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2024 Concordia Safety Ambassador Awards

Environmental Health & Safety (EHS) participatied in the 2024 Concordia Engagement Awards on April 16, 2024. EHS has recognized and encourage safe practices at Concordia over the years.

This year the Safety Awards were handed out to five recipients. These recipients inspired and maintained best practices in health and safety. The recipients are members of the Concordia community who have made significant changes, overcome barriers and had an impact on safety on campus.  

2024 Safety Ambassador Award Winners

Malcolm Dunson-Todd

Malcolm’s research focuses on using exoskeletons on construction sites to reduce work-related musculoskeletal disorders (WMSDs) such as lower back pain, herniated discs, rotator cuff injuries and shoulder impingement. Malcolm’s goal is to develop practical, evidence-based guidelines tailored for the construction industry. These guidelines would recommend specific OEs for workers based on their trade and the type of construction projects they're involved in. Interest in implementing OEs in construction has been growing within the research community, and Malcolm's research focuses on developing a standardized test to evaluate the performance of OEs specifically for tasks like concrete slab rebar work. His innovative approach has already been put to the test on real construction sites, including those managed by Hydro Quebec.

Marie-Eve Rivard

Marie-Eve's dedication to fostering a culture of safety is evident through her many proactive initiatives, whether it involves organizing training sessions, implementing safety protocols or advocating for necessary safety measures. She not only adheres to safety guidelines but also actively engages others by sharing her knowledge. Marie-Eve's unwavering dedication to ensuring the welfare of those around her reflects her professionalism and her genuine concern for the collective safety of her environment. Through her efforts and leadership, Marie-Eve prioritizes safety as an integral aspect of daily life.

Monique Deschamps

Monique is always looking out for the safety of staff, faculty and students. When someone is carrying out a task, she guarantees they complete it safely by making sure they wear appropriate personal protective equipment. Monique is a sculpture technician, but she is constantly going above and beyond. Even though she works in a different program, she ensures the safety equipment of her coworkers is properly maintained. Monique has assisted in making painting and drawing facilities safer for students and constantly provides suggestions for preventative measures. Monique is deeply concerned about the safety of the entire Concordia community and we all benefit from her care.

Nicole Yu

Nicole has designed Guidelines for Field Safety that improve the safety and inclusivity of fieldwork for all graduate and undergraduate students in the Department of Biology. To do this, she conducted a survey within department that asked students about their fieldwork experiences and what safety measures they or their principal investigators undertook before attending to their work. Nicole has shown significant leadership in developing these guidelines and is having subsequent discussions within the department to minimize other students’ exposure to unsafe experiences in the field. She is doing all of this work for the wellbeing of students working out in the field, all while working of her own PhD.

Gary Cherkas

Gary has been overseeing the Fine Arts woodshop in the Visual Arts (VA) Building for decades. Over the years, he has developed an expertise in how to manage students safely and effectively in the shop. Gary's passion lies in how to optimize the shop to make it as safe and efficient as possible. Even outside of work hours, Gary is constantly discussing safety, including how to manage a multitude of different materials, techniques, and students. If ever there are safety concerns in the shop, people turn to Gary for guidance.

