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Safety Awards take on special meaning this April 28 Day of Mourning

April 28, 2023  By Don Horne

As April 28 is the Day of Mourning for those who have lost their lives in the workplace, improving safety is top of mind.

Construction Safety Nova Scotia (CSNS) announced the winners of its 2023 Safety Awards, which were handed out at the association’s Annual General Meeting yesterday, honouring 12 companies and three individuals who have demonstrated a significant commitment to occupational health and safety in the construction industry in Nova Scotia.

“Every year, we really look forward to handing out these awards at our AGM. It’s not often we get to recognize the incredible work that folks in our sector are doing to keep construction workers safe, and we are happy to provide that opportunity,” said MJ MacDonald, CEO of CSNS. “These companies should be looked upon by others as shinning examples of doing safety right.”

Some changes were made to the CSNS Safety Awards this year, such as the addition of a mental health award and young worker safety award to recognize leaders in those areas.



Women and Safety Leadership Award

Cheyenne Coulton

This award is presented to a woman in health and safety who exemplifies the highest standards for safety leadership, going above and beyond to create change. This year’s winner is Cheyenne Coulton, health and safety advisor at Pomerleau. Coulton is a role model for women who aim to navigate a successful career in a male-dominated field. She has strong communication and conflict resolution skills; tackles challenges with a positive approach; and is able to influence the entire team and all contractors to work safely.

Safety Champion Award

Debbie Greencorn accepting the award from Rob Rowe, director of safety services at CSNS.

This award is presented to an individual who consistently demonstrates outstanding safety excellence and support for their industry peers. This year’s winner is Debbie Greencorn, accounts payable supervisor and Joint Occupational Health and Safety Committee co-chair at the Town of New Glasgow.

Greencorn plans, coordinates and executes the annual internal safety audit and was “monumental” to the Town obtaining its COR® certification to expand to cover all departments of the Town. She also helped develop and implement the Town’s “near-miss, good catch” program as well as designed the health and safety orientation package guide.

Best Safety Culture Award

Rob Rowe, director of safety services at CSNS, presenting award to Jeff King (right), health and safety manager for manufacturing at The Shaw Group.

Recognizes excellence in an organization’s OHS culture, with strong safety leadership, a commitment to continuous improvement, and employees who take accountability for safety. This year’s winner is The Shaw Group Ltd, which developed a Corporate Safety Strategy team made up of several senior leaders. All senior leaders conduct “Leadership Safety Walks” at sites other than their own for inspections and conversations with employees. Workers are highly engaged with the company receiving over 8,000 hazard IDs from employees in 2022.

Workplace Mental Health Award

The Bird team, left to right: Dan Andersson, HSE director Atlantic region; Jason Lapthorne, HSE Coordinator; Jayme Niford, operations manager; and Neal Lade, vice-president and district manager, Atlantic region.

Recognizes a company that prioritizes worker mental health and understand that mental health is just as important as physical health. The 2023 winner is Bird Construction where leaders share knowledge and resources, and foster an environment where it is safe to raise concerns about mental health. The company offers virtual courses on mental health and Mental Health First Aid for managers. It delivered several toolbox talks tailored to mental health issues, and Wellness Champions throughout the company are passionate about mental health and raising awareness.

Young Worker Safety Award

Rob Rowe, director of safety services at CSNS, presenting award to Bailey Rhyno and Jamie Stroud from Ryson Interior.

Recognizes an organization that displays exemplary health and safety practices specifically targeted to workers under the age of 25. The winner of this inaugural award is Iron Maple Constructors. Apprentices and new hires undergo a wide range of comprehensive training and new employees are placed with a more experienced mentor in the trades. Young workers are comfortable approaching their supers with safety concerns.

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