A Seat at the Table: Enabling OHS Professionals to Speak the Right Language

Leading Edge Alumni Newsletter

An avid marathon runner, artisan carver, and outdoorsman, Ken has embraced all aspects of community life. Working with the Corporation of the County of Northumberland for almost 31 years, he sought to align professionally with his employer’s mission, which is “to be a best practices leader of County government and a collaborative partner with our member municipalities and community partners.”

“My ultimate goal is to push health and safety forward to align with [our] Corporate Mission; to have others view us as best practice leader in health and safety.”

Ken began to consider his options for professional OHS development, and through the Canadian Society of Safety Engineers (CSSE) he had several conversations with UFred. He was confident “that the UFred course was totally flexible in accommodating [his] personal/professional schedule when completing the courses”, which UFred compliments with its 100% online course delivery.

“I was looking for a course that did not require driving to a formal class or dedicated specific times of webinars.”

While Ken’s workplace role continued to develop, he found he was dealing with the aspects of 8 different departments. He therefore chose to complete the Certificate in Health, Safety, and Environmental Processes (CHSEP) at UFred due to its broad scope over most OHS disciplines:

“When taking each module of each course, I compared the content with what my employer had in place and what was lacking”, Ken recounts, going on to note that “the Diligence Course, specifically the Strategic Planning Module, was the significant ‘a-ha’ moment for my understanding how to offer a future direction for health and safety to my employer.”

Realizing that “the first step [was] to provide my employer with a Health and Safety Strategic Plan”, Ken went on to complete the Guided Practicum; a contribution now used as a Best Practices in his community.

The CHSEP provided me with the perfect focus to guide direction to move health and safety forward with my employer. After completing the course, the plan was approved by JHSC members, Corporate Management Committee, and received final corporate approval on October 18, 2017 at the Northumberland County Council Meeting. My Guided Practicum will be used for many years.

As is evident in his active personal life in Coburg, Ontario, Ken remains “very much energized in health and safety with [his] employment since taking the course”, and feels he “cannot do enough to keep pushing forward.” He is considering the Diploma in Safety, Health, and Environmental Management (SHEM) based on the accessibility and experience he had while enroled at UFred, as he goes on to relate:

“UFred has been a totally awesome experience. The course was very flexible. I dislike wasting time. I could read material in hotels when travelling to marathons, travelling when commuting, and even while waiting in the lineup at the car wash.”