Get to Know: Tracy Smith, Manager of Health, Safety & Environment

As a chemical engineer, mom of two and the Manager of Safety, Health & Environment at the Holyrood Thermal Generating Station, Tracy knows what it takes to make sure we all go home from work safely each day. Learn more about Tracy and how she helps Hydro operate safely and reliably.

Tell us about yourself.

I grew up in the small town of Tilton. I have always had a love for chemistry and math, so when I finished high school I enrolled in MUN and completed a Bachelor of Science in chemistry.  From there I completed my Master’s in Chemical Engineering at the University of New Brunswick. I came to Hydro in 2017, after working 14 years at the North Atlantic Refinery in Come  by Chance. Today I live in Spaniard’s Bay with my husband and our two daughters.

What role do you play in ensuring Hydro can provide safe, reliable power to our customers?

At Hydro we generate most of the power that people around the province use every day, and the Holyrood Thermal Generating Station is a significant part of that. By helping keep our employees healthy and safe, my team is helping to ensure that we have the people we need to operate our generating plants and facilities – the people who are working to produce the electricity we all use. I always say that it’s a lot like driving a bus – if you have the bus but nobody to drive, you’re not going to get where you need to go!

What does an average day look like for you?

I work closely with our safety and emergency response teams to evaluate potential risks, and ensure employees understand what we need to focus on to operate safely and reliably. As a regulated utility in a highly complex working environment, I also work closely with our environment teams and laboratory technicians to make sure we’re meeting environmental requirements and regulations, and operating in an environmentally responsible way.

Tell us something about your job that people might find surprising?

My work day doesn’t end at 4pm! Ensuring the physical and mental health and safety of our employees, and being environmentally responsible, is a 24-hour operation. I start every day by reflecting on what I hope to achieve, but knowing full well that priorities change quickly. The ongoing pandemic is a perfect example of that – and when it comes to the health and safety of employees, nothing is more important. You have to be prepared and you have to act quickly.

What motivates you to do your best every day?

I know that if I’m doing a good job, that helps keep everybody healthy and safe – including me. We all need to go home from work the same way we went in. When I walk through the door at the end of the day, and I see my daughters, my husband, or my dog jumps up to greet me, I am so grateful that I chose to be safe at work that day – for my family, my coworkers, as well as myself.

What advice would you give to young girls thinking about a career like yours, in a non-traditional role?

Don’t box yourself in or limit yourself by only considering roles that are traditionally filled by women. If you think you can do something, do it – don’t hold yourself back just because it may not be what’s expected. If you are passionate about something and enjoy it, pursue it completely. And know that there are a lot of people who can help you out along the way – there are great resources and role models out there, so do it!