Even though a lot of her family worked in the trades, the industry never really crossed Andrea Hein’s mind as a career path. It wasn’t until the small auto body supply shop where Andrea worked went through a safety audit that she started to fall in love with this as a potential career. Gaps in health and safety were uncovered at the shop, and she volunteered to be the health and safety representative to help make changes. Once Andrea realized this type of work could be a full-time role, she knew it was the path she wanted to take.
Andrea attended Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT) to earn her diploma in Occupational Health and Safety. While she was there she attended a trade show, which is where she learned about Ledcor for the first time. The company appealed to her, Andrea applied and was hired right after graduation as a safety coordinator—a high-demand position in the construction industry. From there, she continued to grow her career at Ledcor from Field Coordinator, to Lead Coordinator, and now a Health, Safety, and Environmental Manager.
Andrea admits she never really considered construction as her safety career path before joining the industry. Though her perception has clearly changed, it’s still common for people to gloss over all the opportunities construction has to offer.
Ask Andrea what she does on a day-to-day basis and she couldn’t tell you, because her job is always changing. It could include incident investigations, auditing, planning, bidding, industrial hygiene testing, respirator fit testing, management work—no two days are the same, and that’s just the way she likes it.
“When I first started as a coordinator it’s all I wanted to be,” Andrea explained. “I liked being in the field mentoring, coaching, and teaching. I never thought I wanted to be a manager, but management encompasses all those things plus a lot more.”
Since she stepped foot into the company, Ledcor has been instrumental in Andrea’s rising career trajectory. The company encouraged her to earn her National Construction Safety Officer (NCSO) designation, paying for the courses and allowing her to complete it during work hours. Ledcor also provided Andrea with a mentor to ensure she was on the right track. The company is a big supporter of both internal and external continuing education, committed to ensuring each employee is well-equipped to feel confident in their role.
When I have my Ledcor hat and shirt on, I feel invincible,” Andrea says. “I’ll do what I need to do to get the job done.”
In addition to her Occupational Health and Safety Diploma and NSCO designation, Andrea has a diploma in Disaster and Emergency Management from NAIT and is a Canadian Registered Safety Professional (CRSP). Ledcor has supported all her continuing education, providing both moral and financial support as she pursued new opportunities.
“To me, safety and construction go hand in hand,” Andrea said. “I originally only saw it as going in there and getting your boots dirty. There’s safety, accounting, procurement, all these things you don’t think of. Anything you want to do in another industry, you can do here.”
As she’s grown in her career, Andrea has also seen positive changes in her personal life. The job she loves so much has helped her become a more confident person.
“You have to go and talk to people you’ve never met, cold call, do research,” she shared. “Prior to construction, you would never find me calling a stranger or going to a new place on my own. Now, I’m not afraid to do it.”