Passion for the profession

Eldeen Pozniak aims to raise the bar for the OHS practice

When Eldeen Pozniak started out in the occupational health and safety profession nearly three decades ago, the amount of information and education in the field was severely limited. She saw an opportunity and took it upon herself to work with the University of Saskatchewan and the University of Alberta to develop and deliver in-classroom courses.

Now, Eldeen acts in the capacity of OHS Business and Academic Development for the University of Fredericton’s (UFred) online School of Occupational Health and Safety (SOHS), and runs her own business, Pozniak Safety Associates, which offers consulting, training, management services, and more.

Eldeen spends much of her time travelling the world giving keynote speeches and presentations on the importance of education for occupational health and safety professionals and practitioners, in addition to extolling the virtues of UFred’s SOHS.

UFred’s fully-online SOHS develops health and safety leadership skills, adding value to students’ organizations in real-time. It aims to enhance opportunities for career advancement and increase options for career pursuits through its high-quality, applied-practices programs in specialized managerial, professional, technical, and service areas. Highly-regarded experts in their fields facilitate the courses.

“One of the things I love about working with UFred is that I can use my 25-plus years of field experience within the OHS profession – built upon my passion for health and safety – to meet my vision or objective, which is to ensure that moms and dads – and sons and daughters, husbands and wives, brothers and sisters – go home at the end of the day.”

Safety is increasingly becoming recognized as an essential factor in an organization’s overall health. Credible safety advisors can provide guidance on important issues like safety program design, operational risk management, incident investigation and analysis, environmental management, and more. Without formal credentials, safety professionals can find themselves at a distinct disadvantage.

In the last year, Eldeen has been to Australia, New Zealand, Hawaii, and all up and down the U.S. and Canada delivering the message of the importance of physically and psychologically safe and healthy workplaces and the advantages of becoming a certified health and safety professional.

To Eldeen, making these global connections, and building out UFred’s educational programming and curriculum as a result, is part of leaving a legacy of her experiences and knowledge. She’s passionate about what she does and wants to transfer the information and global application of the OHS profession to the next generation.

“People don’t have to not know. People don’t have to search for information on how to practice our craft well. Our profession is so vast in terms of information and applicability, and my vision is to put it into an area that can be easily accessed and understood, and apply it. And that becomes an underpinning to how they practice in the future.”

Trevor Pothier, Vice President of Advancement at UFred, says the university is very fortunate to work with someone like Eldeen, who has a deep understanding of the industries needs and gaps in education.

Eldeen’s commitment to OHS education and her passion for the practice is reflected in UFred’s programs and resonates well with our students,” said Pothier, noting that “her dedication to providing quality education has been instrumental in UFred developing OHS courses that are practical and easily accessible.

UFred’s SOHS programs are built to seamlessly integrate into the lives of students who are already gainfully employed full-time and want to accelerate their careers, and to those who are just starting. The fully-online offerings include:

Eldeen believes UFred offers a direct path to achieving the goal of fostering safer, healthier workplaces for everyone. She is determined to raise the bar and see safety recognized as a profession; not just in Canada, but all around the world.

I always had the drive to seek knowledge, to know my limitations of practice and to expand. If I can find a way to help other professionals do that and do it easier, that’s what I want to do.