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Former Estevan resident wins provincial safety award

Nathan Duncan, who works for Finning in Regina, is the 2024 Safe Worker Award recipient
Nathan Duncan, second from left, was recently recognized for his commitment to safety.

ESTEVAN - A former Estevan resident has received a provincial award for his dedication to safety.

WorkSafe Saskatchewan announced earlier this month that Nathan Duncan, who works for Finning in Regina, was the 2024 Safe Worker Award recipient. WorkSafe Saskatchewan, a partnership between the Saskatchewan Workers’ Compensation Board (WCB) and the Ministry of Labour Relations and Workplace Safety, presented the award in Regina as part of the WCB’s Compensation Institute.

Duncan, an application specialist at Finning Canada in Regina, demonstrates an unwavering commitment to safety, WorkSafe Saskatchewan said in a news release.

"Duncan extends his safety ethos beyond the confines of his immediate workplace. His role, which predominantly involves working off-site on customer premises, includes orienting heavy equipment operators and the sales team on the safe usage of newly-purchased heavy equipment and conducting safety-oriented equipment demonstrations," WorkSafe Saskatchewan said.

The agency added Duncan often says that safety is part of their culture and one way to start the positive culture change is to always demonstrate safe practices. After a fatality on a customer’s worksite a few years ago that could have been prevented with a seat belt, Duncan saw a need to speak up.

“I've got the opportunity to reach out to the entire industry when I'm delivering equipment,” he said in the news release. “I feel like I've got the opportunity to make a change in the industry by promoting all these important safety benefits that are often overlooked in the construction industry.”

Duncan takes safety beyond the walls of Finning to promote, train and demonstrate safe practices for equipment operators all over the province.

“We’ve got to change. This industry needs to change,” he said. “We need to make operators more safe. And I’ve … been out there promoting it as part of my daily routine.”

In an email to the Mercury, Duncan said he started working at the Caterpillar dealership in Estevan, back when it was still under the Kramer name. He's been in Regina for nearly 11 years. As an application specialist, he handles product demonstrations, new product delivery orientations and operator training. 

He said he was "very honoured" to receive the award.

"I had no idea that people were paying so much attention to the day-to-day work I do," Duncan said. "I’m so thrilled that the orientations and training I provide are being noticed. That means the world to me."

When Duncan provides new machine delivery orientations, he said it’s his responsibility to not just go over the machine, but to also go over all the safety features.

"These include things like seat belt use, brake seats, steering tests, hydraulic lockouts and machine lockouts," said Duncan. "So, I extend my safety outlook beyond the walls of Finning, and take our same safety beliefs directly to the customer sites."

The Saskatchewan Indian Gaming Authority won the Safe Employer Award for solidifying its commitment to a healthy and safe workplace.