How an ergonomics associate became fast moving rising star
In the non-stop world of Canada Post, where mail carriers navigate complex routes, heavy bags, and a myriad of delivery challenges, Gabriella Risi is dedicated to ensuring the health and safety of postal workers, specifically focused on how they move.
A Passion for Ergonomics
Risi's introduction to the world of ergonomics began during her academic pursuits as a kinesiologist. Upon graduating in 2022, she was presented with an enticing opportunity at Canada Post. "They offered me a summer contract to try the job full-time," Risi says. "I was super supported by the rest of the team, and I was learning alongside other students as well."
Her passion for ergonomics was a natural fit due to er kinesiology background, which delved into body mechanics and health promotion. Gabriella's fascination with how individuals move and interact with their environments made her transition to ergonomics a logical choice.
Addressing Ergonomic Challenges
Ergonomics at Canada Post is a crucial facet of employee well-being. Mail carriers face unique physical demands, from carrying heavy bags to maneuvering in and out of vehicles, not to mention the occasional interaction with dogs. Risi, along with her team, tackles the ever-evolving challenges that come with this fast-paced work environment.
"The main challenge is adapting our approach to the constant changes in equipment, policies, and products. I have to be creative, finding new ways to ensure employee health and safety." In essence, she serves as an ergonomics problem solver, customizing solutions to fit individual needs.
Another significant challenge Risi faces is changing the behavior of experienced workers. She acknowledges that being a younger professional can make this task even more demanding. "It can be a bit rough, and they can be skeptical," she admits. However, her approach involves planting seeds of reflection, encouraging employees to think about the impact of their movements on their health and safety.
She engages with employees by asking questions, seeking to understand their perspectives, and showing that she is there to support their safety. "I really want them to be involved in the process," Gabriella emphasizes.
Recognizing a Rising Star
Risi’s dedication and innovative approach have not gone unnoticed. She has been nominated as a Rising Star at Canada’s Safest Employers Awards, a recognition she modestly attributes to her continuous efforts to improve processes. "I've been trying to find new ways and think out of the box to approach this situation," explains Risi. She believes that her willingness to receive and act on feedback played a significant role in her nomination.
When asked about her career ambitions, Risi hopes to remain within Canada Post, particularly in roles related to ergonomics and education. "I really like the educational role," she says. "I assess what prior knowledge employees have and how I can bring more knowledge to ensure their safety and health." In the coming years, she hopes to transition into the Learning and Development department, leveraging her ergonomics background to enhance employee training and mentorship programs.
Risi's journey at Canada Post serves as an inspiring testament to the power of passion, creativity, and dedication in promoting workplace health and safety. As a rising star in the field of ergonomics, her impact on the well-being of postal workers is poised to grow.