OGCA presents Doug Chalmers Award for Leadership in Health and Safety

ogca doug chalmers award
OGCA president Giovanni Cautillo (left) with Craig Sparks (photo from OGCA)

Ontario Construction News staff writer

The Ontario General Contractors Association (OGCA)has awarded Craig Sparks, director of health and safety for Maple Reinders with the Doug Chalmers Award.

Reinders has one of the best safety records in Canada and worked within the industry to improve safety culture across Ontario.

With over 20 years of experience in construction, Craig has focused his career on continually improving on-site health and safety practices for employees, suppliers, and trade partners. Craig was nominated by Dan Fleming from NORCAT and by the Maple Reinders team members.

This year, Craig has dedicated much of his time and energy to serving the general contracting community, taking leadership roles as Chair of the OGCA COReXchange Committee and the League of Champions Campaign for Safety Culture.

He piloted the first application of the culture survey, led a culture of collaboration and assisted members as they achieved COR certification. In short, he has made Ontario a place to work safer.

“It is a true honour to be this year’s recipient of the Doug Chalmers award,” said Sparks said. “2021 was a very tough year for everyone in the construction industry. I’m very proud of the steps we have taken at the OGCA to improve health and safety of the construction industry. The Association’s work developing safety culture survey and sharing best practices over COReXchange will make this province safer.”

Leadership Day is an annual OGCA event that celebrates safety champions that have shown excellent leadership and dedication to health and safety improvements.

This year’s event included speakers focused on safety and discussions about how safety can continue to improve further in the industry.

There was an overview of the League of Champions Culture Survey, a discussion about mental health and opioids and a panel hosted by Bird Construction about who influences safety on site.

“Safety never sleeps. That’s why safety leadership is so vital,” said Craig Lesurf.

“We need to continue to be safety leaders in our industry so that everyone can go home safely each and every day! Leadership day is an important time for all of us to gather and reflect on the safety wins of the past year, learn from each other and aim to improve even more in the future.”

Named after a former board chairman, the Doug Chalmers award is presented annually by the OGCA to an individual or group that has made significant contributions to the advancement of occupational health and safety in the construction industry.


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