|June 20, 2014
PNRHA Health and Safety Officer/Educator Kathy Lee admits she has found her passion: caring for others through improving conditions in which Canadians work.
That passion and dedication has been validated and recognized with a national award presented to Kathy at a special event held in her honour June 20th at the Saskatchewan Institute of Applied Science and Technology (SIAST) in Saskatoon.
Kathy has been awarded the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS) Dick Martin Scholarship for 2014. The $3,000 national scholarship is one of two presented annually to any post-secondary student enrolled, either full-time or part-time, in an occupational health and safety (OH&S) related course or program leading to an OH&S certificate, diploma or degree at an accredited college or university in Canada.
Kathy was presented the award by Phillip Germain, member of the CCOHS Council of Governors and Vice President of Prevention and Employer Services with the Saskatchewan Workers' Compensation Board. Joining in the presentation were Don Morgan, Saskatchewan Minister of Labour Relations and Workplace Safety; Cindy Smith, Associate Dean of Nursing at SIAST; and Nolan Horbach, Program Head, CPR/First Aid & Occupational Health and Safety Practitioner (OHSP) at SIAST.
(From left) Phillip Germain, Kathy Lee. Don Morgan, Cindy Smith, and Nolan Horbach
Kathy has just completed the OHSP applied certificate program at SIAST and is now pursuing the OHSP certificate program. Taking the program's courses through distance education, Kathy continues to work full-time in Prairie North Health Region's Department of Health and Safety in North Battleford.
In accepting the award, Kathy acknowledged that the principles and values that guided Dick Martin have left an inspiring legacy in advancing the cause of health and safety in the workplace. Mr. Martin was a pioneer of workplace health and safety in Canada and was instrumental in establishing in 1984 the Canadian National Day of Mourning (April 28) to honour workers killed or injured on the job. The Day of Mourning is now marked internationally.
As a Licensed Practical Nurse for the past 10 years, Kathy observed that health care workers are constantly challenged with the demands of complex care needs for clients in unique situations.
"On a daily basis, I witnessed health care workers putting the health and safety of clients ahead of their own. Managing health and safety in the workplace protects our most valuable resource and asset within any organization: workers," said Kathy.
She added, "When health and safety is a priority, employers benefit, as valued employees can earn for a company what money can't buy in dedication, motivation, and expertise."
Minister Morgan applauded Kathy for choosing an OH&S career, noting that safety management is a rewarding career path, and that safety is part of everyone's job and needs to be part of everyday thinking.
"This achievement highlights the importance of workplace safety," Morgan said. "Thanks to programs like SIAST's Occupational Health and Safety practitioner certificate, we have knowledgeable safety professionals who can help build a skilled, injury-free workforce."
On behalf of CCOHS, Germain congratulated Kathy on her award, noting that with students and professionals such as her, 'the future of Occupational Health and Safety in Canada is in capable hands."
Germain noted that by offering the Dick Martin scholarship, the CCOHS endeavours to foster interest in the field and to help future health and safety leaders in their pursuit of higher education.
Representing SIAST, Cindy Smith congratulated Kathy on her achievement. "Your award is a testament to your leadership, courage, perseverence and exceptional work. You are an inspiration to all of us."
Smith also paid tribute to the CCOHS for its commitment and support to OH&S education.
Recipients of the Dick Martin Scholarship apply for the award. As part of the evaluation criteria for the award, applicants submit essays on topics related to their area of study in occupational health and safety and are judged not only on their knowledge of the subject matter, but also their aspirations for their future careers.
Kathy's essay subject was 'Violence Prevention", focusing on Hazard Controls for Violence Prevention.
To view the SIAST Media Release 'SIAST student presented with national safety award', click here.