Local arborist handed provincial SAFEty Award

Brandon's Garth Drakeley was awarded the Worker SAFEty Award at SAFE Work Manitoba's annual awards banquet on Sept. 26 in Winnipeg. Drakeley was nominated by his employer who noted how his attention to detail shows an awareness to workplace safety that is commendable.

When it comes to safety in the workplace, Brandon’s Garth Drakeley cuts no corners – just tree limbs.

The arborist, who works with Brandon’s Gontree Tree Service Ltd., was recognized at Safe Work Manitoba’s annual ‘Safetys’, an awards gala which highlights excellence in workplace safety across the province.

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Drakeley was awarded the Worker SAFEty Award after being nominated by his employer Sheila Gonty. In her submission, Gonty noted how Drakeley’s attention to detail, no matter the task, shows an awareness to workplace safety which is to be commended.

“He shows this in his everyday tasks, which include daily saw maintenance to always completing lockouts and tag outs correctly,” said Gonty in her submission to Safe Work Manitoba. “He will always stop to show another employee the safe and correct way.”

According to the criteria established by Safe Work Manitoba, the Worker SAFEty Award goes “To an individual who is committed to safe work. The nominee should be a safety champion who goes above and beyond to make others aware of workplace safety and health. Nominees should strive every day to make their workplace safer for themselves and their co-workers.”

Drakeley said it was a real honor to be recognized with this award.

“It feels great, being nominated for this,” he said. “It’s one of the more dangerous jobs in North America, and I just want to make sure that I and everyone I work with is doing their job in a safe and productive manner so we can all go home to our families at the end of the day.”

Drakeley says pretty much everything he does on the job has the potential to be harmful if not done properly, which is why he is so mindful about being safe on the job.

“Everything we can do can hurt you – from raking, which you could trip on and hurt yourself, right up to using chainsaws,” he said. “So I’ve helped train my co-workers to minimize any chance of injury.”

Drakeley officially accepted his award at the gala banquet in Winnipeg on Sept. 26. Other winners included PepsiCo Winnipeg being recognized with the SAFEty Culture Award, and MG Electrical/Mechanical Services being presented the SAFEty and Health Committee Award.

This award banquet is held every year in the fall, and Drakeley thinks it is crucial to recognize people making a difference on the job.

“I think it’s very important, in any industry where someone could get hurt on a daily basis, that safety is embraced,” he said.  “It’s important that it’s embraced and becomes second nature.”

​​​According to their mission statement, SAFE Work Manitoba is the public agency dedicated to the 
prevention of workplace injury and illness. You can learn more about them by visiting their website at www.safemanitoba.com.

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