From the Saguenay to British Columbia and back to the Greater Montreal area, our OHS expert has a lot of stories to tell.

13 January 2017

Marc-Élie Morin has been working for JCCBI since February 29, 2016. Although he has not been here that long, he has already taught us a fair bit about occupational health and safety.

From an early age, Marc-Élie knew what he wanted to be when he grew up and he never strayed from that path. As an adolescent, he was involved in work environments where accidents and industrial diseases often occurred. He pondered his future, searching for an occupation that would allow him to make a difference and help workers avoid the types of injuries and accidents that he had witnessed. He enrolled in a CEGEP program in Occupational Health and Safety and Environmental Protection with a view to earning a Diploma of College Studies (DCS).

Barely out school, Marc-Élie landed a job in his field in Quebec City’s public health sector. At the same time, he earned diplomas in ergonomics, health and safety, eco-industrial toxicology, industrial relations and project management. He helped community health physicians develop health and safety programs and, at the Commission des normes, de l’équité, de la santé et de la sécurité du travail (CNESST), he became an inspector specializing in industrial hygiene and ergonomics in order to ultimately focus on applying health and safety regulatory requirements in sawmills and garages, and the pulp and paper, forestry and metallurgical industries. Being on the front line of inspections and complaints management, Marc-Élie was unfortunately also responsible for investigating some 20 fatal accidents, which made for some very emotionally charged years.

Love at first sight prompted him to return to his home area, where he joined one of the largest company: Rio Tinto Alcan. Over nearly 15 years, he had the opportunity to apply his experience and develop new skills at one of the most attractive and modern plants in Alma.

Marc-Élie rolled up his sleeves in order to take on the demanding responsibilities of implementing health and safety and quality management systems. Numerous standards were enforced, leaving little room for improvisation. Health and safety is an integral part of corporate culture.

At Kitimat, salmon fishing paradise for Marc-Élie, where he proudly displays his catch: a salmon weighing a record 42 pounds.

At Kitimat, salmon fishing paradise for Marc-Élie, where he proudly displays his catch: a salmon weighing a record 42 pounds.

After serving as an inspector and validating facility compliance, moving to British Columbia to carry out a modernization project and travelling back and forth between North America and Europe, he decided to join Groupe Desgagnés and work in the marine industry.

His adventures in the marine industry led him to visit the Canadian Arctic, including such destinations as Puvirnituq, Inukjuak and even Iqaluit, the only Canadian capital that has no traffic lights!

Four years later, he returned to Quebec with his small family for another large-scale project, Jonquière’s new AP60 aluminum smelter, a world first with its innovative 600-kA technology.

The same love brought him back to Montreal’s South Shore to work as a health and safety advisor for JCCBI. He was quickly captivated by the Corporation, its projects and its challenges. JCCBI touches on practically every aspect of OHS, allowing Marc-Élie to enjoy very diverse workdays.

Marc-Élie’s objective is to develop JCCBI’s corporate culture with the help of its employees. Everyone has a role to play in developing this culture. Workers are his main concern, and he defines his approach as simple and effective.

Looking back, now that he has gained some experience and earned a specialized undergraduate degree, Marc-Élie is certain that he chose the right career. A most inspiring career path. Thank you, Marc-Élie!