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May 21, 2019

Spruce Grove man finalist for international workplace safety award



As reported in the Spruce Grove Examiner, Michael Brown will represent Spruce Grove on the world stage in October.

The city resident has been nominated for the World Safety Organization’s Safety Person of the Year award. Brown has spoken at prior group conferences in Las Vegas and was surprised when he found out he was up for their 2019 honour.

“The group’s chapter in British Columbia put my name forward,” he said. “It was quite humbling and unexpected. But it is nice to know you have an impact. With my background investigating over 100 serious workplace incidents, I think I have a good perspective. The award is given at conferences and I hope I am selected.”

The group was founded in 1975 in the Philippines. It represents more than 20 countries and consults with the United Nations on workplace safety issues.

The Apex One Management Group employee has spent over a decade consulting on safety as well as issues related to heavy equipment. He initially worked in construction until a chance for employment in Ontario changed his path in life.

“I had my own small construction company and saw an ad in the paper one day for a job with the Ontario Ministry of Labour and I applied,” Brown said. “I won a competition out of 10,000 to get the job and became a government inspector.”

He served in the position until 2012 and returned to Spruce Grove in 2013. Brown says much of what he does now consists of helping small-to mid-sized companies. Many are not familiar with what he does and, at the end of the day, he just wants those who are employed in Alberta to come home safely from work and get paid.

“People are trying to get a check and get home to their family,” he said. “Safety does not have to be complicated. I do a lot of speaking and consistently find 60 to 70 per cent of my audiences know someone hurt or killed on the job. We have robust legislation here, but still, that many people shows we need to do better.”

Alberta’s most recent statistics on the issue show 134 workers died in 2017. This is down from 144 in 2016. Though Brown is moving into further speaking engagements around the world, he intends to be here to help get that number lower.

Keep reading in the Spruce Grove Examiner


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