University of Guelph students win safety engineering award

Students designed tool to reduce musculoskeletal disorders

University of Guelph students win safety engineering award
Ron Kelusky, Ontario's chief prevention officer, presents the James Ham Safe Design Award to Elise Huet and Hannah Arthurs, engineering students at the University of Guelph along with Anthony Pasteris, president, Minerva Canada Safety Management Education.

A team of students from the University of Guelph in Ontario took home the top prize in the James Ham Safe Design Award competition. Hannah Arthurs, Elise Huet, Jessie Leith and Erika Ziraldo, designed a risk assessment tool and device (ErgoLift) to enable automated monitoring of lifting activities and help prevent low back injuries and work related musculoskeletal disorders. They were awarded with $3,500.


Engineering undergraduate students at the University of Alberta took second prize for their design that proposed an ion exchange resin to recover trace concentrations of metals and reduce personnel exposure to hydrogen sulphide. The team consisted of Mingzhi Zheng, Hylann Ma, Wingshan Tam, Wejun Xia, Daniel Tran and Zachary Napora. They received a prize of $1,500.


Lynn Brownell, CEO of the Workplace Safety & Prevention Services together with Ron Kelusky, Ontario’s chief prevention officer and Minerva Canada president and CEO Tony Pasteris presented the awards at the Partners in Prevention Conference in Mississauga, Ont. on May 2.


The annual award challenges Canadian university engineering students and college students in technology programs to make an original contribution toward integrating safety into engineering design.


The award honours James Milton Ham whose Royal Commission Report on Health and Safety led to the creation of Ontario’s Occupational Health and Safety Act in 1979 and to the adoption of the internal responsibility system in Ontario workplaces.