up to 50%.

  9. A public health sciences professor by the name of J. Paul Leigh at the University of California, Davis has estimated that the economic burden of work-related injuries has costed the United States $250 billion a year!

 

If you would like to work with us, don't hesitate to contact us HERE. We are here to answer any questions you may have about our services and equipment. Reach out to us and we'll respond as soon as we can.

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At Taurus, we are continuously looking for ways to keep on a vigilant guard against unsafe behaviour and promote safety initiatives company wide. This is the idea behind our Behaviour Based Observation Program (BBO). We've had a lot of success with this program already and believe it should and will be the safety standard in the construction industry and the Heavy Civil Industry in Alberta in the years to come. 

What is it?

The program is a peer-to-peer method of coaching, counselling, and encouraging all employees to reinforce safe behaviour on the job site. Analysis of incidents shows that +/- 90% of them have the behaviour of the person(s) involved as a key contributing factor. Of the 10% remaining, +/- 90% of them have the behaviour of a person, not directly involved in the incident, as a contributing factor. By eliminating these behaviours before they become a problem we hope to greatly reduce the number of accident incidents on the work site. The Behaviour Based Program is also a great way to further a company culture of safety where each man and woman looks after one another on the job site. 

This is achieved through an observation cycle which consists of:

• Observe people

• Analyze their work practices by focusing on safe and unsafe behaviours

• Talk with them about safety

• Actively correct and prevent unsafe acts and conditions

• Reinforce safe behaviour of all employees

• Report the observations and how they can be improved

Some of the benefits for Taurus and our clients are:

• Enhanced reporting

• Increased hazard recognition

• Share recognized Hazards

• Data gathered is used to develop trends

• Trended data can be used to improve overall safety for employees

• Employees have greater sense of ownership of the HSE program

• Incentives may be tied to best quality observations

• Increased employee retention

• Encourage a culture of safety within the company.

• Improved safety processes

A word of caution: this program isn’t a catch all fix that will magically erase all your safety problems. We don't think this will fix everything, which is why this is only one aspect of our safety program. We believe an effective safety program should have a mixture of different tactics, something similar to this Venn diagram. 

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These safety initiatives are just a small part of the culture we're trying to foster at Taurus. If your company values align with ours, please don’t hesitate to contact us HERE! 

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Safety is a choice that we make every time we step out onto the job site to perform our day's work. In fact, everything we do, from being a toddler to adulthood, has some element of risk, and we either decide to make a conscious effort to mitigate and manage that risk, or we don't.

When each worker puts on their boots and enters the work site, they make a choice to either fall into one of four levels of commitment to job safety. What are they? 

Level 1: Comply With Safety Obligations When It Is Convenient

At the first level is an employee who follows safety guidelines only when the boss is looking. They don't believe in safety guidelines, and they don't think they matter. This employee believes he knows better, and that he can be safe without real guidelines. Watch out for this employee! The best way to fight against it is to create a culture of safety from the ground up where all members of the team believe in safety. 

Level 2: Comply With Safety Obligations When I Have To

This employee follows the rules, but only because they're the rules, not because they actually believe in them. This is a safer employee than the Level 1 employee, but their disingenuous following of the rules, and inability to believe in a safety culture, may infect other employees. This is not an ideal team member for creating a positive company culture.

Level 3: Believes In Safety For Me And My Family

This is someone who believes in safety and follows the guidelines because they believe it will make them a safer person, which will be good for their well being and their family. Note: Often a person may seem, on the surface, to be a level 3, but they're actually a level 2. Again, this level is achieved by creating a safety culture that wholeheartedly believes in the guidelines they're following. 

Level 4: Believes In Safety For Me, My Family, And My Co-Workers

This is the ideal level of safety for all employees. Not only do they believe in the inherent goodness of the safety guidelines, but they also believe it's imperative that they are safe for themselves, their family, and their team members. When you reach this level, your employees will work as a team to ensure they all get home to their families.

And what's the number one way we can make employees go from Level 1 to Level 4? By building a safety culture that makes safety personal. When employees understand the ramifications of unsafe acts can go beyond the corporate level, they make positive safety choices themselves! 

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We have another exciting announcement to share with the Fort Saskatchewan Construction world! Taurus Projects is now ISO 9001:2008 compliant and certified!

What is the ISO 9001:2008 certification? It is an international standard, relating to quality management systems. The certification has been around for more than a decade, used as a method for creating effective, efficient, and reliable quality measures. The certificate gives Taurus Projects a framework that will ensure we have continual progress and improvement at every level of our business, while being externally assessed on an ongoing basis to ensure we are always maintaining the same high level of quality. 

It is based on a criteria of eight quality management principles, which are all fundamental philosophies for establishing a great quality management system. If your company—As Taurus Projects does—meets these eight quality management principles, then your company is ISO 9001:2008 compliant. 

These are:

Customer focus: Are you a company that is customer-focused? A company that will go above and beyond for their client!

Leadership: A company must have adequate leadership, which in turn produces purpose and direction within the company!

Involvement of people: A company culture that promotes and encourages everyone within the company to get involved.

System approach to management: Having system processes mapped out for organizational objectives, resources, and activities.

