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Workplace Safety North welcomes new directors

Derek Budge, Michele Gilbert, Erick Haapamaki join northern health and safety association board
From left, Eric Haapamaki, Derek Budge and Michele Gilbert have all joined the board of directors at Workplace Safety North.

Workplace Safety North (WSN) welcomed three new board members at its November annual general meeting: Derek Budge, Michele Gilbert, and Eric Haapamaki. Outgoing board members John Benoit, Gaetan Carrier, Clyde Healey, and Norm Lavallee were thanked for their years of service.

Derek Budge, CRSP, is director of health, safety and environment at Redpath Mining Inc.: Derek moved to the North Bay corporate head office in 2005 after working in the field for Redpath at Kidd Creek in Timmins. A long-time member and director of the Ontario Mine Contractors Safety Association, Derek was recognized with a Lifetime Membership. Derek has served as chairperson of the Ontario Mining Association Mining Rules Committee and represents the Ontario mining industry as industry co-chair of the Ontario Mining Legislative Review Committee. Derek oversees health and safety on a global scale with Redpath Mining serving many of the world's major mining companies. Experience in unionized and non-unionized operations gives him a unique perspective on workplace health and safety.

Michele Gilbert has a post-graduate management degree and is north Atlantic manager of learning and development with Vale. She has over 30 years of experience in mining, infrastructure, oil and gas and energy sectors in five countries across four continents. Michele is specialized in learning and development, diversity and inclusion and Indigenous relations. While overseeing the management of training for some 7,000 employees, Michele handles the delivery of health and safety, technical training, and leadership development.

Eric Haapamaki, P.Eng., CMSE, is vice-president, business and product development with the EPCM Group. Born in Sudbury, Ontario, Eric was raised in Espanola and lives there with his family. After completing his degree in computer engineering at the University of Manitoba, Eric began working in the heavy industry sector, supplying specialty automation and robotic material handling solutions to the paper, steel, and mining sectors. Eric is a licensed and practising professional engineer in the province of Ontario. He is passionate about safety and the application of engineering and design to make workplaces safer.

An independent not-for-profit, Workplace Safety North is one of four sector-based health and safety associations in Ontario and supplies provincewide ministry-approved workplace health and safety training and services for the mining and forest products industries, and for businesses across Northern Ontario.