2015 IW Winners

Kirkland Lake | Tradeswoman of the Year

Nancy Bruneau

Nancy Bruneau

The construction industry has traditionally been slow to adapt to change in the workplace – including integrating women – but Nancy Bruneau of Kirkland Lake has worked hard to overcome this.

And in the minds of her nominators, she has done so successfully.

As co-owner of NC Traffic Management, Nancy sought to change the perception of road construction site flaggers as unskilled, casual labour by introducing a brand of professionalism and by setting new standards for safety on the job site.

The growing Kirkland Lake company, co-owned by Nancy and sister Chantal Bruneau, provides traffic control services at road construction sites across northeastern Ontario.

They deliver and supervise their own crew of flaggers who direct traffic through single lanes at work sites and detour vehicles around accident sites.

After Nancy was laid off from a road contracting outfit when her contract expired, she approached Chantal in 2010 with the idea of offering traffic control as a stand-alone, specialized service. Road contractors typically don’t keep their flaggers, but Nancy had developed a passion for the job.

Beginning with three employees five years ago, they’ve grown to 13 staff, and consider firms like Miller Paving Northern as one of their regular clients, along with various engineering and towing companies.

In laying out its own traffic control plans, the company adheres to – and exceeds – the provincial regulations for traffic control as outlined in the Ontario Traffic Manual.

Nancy handles all the physical and technical training of its trainees, ensuring that they adhere to the company’s rigorous safety policies and procedures.

Construction zones are clearly laid out and well-arranged to ensure there is “no guessing” for motorists passing through the work site.

“On the road, I’m very careful that every single one of our staff members flags the exact same way,” said Nancy.

In its short history, the company has developed a level of trust with road repair and construction crews, and in protecting surveyors and drillers at pre-construction highway sites.

One of her nominators said Nancy has “raised the bar when it comes to safety, efficiency and professionalism in this industry.”

The single mother of two was further recognized by her supporters for her perseverance, attention to detail, dependability and the positive team-oriented atmosphere she nurtures.

On many job sites, flaggers are traditionally treated poorly and often neglected. They’re usually the first ones out on the road early in the morning, exposed to all kinds of weather and road conditions, and are the last ones to be relieved.

But Nancy is a constant dawnto- dusk presence at job sites in monitoring her personnel, readjusting and relieving them as the situation dictates, and providing water, bug spray, sun screen and hand warmers depending on the weather conditions.

In its expansion plans, NC Traffic is looking to diversify by acting as a Northern Ontario distributor for Traffic Innovation, a Quebec-based company with a catalogue of traffic control, traffic calming and wayfinding devices such as postmounted traffic counters that employ Doppler and solar battery technology. IW

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