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Safety ambassadors recognized

Manju Gupta, Dainius Juras and Norberts Muncs honoured for exceptional contributions
July 9, 2014
By Environmental Health and Safety

Manju Gupta, a supervisor in the clinical analysis suite of the PERFORM Centre, is one of three to receive Concordia's first ever Safety Recognition Awards. | Photo by Concordia University

Concordia’s Safety Recognition Awards honour those individuals who take the time to integrate safety into their daily work, and who encourage others to do the same. Often it’s not a singular act that makes a workplace “safe,” but multiple little ones taken over time — small things that may be occasionally overlooked or taken for granted. For that reason it’s important to celebrate those who have had a positive impact on Concordia’s safety culture.

The Safety Recognition Awards Selection Committee, composed of members of Concordia’s Central Advisory Health & Safety Committee and technical safety committees, convened to decide the winners of the award. All nominees were assessed on the following criteria: effort; impact on safety within his or her department and across the university; initiative; and innovation and creativity.

Environmental Health and Safety is pleased to present not one but three Safety Ambassadors Awards this year to individuals who have made exceptional contributions in their areas, both in introducing and implementing risk-reducing initiatives and promoting safety to their fellow Concordians.

Their hard work promotes safety not only at Concordia but in the wider community as well; our students leave the university with an understanding of the value of being safety-conscious, and of how to reduce risks to themselves and others in their own work.

We offer our congratulations and thanks to the winners.

Manju Gupta

Supervisor, Clinical Analysis Suite, PERFORM Centre

Manju Gupta has played a critical role in safety since the inception of the PERFORM Centre’s Clinical Analysis Suite. Drawing on a varied academic and industry background, she has been responsible for the development of numerous standard operating protocols needed to provide lab staff and students with the knowledge to work safely with the equipment available to them. From specialized tasks to the routine day to day operation of the labs, Gupta organizes group training sessions and lab safety orientations to ensure that long-time users and newcomers alike are thoroughly informed and follow appropriate safety measures in their work. Known for her attention to detail and her diligence, she has also been responsible for several safety initiatives, including instituting a lab coat washing program to limit the spread of contaminants between labs. Gupta is also a member of the University Biosafety Committee and has been involved in the review of the university’s biosafety policies and procedures.

Approachable yet firm when it concerns safe lab practices, Gupta sets a high bar for safety in the workplace and sees to it that these high standards are met.


Dainius Juras

Technical Officer, Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering

Those who know him will surely tell you that safety is always a priority in Dan Juras’s mind. Adept not only in identifying potential safety issues and shortcomings but in proposing practical, intelligent solutions, Juras has become a key person to consult in his area whenever the question of safety arises. He’s known as a strong supporter of training, working closely with faculty, staff and students to identify the hazards associated with their work and the training or equipment needed for personnel to mitigate those risks. His involvement has been instrumental in the development of numerous safety protocols for test systems, hazardous materials and other laboratory processes. His recent work has included identifying specialized cabinets for safe work with nanomaterials.

Juras’s efforts and dedication have fostered an attitude and culture in which the subject of safety is no longer seen as a hindrance to research or an afterthought, but as yet another important aspect of experimental procedure and design.


Norberts Muncs

Director of Performance Production, Faculty of Fine Arts

In a very short time, Norberts Muncs has made a tremendous impact on the health and safety of both the Concordia community and visitors to the university. He has implemented stricter safety measures across all the performance venues and production facilities he oversees, including the compulsory use of steel-toed footwear in shops and whenever tools or equipment are in use, and making sure that students never work unsupervised or without appropriate training. Muncs is also responsible for several upgrades and improvements intended to reduce the risk of injury in the venues, such as the installation of a proper load-bearing fly system in the D.B. Clarke Theatre.

He makes a significant effort to engage others and encourage them to get involved, from holding regular health and safety meetings with his staff to conducting “safety walks” with students to help inform them of potential safety issues in their productions. Muncs’s work has helped those around him realize that safety is a shared responsibility, rather than an optional component of their work.

Learn more about safety training at Concordia.

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