Former CSAO general manager, Leonard Sylvester, has passed

Len Sylvester

April 21, 1933 – December 20, 2022

Len Sylvester back then

IHSA has learned of the recent passing of Len Sylvester.

Mr. Sylvester worked for the former Construction Safety Association of Ontario (CSAO) for 32 years, leaving as Executive Vice-President and General Manager. For 20 years, he used this position to extend and deepen CSAO’s influence not only in Ontario but throughout North America and in many parts of the world.

Joining CSAO in 1964, Sylvester became an instructor who put in long hours, travelled the province, and presented programs in both English and Italian.

Promoted to manager of the education department, he played a major role in the production of award-winning films and television messages, the introduction of the mobile classroom, and development of supervisory training.

These innovations went hand-in-hand with expanded educational programs, worldwide promotion of the crane and rigging textbooks, the creation of CSAO’s research department and the formation of the Provincial Labour-Management Health and Safety Committee and subsequent creation of a network of regional and trade committees which still exist today.

Mr. Sylvester became general manager in 1976. In this role he played a major part in:

  • The expansion of the Labour-Management Network
  • Development of comprehensive injury databases to identify problem areas and targets for training and research
  • Introduction of the priority approach to construction firms with poor safety performance
  • Implementation of “control by procedure” as the only realistic way to control hazardous substances in construction
  • A fully bipartite board of directors
  • CSAO’s first labour president
Len Sylvester latest

In recognition of his achievements, Mr. Sylvester was honoured with the National Safety Council’s Distinguished Service to Safety Award in 1990, and in 1994, the Occupational Safety and Health Professional Achievement Award as well as the Veterans of Safety Fellowship award.

A funeral for Mr. Sylvester has already taken place. Our thoughts go out to his family at this difficult time. Click here to view the obituary.