Continual Improvement: A company culture that is focused on continual improvement at all levels.

Fact based decision-making: Using logical and objective based decision-making, instead of emotional, subjective decision making.

Mutually beneficial supplier relationships: companies that create partnerships with others in their industry!

The ISO 9001:2008 certificate is just another reason why working with Taurus Projects means you get a level of partnership, quality, and reliability that will always exceed expectation. If you’re interested in working with Taurus Projects, click HERE to contact us! 

 

Talk to you soon.

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Mental health claims are the fastest growing category of disabilities among Canadians, but there still remains a stigma towards those who have mental health issues. Here’s a fact: Currently, 21% of the working population in Canada currently experiences mental health problems and / or illnesses. Of that 21%, only 23% of Canadians feel comfortable talking to their employer about their mental illness for fear of facing discrimination, dismissal, or ridicule from their employers or their peers. On average, mental health ends up costing Canadians about $50 billion a year in health care, lost time, or work disruptions while 30% of all health claims are a result of mental illness. 

What do we mean when we refer to mental illness or disorders? There are over 200 classified forms of mental illness, but the five major categories are: anxiety disorders, mood disorders, schizophrenia/psychotic disorders, dementia, and eating disorders. 

What are the effects of workplace illnesses on an individual? They can lead to a variety of effects that include: Heath problems, Back Pain, Cancers, Injuries, Infections, Aggression and Conflict, Substance Abuse, Reduced Adaptability, Impared Learning / Memory, and more. 

Here’s a not-so-fun fact: psychosomatic disorders are physical conditions that are the result of a mental factor like conflict, stress, or anxiety. 

What are the effects on the workplace in general? Untreated mental illness can result in higher premiums, health / benefits costs, recruitment costs, absenteeism (missed work), or presenteeism (going to work when you should be staying home). 

So what can a workplace do to help? A positive and supportive work environment can reduce the impact, severity, time of onset, duration, and strength of a mental illness by optimizing its work flow and processes to reduce stress, increase worker control over, improve the communication between all team members, recognize contributions when they’re made, clearly defined tasks and roles of team members, promoting physical activity and work/life balance, make mental well-being a vital part of the structure of your organization, and have processes in place to come to conflict resolutions. 

How can individuals improve their mental health on a personal level? 

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How would you react to news about a co-worker’s mental health? Hopefully you've moved over into the positive camp! 

 

 

 

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It’s a vital question that you have to ask yourself whenever you are choosing your contractor: are they the right company to meet my needs? Well, we're here to tell you that yes, we are for a number of reasons. 

First and foremost, the question that must always be answered: our commitment to safety is unparalleled in the field today. If you take any time to read through our Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, you'll notice a focus on safety that is committed, knowledgable, and fills a leadership role for the safety of our community, our workers, and the industry. 

We also have proven ourselves in our field, having won the 2015 Contractor Of The Year award for the Heavy Civil category for Construction from Alberta Venture.

We bring significance right from the start of a project. What does that mean? We'll balance your goals with the best in safety, practices, schedules, and quality, while keeping you constantly informed on progress and up-to-date. This dedication to our many projects, which you can see here, have led to building bonds and relationships in the industry that are unbreakable. 

We're create thinkers with years of experience in the business. Creativity in construction, an industry where the landscape, problems, and tasks are constantly evolving, is an undervalued skill, but one that Taurus Projects takes very seriously. By challenging our employees By challenging ourselves to be constantly learning and adapting, we seek new solutions, bright ideas, and plan for the unexpected. 

We put people first. Of course, our passion is building, but we never forget that we are part of a community. We look for partners is business more than anything. It's also why we focus on safe work environments, respectful relationships, the environment, and creating spaces for the people who will use them.

If Taurus Projects sounds like a company you would want to work with, feel free to email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.,">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., see us in person at 11401 – 85 Avenue, Ft. Saskatchewan, T8L 0A9, AB, or call us at +1-(780)-998-5001! 

 

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Well, another successful year down, another one ahead of us! There was a lot packed into one short little year, but that's what we're here for! Here's our biggest and brightest highlights from 2015, for your viewing pleasure! 

One of our biggest accomplishments: On the 16th of April, we were officially named the Contractor Of The Year in the Heavy Civil category by Alberta Venture. It was a huge ordeal and was a great way to start off the first half of the year. You can see our official speech we gave at the award ceremony, along with a few pictures from the event HERE.

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One of our most popular blogs: Well, it's been about 15 months since we've had this little blog of ours and it continues to grow and grow! But what was the most popular blog we had all year? That would be our blog post titled "7 Construction Industry Myths That May Surprise You." Go on and give it a read! There's a reason it's so popular! And we assure you, you will be surprised!

One Of The Largest Projects: We were involved in so many that it's hard to choose, but our work with the North West Redwater Partnership was definitely up there! You can read all about it HERE.

One of our best moments: Finally, our best moment! It might be because it was so fresh in our mind, but we got the chance to meet with Canadian Football League legend Dan Comiskey at the Quarterly Safety Symposium. That is all detailed in this blog post HERE.

Again, what a year! We can't wait to see what the next year has in store for us!

Happy New Year!

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