WorkplaceNL announces 2023 Safety Leadership Award winners

October 24, 2023

WorkplaceNL announces 2023 Safety Leadership Award winners

St. John’s, NL – WorkplaceNL announced the recipients of its 2023 Safety Leadership Awards today at the WorkplaceNL Health and Safety Learning Symposium, held at the St. John’s Convention Centre.

The Safety Leadership Awards recognize employers and workers who demonstrate leadership and a visible commitment to health and safety in workplaces in Newfoundland and Labrador.

This years’ recipient of the WorkplaceNL Safety Leadership Award for Employers is SmartICE Sea-Ice Monitoring & Information Inc. At SmartICE, safety culture does not end at the workplace. They work with community members to produce data such as weekly satellite and seasonal maps created using traditional place names while incorporating indigenous knowledge in order to facilitate working safely on the ice. They have also codeveloped safety training programs that are culturally contextualised to address barriers faced in remote northern communities to promote inclusion and participation.
The WorkplaceNL Safety Leadership Award for Workers acknowledges workers in the community who practice health and safety in completing work tasks, contribute to making their workplaces safe, and positively influence safety culture. This years’ winner is Geoff Sparkes.

As a firefighter with the Corner Brook Fire Department, Geoff has spent the last 15 years promoting the importance of health and safety to his coworkers. Recognizing a need, he completed peer-to-peer mental health support training offered by the International Association of Firefighters and led a gap analysis on radio communication of fire departments across Canada in order to improve staff communication.

Geoff also participated in discussions between the provincial government and the Professional Firefighters of Newfoundland and Labrador to implement the province’s current presumptive cancer legislation for firefighters.

“I congratulate Geoff Sparkes and SmartICE on this well-deserved award,” says the Honourable Bernard Davis, Minister Responsible for WorkplaceNL. “Their dedication to promoting a strong safety culture within the workplace and beyond is to be commended. It is important that we all follow their example and prioritize health and safety in every aspect of our lives.”

“Today we celebrate safety leaders who have help to build a strong safety culture in their workplaces and their communities,” said Ann Martin, CEO, WorkplaceNL. “On behalf of WorkplaceNL, I congratulate Geoff Sparkes and SmartICE for their contributions and dedication to making this province a safer place to work and live.”

Candidates for the WorkplaceNL Safety Leadership Awards are submitted by public nominations, and winners are chosen by an internal committee of WorkplaceNL representatives.

WorkplaceNL congratulates the 2023 winners.

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Learn more
For information regarding award criteria and nomination process, visit:

About WorkplaceNL
Serving approximately 215,000 workers and 17,500 employers, WorkplaceNL administers an employer-funded, no-fault workers’ compensation system that promotes safe and healthy workplaces, provides return-to-work programs and offers compensation to injured workers and their dependents.

Media contact:
Debbie Marnell, Director of Communications
Environment and Climate Change, Government of Newfoundland and Labrador
709.729.2575 or

Carla Riggs, Director of Marketing and Communications
709.778.1590 or


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