A special congratulations to Elise Mailloux for winning the coveted C2SA award for Craftsperson of the Year 2023 in Western Canada.

Elise is a Journeyperson Iron Worker working for Connect Group Inc (CGI) at Suncor. She took an unconventional career path from hospitality, to carpentry to roofing before she was introduced to iron work. She discovered iron work was her passion after taking a course and apprenticeship in welding and ornamental/structural iron working. Elise became the first fully certified female ironworker in 1998.

Elise was involved in all major maintenance scopes for Connect Group in 2022 including:

  • Syncrude MLMR DRC 11 emergency break-in chain replacement
  • Syncrude MLMR DRC 10 chain changeout
  • Syncrude MLMR Train 3 Surge Apron Feeder overhaul
  • Syncrude MLMR Train 4 Surge Apron Feeder overhaul
  • Syncrude Aurora Train 3 crusher Apron Feeder overhaul
  • CNRL Horizon OPP A Launder Box Replacement, CNRL
  • Horizon Crusher 5 Apron Feeder overhaul, Suncor Plant 85
  • OPP A Fire Rebuild
  • Suncor Plant 82T-18 Breaker Replacement

All scopes included rigging & hoisting, heavy lifts, work at heights, rotating equipment, confined spaces, and other hazardous aspects.

“Elise’s contributions to Health & Safety are significant in the sense that she not only identifies opportunities for improving systems and processes in the interest of worker protection but she leads by exemplifying safety and professionalism in every activity she is involved in.”

Jesse Johnson, VP, Construction & Project Development
Connect Group Inc.

At the beginning of each shift, Elise is recognized for her Field Level Hazard Assessments, documenting task-specific hazard potentials and implementing corrective actions to help keep coworkers safe.

She is an active participant in daily toolbox talks, safety meetings, site discussions, and is a strong advocate for personnel not necessarily comfortable with being heard. She is an expert at rigging & hoisting, work at heights, and various other at-risk activities.

On a recent worksite, Elise was tasked with the utilization of hoisting equipment with limited visibility to fellow workers signaling the load. Elise took charge by leading a team huddle and ensuring adequate communication by transfer of hand signals and clear line of site was met.

It is examples like these disciplined acts that make a safer work environment for all. With Syncrude implementing fail-safe procedures in regard to heavy lifting and line of fire, Elise was instrumental is producing a plan to remove the old chain and install new. She suggested the placement of workers, the tooling necessary to safely do the job, and the order in which the steps needed to be taken. She was one of the key players when reviewing the plan with Syncrude to ensure all parties were on the same page and no critical steps were missed. All of these attributes played a large role in regards to meeting scheduled timelines in an already tight schedule.

“Elise leads by example…will always be the First person out working & she never shy’s away from any task…she sets the standard of what work ethic and quality is expected by all workers…Her Knowledge, expertise, and attention to detail in her trade…has made her a highly sought after worker to have, not only as an employee but as a coworker.”

Ryan Crawley, Construction Manager
Connect Group Inc.

Connect Group was awarded an apron feeder rebuild project which had not previously been completed and was a new design that most were not familiar with. During the pan installation bolt-up process Elise was instrumental in ensuring all pan bolts were installed correctly. This project presented some obstacles due to design and we had many apprentices, as well as journeypersons with limited experience with apron feeder rebuilds. Improperly installed bolts can cause equipment damage and premature wear of components. Elise’s quality of work is always second to none and she ensured her coworkers completed all the tasks correctly. The assembly of this apron feeder was completed without any issues or rework and Elise was a major factor to these results.