Pajak Engineering works with about 90 different companies, with our primary services in management and engineering for junior oil and gas companies that do not have a large staff. Those companies hire us to procure all services, ranging from building the lease, building roads, well site supervision, and so on. Traditionally, we had a safety professional on staff, but often times, there wasn’t enough work to keep that person busy. Where Prime Essential has been instrumental for us, is in providing the safety resources we need, when we need it. With their team helping manage our data online, they have saved us a lot of money as we have seen an 80 per cent cost reduction. They manage all of our health and safety programs through the software they provide. If any of our clients have a safety incident, the Prime Essential team is on top of it right away. Since we’ve been using Prime Essential, we’ve undergone two safety audits and with their expert assistance through these procedures, we’ve successfully passed both audits. Working with them has brought a greater awareness of everyone’s roles and responsibilities within a safety program.
— Chris Lassu, Pajak Engineering

The day Neil Merchant said he could help me out was pretty much the greatest day ever. I had started my company, Goliath Snubbing, in 2008 with my business partner Garett Radchenko, and was doing most of the work setting up the company from my basement. I didn’t need a full-time safety resource, so having access to the team at Prime Essential was perfect. Goliath Snubbing works on pressurized wells, which is fairly dangerous work. My team is all certified through Enform and I myself am an assessor so I can assess and give certification to my team. Prime Essential started helping out with our ISN and Complyworks requirements, which took a huge burden off me. Since then, I’ve maintained a good relationship with Neil and his growing team. Personally, I have a deeper appreciation for safety than most people, having suffered a significant workplace injury that required emergency air medical transport. I don’t want to see anything like that happen to my team. We are a family and I want to make sure everyone is safe and everyone gets to go home and see their kids at the end of the day.
— Trevor Sopracolle, Goliath Snubbing

Trevor’s story

Trevor was working in a snubbing rig (a tall structure used to push pipe into a high pressure well) at a work site by Rocky Mountain House in 2001. 

The rig was about 25 feet off the ground when he fell and impaled himself on a steel bar that went about eight inches through his shoulder. He recalled his knees coming back into his face, blackening both his eyes. He could also see that his nose had been partially torn off.

First responders had a hard time trying to free him from the steel bar, and he was on the ground for an hour and a half while a welding truck arrived to assist in cutting the steel bar. Finally, Trevor was taken from the scene by STARS to the University of Alberta Hospital in Edmonton.

Trevor also suffered broken ribs and a punctured lung. He spent two weeks in hospital, where he underwent surgery to insert three screws into his clavicle. It took six months of physiotherapy before he was able to work, during which time he had to retrain his arm.

“It was a pretty traumatic event,” said Trevor, who was thankful he was quite young when the incident occurred. “You don’t want to see anyone have that type of accident.” 

“When something like this happens to you, it takes safety to the next level,” said Trevor. “You always think about what could happen. It definitely makes a guy a little stricter with safety protocols.”


FloRite’s focus is on well abandonment, service rig support and pipeline bleed-offs. As one can imagine, safety is of the utmost importance to our team and the clients we serve in northeast B.C. and northwest Alberta. Prime Essential manages our safety program, which has helped us achieve an exemplary safety record. We work together with the Prime Essential team to ensure SafetySync, an online program, is accurate and up-to-date. Our overall experience with the team has been excellent – they are personable, helpful and always willing to do whatever they can to help us out in a timely manner. They are on top of changing industry safety standards and help us ensure we are complying with those standards. I am also impressed with their innovative use of the latest technology via internet and mobile phones. I would highly recommend Prime Essential for anyone starting out in the industry, particularly if they are unclear on the scope of safety-based requirements.
— Art Jarvis, FloRite