West Fraser’s Kerry Douglas, of Quesnel & Campbell River’s Ed Wilcock, E&B Helicopters, receive 2017 safety awards

Date: 
October 10, 2017

NANAIMO, BC – The BC Forest Safety Council is pleased to announce the 2017 Safety Award Winners for lifetime achievement in safety. Two awards were made this year, one in the forest harvesting sector and one in the wood manufacturing sector.

HARVESTING

2017 Cary White Memorial Lifetime Achievement Award, for Commitment to Safety Excellence went to Ed Wilcock, E&B Helicopters, of Campbell River.

Ed Wilcock started in the helicopter business known as E&B Helicopters in Campbell River and has operated this company along with his wife, Vicki, for 26 years. Prior to starting his helicopter company he worked in the forest industry as a camp superintendent up and down the coast.

Ed’s understanding and appreciation of workers’ safety in the forest industry started with his own boots on the ground. His commitment to the forest industry has been proven many times over.

Ed and E&B provide air transportation and emergency evacuation services to hundreds of forest industry companies who have to simply provide a block map, longitude and latitude. Ed has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to ensure he has the best communication on Vancouver Island and southern coastal inlets by strategically installing many repeater towers so that workers on the ground and helicopter pilots can communicate back to home base in Campbell River without interference.

On many occasions, Ed and his company are the last resort. Forestry workers say that without their availability “we simply would not be able to go to work each day”.

MANUFACTURING

2017 Cary White Memorial Lifetime Achievement Award for Commitment to Safety Excellence: Kerry Douglas, Safety Manager, West Fraser Mills Ltd.

Kerry Douglas started his career almost 47 years ago when he was 15. He worked in the same Rayonier mill as his dad did, in New Westminster, doing clean-up work on weekend nights during his high school, college and university years. He realized early on (late 1960s/early 1970s) that there was not a lot of safety in industry – certainly it was not something that was talked about in those early days. That started to change in the late 1970s and for Kerry, becoming the maintenance foreman for a Canfor mill in Northern Alberta helped shape his appreciation for safety and the importance of a strong safety culture. This experience coupled with him receiving his commercial pilot license in the mid-1970s gave Kerry a real appreciation for safety and good safety systems, serving as the foundation to Kerry becoming a life-long safety champion and leader.

After Canfor, Kerry moved to Prince George to work for WorkSafeBC as a safety officer for 17½ years, where he quickly became the “go-to sawmill person”. During that time, Kerry also carried out investigations into 30 fatal workplace incidents, many of them at sawmills. Kerry then moved to West Fraser Mills Ltd. in 2004 to become the organization’s first safety manager. Kerry was instrumental in improving safety practices and integrating safety systems into all the mill operations, resulting in significantly improved safety performance.

His peers say: “Kerry is the go-to leader for industry in mill and combustible dust safety”, and tribute his safety leadership as a key reason behind much of the safety success of the Manufacturing Advisory Group (MAG), an industry group that was honoured in 2013 with a Lieutenant Governor Safety Award for Excellence in Systems Safety (multi-technology). Kerry in turn attributes MAG’s success to the leadership industry CEOs have provided to the group, recognizing that for safety to succeed it has to come from the top and be sustained at all levels of industry.

When Kerry is not at work he enjoys spending quality time with his wife, two children and six grandchildren, as well as golfing and walking.

For more information on the awards and past winners, please see: http://www.bcforestsafe.org/AnnualSafetyAwards.html

High quality digital files of the photos below are available:

Caption: The E&B Helicopter team with Blue Thunder Contracting fallers in Campbell River.

Caption: Lifetime safety award recipient, Ed Wilcock, of E&B Helicopters of Campbell River (centre) with Rob Moonen, CEO, BC Forest Safety Council (left) and Steve Venus, owner of Blue Thunder Contracting, who nominated Ed.

Caption: Lifetime safety award recipient, Kerry Douglas (centre), of West Fraser Mills Ltd., of Quesnel, with BC Forest Safety Council CEO Rob Moonen (left) and BC Forest Safety Council Chair, Ken Higginbotham.

For further information or copies of the digital images, please contact Pam Agnew, ABC, BC Forest Safety Council, 250-824-5186 (direct) / toll-free 1-877-741-1060, or email agnew@bcforestsafe.org.

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