  • Guy Gosselin is the Planning & Operation Facilities Manager, Gina Cody School of Engineering (GCS). Guy continually plans, improves, and enhances the engineering facilities used and moving resources around to allow the furthering of the research goals of all the departments in GCS. He prioritizes safety in a pre-emptive manner and includes Environmental Health & Safety (EHS) and GCS safety technician early in the workflow.
  • Nathan McDonald Fortier is an Engineering student who serves as the Chief Safety Officer of Space Concordia's Rocketry Division. Nathan runs the Rocketry's Division training program and ensures every member is trained. The Rocketry Division has developed a sophisticated internal system to track training and ensure the safety of its members and everyone involved in the project. Nathan’s commitment, guidance, and hard work keeps everyone safe.
  • Lauren Farley is the Director of Residence Life. Lauren led her team in establishing very clear safety procedures and protocols for the health and safety return of the students in residence and their successful reopening. The residences would not have been able to remain open during the pandemic without the due diligence demonstrated by Lauren.
  • Ehab Francis Shehata is a member of the Facilities Management team and has demonstrated initiative, leadership, and creativity while working on the University’s elevator project and implemented safety guards on the mechanical equipment.Ehab has shown initiative by successfully completing a long list of corrective actions within a short timeline and under budget. In collaborating with CNESST inspectors, a cost effective solution was established to improving safety when working on the elevators with a customizable guardrail. This project has greatly improved the safety for elevator technicians and reduced the risk by limiting access to the trades’ personnel to these areas.
  • Kathleen McAleese a department assistant in the Department of Design & Computations Arts, has received certification as a fire monitor, Concordia Emergency Response Team (CERT) training, and is CPR/First Aid certified. In addition to these certifications, Kathleen tends to the needs of faculty, staff and students in the Department. Kathleen has once leaped to the aid of the Department Chair when they fainted in the administrative area and is always able to help and direct distressed students to the appropriate Concordia services.Kathleen is a very compassionate an indispensable individual who looks out for the interests of all faculty, staff, and students.“Ever since I joined the CERT (Concordia Emergency Response Team), I realized that ‘being safe’ is a full time gig. I am so proud of being an employee of Concordia University and I wanted to help others in some small way, so when I had the opportunity to join, I took this role very seriously. It has given me great pride in working with a team of amazing people who are charged with keeping our faculty, staff and students safe and ensuring that they can work and learn in an environment that makes them feel secure and protected”.
  • Sonia Ruiz a technical officer for the Department of Biology has ensured a safe work environment in classrooms, research labs and facilities.Sonia oversees the implementation of safe laboratory and research practices across a large academic unit, and has been a member of various safety committees at the university. Sonia has played an important role in creating an environment where trainees learn how to keep themselves and others safe as well as sharing information on safety practices that has improved the overall safe working environment of the unit and the university. Sonia’s commitment, knowledge and eagerness to assist others when it comes to safety has been beneficial to the greater academic and research community.
  • Alison Rowley passion for safety is not a new development. In high school, she was the first woman to complete a part time EMT program, while completing full time studies, participating in varsity sports, and achieving a black belt in Taekwondo.Here at Concordia, Alison has continued to challenge herself, organizing a Med Club in her residence at the Grey Nuns building, and working closely with campus security to train 18 residents in emergency procedures and response, First Aid and CPR, and fire prevention and extinguisher techniques. Moving forward, Alison lwill continuing her work with the Concordia Emergency Response Team (CERT), writing the MCAT. 
  • Andy Shin-Pong has worked at Concordia University for over 2 years now and brings with him strong knowledge in manufacturing and machining, as well as, expertise in many construction r elated fields. One of his many professional goals is to guarantee student success, while ensuring that their studies and research are carried out through safe and effective methods. One of his biggest accomplishments was leading the Building, Civil & Environmental Engineering laboratory air quality improvement project in 2017 where he collaborated closely with Concordia’s Environmental Health and Safety team and multiple members of Facilities Management. He supported the daily needs of this large scale project and ensured that targets were met even if it meant working under tight constraints and physically challenging conditions. Always ready to take on the next challenge with fresh and new ideas and putting safety practices at the top of his priority list, Andy has proven himself to be a great resource and an added value to the BCEE family.
  • Jules Beauchamp-Desbiens A recent graduate from Concordia University in Design, Jules Beauchamp-Desbiens is currently working both as a Digital-Fabrication La b Technician and as a freelance industrial designer.Jules' attention to detail and care for health and safety was exemplary during the construction of the Solar Decathlon house at Loyola Campus in 2017. During the construction of the Solar-Decathlon house, Jules actively promoted safety on the site, by both leading by example and being an advocate to his colleagues. His was equally committed on ensuring the safety of the site for the many visitors. During the 6-month construction period, there were no injuries.
  • Lock-Out-Tag-Out (LOTO) Working Group Crée en avril 2017, ce groupe se compose de 20 employés de différents métiers et niveaux hiérarchiques du service de gestion opérationnelle de l’université Concordia. Sa mission principale est de permettre l’intégration de la nouvelle réglementation en matière de maîtrise des énergies dangereuses et ainsi d’améliorer la sécurité des travailleurs ayant à intervenir dans les zones dangereuses des équipements. Pour ce faire, ils produisent les procédures de cadenassage pour l’ensemble des équipements (électriques, plomberies et mécaniques) et participent au choix et à la répartition des équipements de sécurité. La grande implication des membres de cette équipe ont permis d’avancer plus rapidement que dans d’autres organisation.Leur compréhension et leur conviction de l’importance de cette réglementation en matière de sécurité alliées à leurs connaissances techniques ont également favorisé l’utilisation pratique des mesures de sécurité par leurs collègues de travail.
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