Developing world-class safety at CSSE

The theme of this year’s Canadian Society of Safety Engineering (CSSE)’s professional development conference in Montreal is “Developing world-class safety.”

The theme was chosen to reflect the global reach of occupational health and safety professionals. While Canada is getting very large, the world is getting smaller and smaller, said Andrew Cooper, president of CSSE.
“Many occupational health and safety professionals and practitioners are working in organizations impacted by customers in an outside country or are in multinationals or are a daughter company of an American parent.”

A lot of CSSE members work globally and are called upon for their expertise, said Wayne Glover, executive director of CSSE.

“In the Middle East, Southeast Asia, they look to Canadian consultants, practitioners to come and work with them there,” he said.

And it goes both ways — a lot of international health and safety professionals and associations collaborate with the CSSE and Canadian OHS practitioners, said Jim Hopkins, CSSE vice-president and treasurer.

“In Canada, safety is important to all of us, but the fact is we don’t have all the answers so we work with these other organizations from around the planet and collectively we’re helping to define and promote the safety profession."

There was a strong global presence of health and safety professionals at the conference this year. Members from the International Network of Safety and Health Practitioner Organisations (INSHPO) joined the CSSE conference as part of their annual business meeting and were also delegates and presenters. Members from the the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) in the United Kingdom were in attendance, along with some members of the American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) — including its president Kathy Seabrook who was also a keynote speaker.

“It’s about Canada going to the world, Canada being respected in the world of occupational health and safety, as well as the world coming to Canada,” said Cooper.