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2010 Leadership In Safety Awards Winners Selected

Dec 2, 2010 - 8 years ago

By Supply Post

The 2010 Leadership in Safety awards were presented at the Vancouver Island Safety Conference on October 2 in Nanaimo, BC, recognizing this year’s safety leaders in British Columbia’s forest industry. Numerous nominations were received from all regions of the province and ultimately the field was narrowed down to four very worthy recipients. As always, the nominations told compelling stories of safety leadership and dedication that made – and continues to make a difference. The Council wishes to thank Patrick Bell, Minister of Forests and Range and Jim McCaskill, WorkSafeBC Regional Director for Vancouver island for co-presenting the awards. Congratulations to all who were selected and nominated and thank you to those who sent in nominations over the course of 2010!


The Cary White Memorial award was created in honour of one of the BC Forest Safety Council’s first Safety Advocates, who passed away in 2008. With more than 30 years experience in the forest industry – including 23 years with WorkSafeBC (WCB), Cary was an individual often described as someone who had forestry and the safety of workers in his blood. The selection criteria for the Cary White Memorial Award for Lifetime Achievement includes:

• A long career in forestry safety
• Proven commitment to safety culture
• An established trainer / mentor / communicator

The 2010 winner of the Cary White Memorial Award for Lifetime Achievement is Mikael Jonsson, a hand faller from the Kootenays. He lives in Cranbrook and does contract faller assessments for Tembec. He is also a lead trainer with the BCFSC’s new faller training program and as a QST (Qualified Supervisor Trainer), Mikael has personally evaluated over 250 fallers for certification. He serves on the faller technical advisory committee and participated in the falling supervisor training development process. “Mik” spend summers supervising falling activities on forest fires and winters as a respected avalanche planner. His skills and safety expertise have taken him to other regions, including the oil patch and supervising hardwood falling activities for mining operations in Central America. Mikael has over 30 years of injury-free falling experience and is a dedicated faller safety champion who is respected in both the interior of BC and on the coast.

The Runner-up for the Cary White Memorial award is Ray Harper, super snorkel operator at Western Forest Products’ Jeune Landing operations on northern Vancouver Island (Port Alice). Ray has worked injury-free for 40 years on the coast as a top producer for his employer. He has trained many other equipment operators over the years and safety has always been part of his commitment and message. Ray’s efforts helped WFP’s full-phase logging operation achieve a zero medical incident rate for over 18 months.


This award recognized an individual or group that made a notable contribution to forest industry safety within their operation or company in 2010. The selection criteria included:

• 2009/10 contribution to workplace safety where they work and/or for broader industry
• Safety improvements with marked results
• New safety initiatives introduced that boosted safety at work

The 2010 co-winners of the Safety M.V.P. Award are Dan Nicholson and Martin Cousineau, recognized by their employees for their dedication in making safety improvements for their workers. Dan and Martin are co-owners of Fort Nelson, BC-based Geoterra Integrated Resource Systems Ltd., a company that provides consulting and surveying services in some of the most remote corners of the province, including the far north. Geoterra IRS Ltd. has been SAFE Certified since 2007 and is also a registered vender through the challenging ISNetworld Health and Safety Program Review process. When one of their workers was attacked by a bear, the training and other safety systems the company had implemented worked to facilitate a successful outcome to the incident. Quick response by co-workers and prompt helicopter evacuation of the injured worker was successful in preventing a possible loss of life. As a response to this incident, Geoterra instituted more rigorous policies and procedures that paired workers together to reduce the risk of attack and to ensure that immediate assistance was available to workers in the event of any type of injury. Dan and Martin are described by their employees as being great bosses, crewmates and friends. Employees also stressed that Geoterra is a company that never compromises safety, not for production or the bottom line.

The Runners-up for the Safety M.V.P. Award of the Year is International Forest Products’ Coastal Woodlands Safety Task Group , which includes Interfor contractors Coast Mountain Industries, G.W. Cox Logging, Helifor Canada, Ironside Contracting Ltd., Lemare Lake Logging Ltd. and Mike Hamilton Logging Ltd. The Coastal Safety Task Group (STG) was established in 2003 and has continually evolved towards pursuing a goal of no serious injuries or fatalities. The STG members will freely acknowledge that they are not there yet but the process is well underway. This year, the group was collectively recognized for their innovative efforts to work together to achieve that goal. The safety task group’s agenda is driven by member consensus through strong contractor leadership and licensee support. By pooling their efforts and resources they believe they can maximize their safety performance and achieve significant results in changing their safety culture. To date, increased hazard and close call reporting has been mirrored by encouraging reductions in their collective medical incident rate. The Coastal STG members include Andrew Meyer, Ryan Ricard, Mike Ward and Rob Shelley from Interfor; Mike Hamilton of Mike Hamilton Logging Ltd.; Chris Dutcyvich from Lemare Lake Logging Ltd.; Gord Thompson of Ironside Contracting Ltd.; Bill Clarke from Helifor Canada Corp.; Dale Cox of G.W. Cox Logging; and Kelly Uzzell from Coast Mountain Industries Ltd.. These contractors are all based in Mid and north Vancouver Island.

The Safety Leadership Awards will be back next year. Check our website in January, 2011 for information on how you can nominate someone for the fourth annual awards campaign. We look forward to sharing a new batch of safety stories with you in the new year!

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