Staff updates – sad goodbyes and new beginnings

Monday, June 12, 2017

WSN President and Chief Executive Officer retires

Photo of Candys Ballanger-Michaud, WSN President and CEOIn June 2017, Workplace Safety North (WSN) says goodbye to inaugural President and Chief Executive Officer Candys Ballanger-Michaud, and welcomes WSN Vice President Paul Andre as acting President and CEO. 

Ballanger-Michaud started at WSN in 2010 to lead the amalgamation of Mines and Aggregates Safety and Health Association (MASHA), Ontario Forestry Safe Workplace Association (OFSWA), and the Pulp and Paper Health and Safety Association (PPHSA).

A former Ministry of Labour director and board member of the Ontario Forestry Safe Workplace Association, Ballanger-Michaud brought more than 20 years of experience in occupational health and safety, and is proud to have helped establish the provincial claims centre in Sault Ste. Marie.

“I’ve seen the evolution of occupational health and safety over the years, but we’re still not at the point where hurting someone at work is a social taboo,” says Ballanger-Michaud. “I believe this all starts in the schools and educating kids, and parents having conversations with their kids around the kitchen table.” 

Passionate about health and safety, Ballanger-Michaud will miss her colleagues and says “coming to WSN has been one of the highlights of my career. It's been a real honour to work with a team of individuals who share the same passion for worker safety.

"I’m excited about the future of the organization and innovative initiatives like the Climate Audit and Assessment Tool, and extending our reach to remote communities via online and distance learning.” Post-retirement plans include renovating the family cottage in the Haliburton-Dorset area, and she’s hinted she’s left the door open for future opportunities.

Effective July 1, WSN Vice President Paul Andre becomes acting President and CEO. The former CEO and field services manager of the Pulp and Paper Health and Safety Association has more than 25 years’ experience, and also volunteers as vice-chair of the Board of Canadian Registered Safety Professionals.

“The future of WSN builds on our recent strategic initiatives regarding service delivery improvements, to extend our reach in northern Ontario by creating occupational health and safety training centres, as well as making optimal use of learning technology, and to better serve First Nations people.

“As we implement new provincial health and safety training standards in Ontario, like Joint Health and Safety Committee Certification and Working at Heights, we’re working closely with our system partners, industry as well as the Prevention Office to increase our impact. WSN staff is proud to have contributed to the development of these standards,” says Andre. 

Within the year, Andre expects to see a new provincial training standard for Health and Safety Representatives (required for companies with 5 to 19 employees), and in 2018, the introduction of an accreditation framework that will promote the implementation of health and safety management systems for all employers across the province.

New staff

Dan Davidson, Mine Rescue Officer
Dennis Griem, Business Analyst
Fernand Houle, Health and Safety Specialist
Justin Konrad, Ontario Mine Rescue Intern
Angele Poitras, Community Engagement Specialist
Jo-Anne Rousseau, Health and Safety Specialist
Gorden Sullivan, Mine Rescue Officer
Brett Webb, Culture and Organizational Development Specialist
Moving on
George Mondoux, Health and Safety Specialist
Candys Ballanger-Michaud, President and Chief Executive Officer – 8 years
Gerry Champagne, Health and Safety Specialist – 15 years
John Hagan, Mine Rescue Officer – 30 years
Steve Hopson, Health and Safety Specialist – 15 years
Carol Michaud, Executive Assistant and Advisory Committee Liaison – 30 years
Dawna Nighbor, Business Analyst – 18 years
Diane Scott, Program-Training Specialist – 14 years

As one of the four designated health and safety associations in Ontario, businesses call upon WSN for expert advice and information, Ministry-approved classroom and online training programs, on-site consultations, health and safety audits, industrial hygiene testing, ergonomic assessments, and specific problem-solving. Get to know your local WSN health and safety health and safety specialist.