POLITICS

Suncor makes wildlife training mandatory in northern Alberta after bear attack

11/18/2014 05:35 EST | Updated 01/18/2015 05:59 EST
FORT MCMURRAY, Alta. - Suncor Energy Inc. is bringing in mandatory wildlife safety training for its oilsands workers in northern Alberta after an employee was killed by a bear.

Lorna Weafer was attacked by a black bear in May while working at the company's base camp north of Fort McMurray.

Other workers who were with the 36-year-old tried to scare off the animal with air horns but the noise had no effect.

Suncor spokeswoman Sneh Seetal says the company reviewed its training practices following the woman's death.

Wildlife training will be mandatory for all workers and contract employees in the Wood Buffalo region starting March 31.

She says the level of training will vary, depending on where the employees work and what type of work they do.

"We believe a broader spectrum of employees need to have that basic awareness training," Seetal said Tuesday.

"The training provides the knowledge on how to prevent wildlife encounters and how to respond to a wildlife encounter."

She said Suncor is also reminding employees to be diligent about reporting any wildlife encounters to its environmental affairs hotline so the company can notify other employees.