It’s not only on vessels and in plants that careers in the offshore fishery span decades. Star Donovan has been with Mersey Seafoods for almost 30 years.
Star is a champion for safety in the offshore fishery. She attended the first meeting of the Nova Scotia Fisheries Safety Association and has been on the executive for 8 years.
At Mersey, Star has led the development of many safety-related policies from harassment and violence to drugs and alcohol. She works directly with the Captains and First Mates in developing them because she believes it’s their policy, and it’s them and their crew who needs to buy into and abide by the policies.
She also stays on top of everyone’s requirements for going to sea. Mersey’s requirements are even more stringent than Transportation Canada’s, as they require anyone working on a vessel to have their Marine Medical, Marine First Aid, WHIMIS, Fishing License and Domestic Vessel Safety certifications (formerly Marine Emergency Duties).
But for Star, the real sense of pride comes from seeing the small actions that show how much progress has been made in creating a safety culture.
“When the workers pull up to the dock, they’re putting on their lifejacket and hard hat before boarding the boat. It seems like small thing, but 30 years ago, that wasn’t happening. It shows how much progress has been made,” she explains.
“Safety is number one in my books. I take pride in seeing them do it and seeing them do it right. And I’m proud that the company backs me up on that,” Star says.
Star lives in Brooklyn, NS and her official title is Human Resources Manager, a position she says is a pleasure because of the approach of the company. She explains, “Mersey is an exceptional company to work for. The company truly looks after its employees, treats them very well, has very low turnover and is committed to safety in the workplace.”