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Healthy Minds Healthy College

What makes a Safety Champion?

May 30, 2012

President Stephanie Forsyth, Michael Sharpe (Stevenson Aviation Southport), David Major (Electrical Construction), Daryl Nielsen (Manager, Environmental Health & Safety)

Red River College recently completed our annual celebration of North American Occupational Safety and Health (NAOSH) week May 5-12. Events were held over the entire week to bring attention to the importance of health and safety at home, work and play. A new award,part of the College BRAVO awards,was introduced this year and the winners were announced during NAOSH week.

The Safety Champion is an annual award that recognizes staff members who demonstrate a high level of innovation, leadership and professionalism in making RRC a safe place to work and learn.

This year’s winners are from different parts of the College, approach things in their own way but are both worthy of the title Safety Champion.

We spoke with our winners to find out what makes them tick when it comes to Safety and here is what they had to say:

David Major, who is from the Electrical Construction department, thought that although the winning of an award was neither the intent of his efforts nor the objective, he has – due to the cooperation, trust and “buy-in” of those stakeholders within his department – derived great satisfaction from facilitating the creation of a safe, secure and structured lab learning environment. “This is truly what is most important and rewarding to me”.
David has no particular “secret” other than to take the lead of a good situation that undoubtedly needed to be made better. “With a seemingly exponential rise of the number of students, staff and specialized training demanded of this facility there also existed increased liabilities that would obviously need to be mitigated”.
David’s daily routine can be summed up in three words: patience, persistence and consistency in ensuring we remain at the forefront of educational facility safety and a leading example for those institutions wishing to emulate our success.

Michael Sharpe is an Instructor in the Aircraft Maintenance Engineering Program at our Stevenson Aviation Southport site. The theme of his teachings at the college is to “survive your occupation”. Michael declares “Winning this award has been an awakening to the efforts I have made over the years; sometimes seemingly go unnoticed or forgotten”. His secret to becoming a Safety Champion is, in one word, — OBSERVATION. “Take notice of things around you and always strive to improve and don’t agree with the status quo”. Michael’s daily routine includes numerous trips to the workshop area for spot audits on students and staff. He makes sure they all are using Safe Work Procedures and Safety Equipment.

Congratulations David and Michael.