Experts across Nutrien are shining a light on safety

Published: Mar 11, 2024

There are many different aspects to safety at Nutrien and at the core is our Culture of Care. This strategy helps guide our actions to ensure that everyone goes home safe, every day.

Hear from five of our employees about the important work they do with their teams to care for the safety of our people, operations, customers and communities.


At Nutrien, safety is at the heart of everything we do – and that includes cybersecurity.

“From a technical or organizational perspective, being cyber safe means the measures we take to protect our data, apps, systems and processes from threats like cyber attacks and information breaches,” explains Michael Vaidya, Chief Information Security Officer. “However, cyber safety goes beyond preventing attacks and breaches, it’s about people. People make an organization secure, and our people are empowered to speak up every time they see a potential cyber safety issue.”

Michael and the Cybersecurity team are dedicated to strengthening the culture of cybersecurity that they’ve established at Nutrien, and being cyber safe is also something they encourage our people to take into their personal lives.

“Cybersecurity is a life skill we all need to have to protect our professional and personal digital livelihood,” says Michael. “Always report suspicious emails, keep your passwords safe, use multi-factor authentication and use secure links instead of attachments in emails when sharing information.”

image-20240311104632-2Global security

With a career spanning nearly 30 years in the military and security industry, Morné duPreez has extensive experience in domestic and international security and risk management, which he deems invaluable in shaping his approach to his work at Nutrien.

“I understand the importance of meticulous planning, adherence to protocols and constant vigilance in mitigating risks,” says Morné, Senior Director of Global Security. “My exposure to various security protocols and strategies has provided me with a unique perspective on risk assessment, and my time in the military taught me the importance of attention to detail, adaptability and resilience.”

Morné and the Security team are focused on security advisory and management, emergency and crisis management preparation and strategic security planning on a global scale. This work aligns with Nutrien’s safety culture by prioritizing proactive risk management, continuous improvement and fostering a culture of accountability.

“Nutrien’s safety culture resonates deeply with my own values and experiences in the military and security industry. In both contexts, safety is paramount and ingrained into every aspect of operations,” he says. “I’m committed to upholding our safety standards and actively contributing to identifying potential hazards, implementing preventative measures and promoting a safety-first mindset among colleagues.”

image-20240311104648-3Liquid fertilizer safety

Liquid fertilizers are newer to many ag retailers and customers, and while they offer great opportunities to create custom blends, these unique blending capabilities require a pause to think about safety first.

“To understand and mitigate safety risks, blending new combinations requires planning and the consultation of material safety data sheets (MSDS), supplier representatives and experienced blending operators,” explains Dr. Karl Wyant, Director of Agronomy. “Blending a small batch beforehand can help predict any compatibility or safety issues before the blend is scaled up.”

We’re committed to providing our customers with up-to-date product safety information, resources, training and an open forum on our eKonomics site where folks can ask our team of agronomists questions.

“Our Culture of Care lends itself to helping our customers understand blending safety and compatibility,” says Karl. “To ensure safety is top of mind before making a blend, it’s important to consult these sources and tools.”   

image-20240311104747-4Mental health

Creating a safe work environment includes mental wellbeing, which is why Candice Michele is focused on Nutrien’s global mental health strategy and initiatives.

“We’ve been working hard to familiarize employees with mental health terms and definitions, helping them understand its history and stigma, and offering tools and resources to utilize at work and at home,” says Candice, Senior Advisor, Global Occupational Health & Wellness. “This year, we’re focused on delivering on three main phases of our strategy – prevention, resourcing and sustainability, and crisis support – along with deepening employees’ understanding of mental health and empowering more employees to become Mental Health First Aid certified.”

Everyone is affected by mental health, whether personally or through someone they know, which is why it’s important to provide resources, create safe spaces and listen without judgement.

“Our strategy was built with Nutrien’s Culture of Care in mind. It includes tools that allow our employees to care and look out for themselves and each other, no matter where they fall on the mental health spectrum” says Candice. “If mental health isn’t cared for, it can lead to mental and physical illnesses, so fostering an environment that supports mental health is a large component of this work.” 

image-20240311104816-5Safe ammonia handling

Matthew Paynter knows firsthand the importance of being prepared.

“I’ve gained valuable experience and training in fire, medical, technical rescue and hazardous materials and I use all of this in my role as Global Emergency Response and Preparedness Manager,” he says. “I believe emergency response plays a pivotal role in our Culture of Care because we strive to protect our people, assets, facilities, communities and the environment, and a key part of how we do this is by proactively preventing incidents.”

One specific area that Matthew is responsible for providing safety training in is ammonia handling. Our Transportation Emergency Response Team receives annual training and works closely with TRANSCAER, an organization committed to training emergency responders. In Canada and the US, our site teams also work with local fire departments to educate them about ammonia and how to respond in the event of a release.

“I have the honor of serving on TRANSCAER committees, as well as providing first responder training during events,” says Matthew. “By sharing knowledge with our employees and community partners, we’re building trust and promoting safety where we live and work.”

To learn more about Nutrien’s commitment to safety, and to review the safety highlights from the 2023 year, read our Global Sustainability Report.