Safety Day 2023 — A great success!


Safety Day 2023 was a huge success with the largest attendance than ever before — 276 people!


On October 3, Safety & Risk Services brought together all of UBC’s Joint Occupational Health & Safety Committee (JOHSC) and Local Safety Team (LST) members for an opportunity to connect with each other and engage in a full day of learning. It is also a day to celebrate those who have made safety not just a priority, but a way of life on our campus.

The day kicked off with opening remarks from Deborah Buszard, Interim President & Vice-Chancellor, followed by Frank Laezza, Vice-President of Finance & Operations (VPFO). The keynote speaker, Michelle Ray was invited to speak at the event and she spoke on the topic of “Safety Leadership, it starts with me”, and emphasized the importance of leadership in terms of character, not position or title. Subsequent speakers also equipped the participants with tangible takeaways.

Dr. Ainsley Carry, Vice-President Students provided further words of gratitude and reinforced everyone’s hard work at the end of the day in addition to handing out the Safety Achievement Award with Rae Ann Aldridge to two Joint Occupational Health & Safety Committees and two Local Safety Teams.

The event also included many opportunities for networking and visiting various information booths to learn more about our vendors and partners, and the services they provide. This included Safety & Risk Services’ Campus Security and Emergency Management teams, as well as our HR teams and our community partners (WorkSafeBC and RCMP).

We want to thank everyone that participated in the event and a heartfelt gratitude to all the JOHSCs and LSTs for your continuous dedication in ensuring the safety of our university community.


View more event photos here.


Safety Achievement Award

The recipients of this year’s Safety Achievement Award goes to Local Safety Teams that have taken on enormous initiatives to help enhance the safety of their department and communities.


The first Safety Achievement Award was awarded to the Department of Chemistry Local Safety Team, who embarked on a substantial safety enhancement initiative. Motivated by the 2011 Christchurch earthquake, they recommended a 2-point seismic upgrade for large sized liquid nitrogen dewars, chemical fridges, tall equipment, and compressed gas cylinders. Over 175 upgrades have already been completed and a plan for completion of the remaining upgrades will be complete through working with the Departmental Technical Staff and UBC Facilities. They are also very proactive in updating lab inspection forms and participate in bi-annual lab safety inspections to catch any new equipment that may benefit the community. The Department of Chemistry Local Safety Team demonstrates how safety team members, technical personnel, and trades staff are able to work together to provide a safe and secure campus community.

The second award was awarded to the UBC Learning Exchange Local Safety Team, operating from Downtown Vancouver Eastside. This team helps to provide free educational programs for community members, diverse learning opportunities for students, and support for community-based research and knowledge exchange. They have implemented enhanced training to prevent violent encounters at work, implemented standard naloxone administration training, and developed personalized wellness and self-care plans to support front-line staff after dealing with challenging and traumatic situations. Overall, this safety team is extremely proactive and a leader within their area! Thank you and congratulations UBC Learning Exchange Local Safety Team.



JOHSC Safety Achievement Award

The JOHSC Safety Achievement Award goes to a Joint Occupational Health and Safety committee that has carried out a multitude of initiatives this past year.


The first recipient of the JOHSC Safety Achievement Award was awarded to the Building Operations Trades Joint Occupational Health & Safety Committee for their outstanding initiatives in the past year. They identified the need for formal procedures for hot works and lab entry for non-lab personnel by forming subcommittees to develop safe work procedures and addressed the development of proper training. Upon reviewing incident reports and trends, this JOHSC made recommendations for rooftop slip prevention equipment and installed rubber mats which received positive feedback from staff. Lastly, they also helped to facilitate conversations around providing workers with personalized hearing protection devices, which will highly improve the working conditions of those exposed to noise in their day-to-day work.

The next JOHSC Safety Achievement Awards was awarded to Custodial Services Joint Occupational Health & Safety Committee. This year, they revised inspection schedules to increase monthly inspections from 250 to approximately 625 spaces. Their concerns for high walled dumpsters on campus and the ergonomic challenges it presents led to a discussion of using lower front walls and prop bars for staff, which will start piloting with five locations on the Vancouver Point Grey campus. This will then help decrease the risk of injuries when opening and closing the garbage and cardboard dumpsters for those operating it. Additionally, the committee enhanced education for health and safety topics through weekly crew talks, posting infographics, and other communication methods to show support for their staff and community.