Safety excellence in the fishing industry celebrated
Fishermen and fishing companies from the tri-counties were among those recognized for safety excellence in the fishery at the first annual Splashes of Safety awards dinner and fundraiser on Sept. 28 at the Westin Nova Scotian Hotel in Halifax.
Hosted by the Fisheries Safety Association of Nova Scotia (FSANS), about 160 people attended the event, representing a good cross section of the Nova Scotia fishing industry, said Matthew Duffy, safety advisor for the FSANS.
Eight awards were presented during Splashes of Safety.
Shelburne area fisherman Kasey DeMings was the recipient of the Fishing Safety Leader Award.
“Over the past year, this individual has stepped forward to help his fellow fishermen by assisting them with new safety regulations, helping create safety logbooks specific to each person’s boat. Other efforts include going so far as to host his own Man Overboard Drill, with various prizes for onlookers and participants, all in with the intention of demonstrating to his peers the importance of practicing these drills with their crew,” reads the citation.
Jenny May Fisheries in Pubnico was the recipient of one of two Industry Safety Champion awards. The award “is given to a company who has made strong and continuous efforts towards increasing safety in the workplace for their employees and peers.”
About Jenny May Fisheries the award said the company has, “has stepped forward by training their own staff to be WHMIS trainer certified in order to do in house WHMIS training with all their employees. They have also worked with Fisheries Safety N.S. to host Man Overboard Drills aboard their vessels in which captains, crews and staff all took part.”
Recipient of the Lewis D’Entremont Memorial Award was Wedgeport fisherman Cory Nickerson. The award is “given to an individual who has demonstrated an ongoing commitment to fishing safety excellence by continuously promoting safety and the use of safety equipment to their peers.”
Nickerson is captain of the F/V Beverly Anne and is a promoter of PFD and life jacket use to his peers, said Duffy, adding Nickerson can also be seen as a common face in the FSANS promotional videos The Survivors and Fishing Safety Now.
Named DSS Marine Fishing Safety Champion of the Year was Tommy Harper, a safety advisor with Comeau Seafoods. “He has worked alongside Fisheries Safety N.S. since day 1 to help develop our Man Overboard Drill,” said Duffy. “He has also been an instrumental part of the Are You Ready Team.”
Yarmouth-based Nova Scotia Fisheries Sector Council was selected as the recipient of the Fishing Safety Award of Excellence, the highest fishing safety honour given to an organization, partnership or individual. The award citation said the Fisheries Sector Council team “has demonstrated continuous commitment to the improvement of safety in the Nova Scotia fishing industry. This organization is being recognized for upholding the very best practices towards reducing fishing related workplace injuries and for fostering a safety culture within the industry.”
Also receiving awards were the Gulf Nova Scotia Fleet Planning Board (Industry Safety Champion), Sambro fisherman Patrick Gray (DSS Marine Fishing Safety Champion of the Year) and the Nova Scotia Trucking Safety Association (Industry Partner Award).