Longtime silviculture contractor and safety leader Chris Akehurst has been awarded the Carry White Lifetime Achievement Award for safety. In his acceptance speech at the Vancouver Island Safety Conference in Nanaimo 5 October Akehurst thanked the forest industry for the award saying that the recognition should help bring attention to the progress the silviculture sector has made in developing training, reducing injuries and changing safety culture.
Chris Akehurst received the Cary White Lifetime Achievement Award. The award is presented to an individual who, through a long career in the forest industry, has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to improving safety awareness, expanding safety knowledge, developing safety skills at ground level and building a lasting culture of safety among BC’s forest workers. This individual is known for being a ‘teacher’ of safety, a trainer, an instructor, a mentor … someone who goes the extra mile to help others reach their safety goals with a helping hand, proven experience and knowledge.
Chris is a stalwart of tree planting in British Columbia, having planted his first tree in 1975, and helped turn the industry into what it is today. Since taking ownership of A&G Reforestation in 1984, Chris has been a strong advocate for high employment standards and industry-best practices. He has played a lead role in developing safety and training initiatives for the BC Forest Industry through his ongoing work with the Western Silviculture Contractors Association and the development of the Safe Silviculture Program.
Some of the work Chris has supported has created the Resource Road Driving, ATV, Supervisor and Powersaw training courses; and resources to reduce MSI injuries and improve emergency response in remote locations.
In receiving his award, Chris paid tribute to the people who had inspired him. As much as things have changed, he encouraged everyone to keep the pressure on to “get to zero” by working together to promote safety in the industry.