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BC Forest Safety Council names new CEO

February 17, 2016  By BC Forest Safety Council

Rob Moonen has been named the new CEO of the Forest Safety Council

The BC Forest Safety Council’s (BCFSC) board of directors recently appointed Rob Moonen as the new CEO of the BC forest sector’s health and safety association, effective March 16, 2016. 

Moonen, who was previously the director of SAFE Companies at the BCFSC, is a health and safety champion, and highly regarded for his robust knowledge and familiarity with industry’s challenges in eliminating fatalities and serious injuries, both in harvesting and manufacturing. 

“Rob’s knowledge, depth and breadth of industry and health and safety experience are well-matched to industry’s need to eliminate serious injuries and fatalities,” said Ken Higginbotham, chair of the BCFSC. 


Moonen will be taking over from Reynold Hert, who announced his retirement at the end of last year. 

“We extend our thanks to Reynold for his excellent stewardship as CEO over the past several years and wish him well in his retirement and future endeavours,” said Higginbotham. “The board looks forward to welcoming Rob to his new role as CEO and working with him over the coming years to secure improved safety performance in our industry, because we all know, every worker deserves to go home safe at the end of each day.”

Moonen has more than 28 years of experience in the occupational health and safety (OH&S) field with a focus on forestry and wood products manufacturing in Canada. He joined the BCFSC six years ago as business manager and in 2011 took on the dual role as business manager and director of SAFE Companies. He successfully managed the SAFE Companies program overhaul on behalf of industry in 2013-14 and, under his stewardship, both the sawmill and pellet industries joined the forest harvesting industry in choosing the BCFSC as their health and safety association in 2015. 

As director of SAFE Companies, Moonen led the operation and ongoing development of the province wide program. SAFE Companies certifies forestry operations passing independent audits to demonstrate that they meet industry safety standards. He was also responsible for developing and leading council support services and systems. 

Prior to joining the BCFSC, Moonen’s previous roles included senior advisor of human resources for Catalyst Paper; supervisor of health and safety for Saanich School District; program coordinator for the Work Injury Reduction Program, Workers’ Compensation Board of Alberta; and health and safety specialist for Canada Packers.

Moonen holds a BCIT diploma in occupational health and safety, is a chartered insurance professional and is certified by the Ken Blanshard Companies as an instructor in leading change. He has completed numerous continuing education programs on subjects such as accommodating workplace disabilities, situational leadership, labour law and building high-performing teams. 

“I look forward to the opportunity to continue to build excellent working relationships with all forestry stakeholders and further strengthen the BCFSC’s services to support industry achieving excellent safety performance that is good for workers and for business,” said Moonen. 

The BCFSC board struck a search committee to manage the appointment process. More than 60 applications from suitably qualified candidates were received and the board was very pleased with the calibre of candidates. 

“We greatly appreciate the number and quality of applications received and thank every applicant for their time and consideration, and for being part of a process that has allowed us to secure who we believe is the best candidate for the job,” said Higginbotham. 

About BC Forest Safety Council
The BC Forest Safety Council is a not-for-profit society dedicated to supporting industry to eliminate fatalities and reduce serious injuries. It was founded over 10 years ago and is supported by all major forestry organizations in BC. It works with forestry employers, unions, workers, contractors and the provincial government and agencies to implement changes necessary to eliminate fatalities and serious injuries in the forest sector, sawmills and pellet industries. To find out more information about the BC Forest Safety Council, see www.bcforestsafe.org

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