Culture of Care Safety Summit

People at safety symposium

Changing the Mindset

On January 24, 2024, the university held the 2024 Culture of Care Safety Summit, hosted by Human Resources, Health, Safety and Environment. Nearly 200 attendees were on-hand to participate in the event that featured ten educational safety sessions related to the theme of “Changing the Mindset.”

Changing the Mindset means education, growth, effort and the belief that we are the ones who can and will make that happen. That is how U of A community members will continue to build a Culture of Care and a university committed to the physical, cultural and psychological safety and well-being of our campuses and workplaces.

It is one element of how we will build – and are building – a Culture of Care. HRHSE is already thinking about next year’s event. We’ll see you there!

Read a recap of the 2023 Safety Summit.

HSE Committee Award

Launched in 2018, the Health, Safety and Environment Committee Award is given each year to recognize a group of people – faculty, staff and students – that has taken extraordinary measures to change how their faculty or portfolio thinks about safety.

The 2023 HSE Committee award was presented jointly to the Faculty of Engineering and also to Library and Museums. Both of these nominees made considerable efforts to advance initiatives from the Culture of Care safety action plan within their unit. With such efforts from both units to shift their overall mindset towards safety in their faculty or portfolio, a double winner is well-deserved!

2024 Safety Summit Program overview


Changing the Safety Mindset through Transformational Leadership (Eldeen Pozniak)

The university’s strategic plan positions us as world shapers who innovate and transform human experience and understanding. To reap the rewards of this great promise we need to ensure that our people are physically, psychologically and culturally safe.

The Culture of Care is our roadmap on this journey as we strive to transform our mindset to create a consistent, growing culture where everyone owns safety and looks out for others.

Eldeen Pozniak, respected Canadian management consultant, safety leader and speaker, will share her knowledge and wisdom crafted over decades of engaging with organizations and individuals around the world. She will focus on how we think, feel and talk about safety can be leveraged to transform our actions and improve our safety culture.

Becoming Safety Champions (Gord Winkel)
A Safety Champion is not a position or job description — it’s someone who owns their safety performance and that of others. But what does this mean in terms of behaviours and actions, and how can we, as safety leaders at the U of A,  encourage and enable others to make the small, incremental changes that together shift the mindset across an entire institution?

Concurrent sessions


WeCare: Psychological Safety in Action

Kathleen Danser, Consultant, Organizational Development, HRHSE
Sarah Flower, Senior Consultant, Talent Management, HRHSE


A generation ago the prevailing workplace wisdom was to keep the person separate from the professional; like that was even possible!

Thankfully we are inching our way from that perspective toward a new way of learning how to care about ourselves and our colleagues. How do we build caring relationships at work while maintaining professional boundaries? This requires a specialized skill set that honours the intersections of psychological well-being, mental health, and safety. 

This session introduces a hands-on set of tools that engages our new “Continuum of Psychological Well-being” with role-specific tip sheets so that you feel empowered to care about yourself and others effectively.

Creative Approaches to Safety and Wellness

Syed Biyabani, Senior Safety & Risk Management Analyst, Faculty of Engineering
Dr. Melanie Lewis, Chief Wellness Officer and Professor, Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry
Tracey Giroux, Peace Officer - Community Assistance  Team, UAPS


The Culture of Care Safety Action Plan reminds us that safety is a shared responsibility and challenges everyone to take on a safety champion role in their work, research or learning environment.

How can we leverage the often limited resources in our unit to ensure that safety and wellness is prioritized, and what are the rewards and challenges along the way?

Researching Safety: Innovations & Insights from U of A Researchers

Dr. Patricia Dolez, Faculty of Agricultural, Life and Environmental Sciences
Dr. Quentin Durand-Moreau, Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry
Dr. Muhammad Zubair, Faculty of Agricultural, Life and Environmental Sciences


The Culture of Care Safety Action Plan challenges us to make safety central to our work and learning at the U of A, but what research is already underway at the U of A to advance occupational & environmental health and safety at the university and beyond? Hear from three researchers who are tackling safety challenges, and find out how the work they are doing is “changing the mindset” towards health, safety and the environment.

It's Not My Job" and Other Myths: Safety as a Shared Responsibility

Philip Stack, Director, Health, Safety and Environment
Greg Hodgson, Occupational Hygienist, Health, Safety and Environment


Coming soon


The Young and the Reckless: Managing the safety of new workers as well as those who "just don't care"

Eldeen Pozniak, International Management Consultant - Occupational Health & Safety


At the U of A we are a training ground for new researchers and other workers. We have many long-time employees who have established many healthy habits and in some cases cling to the safety habits of the past.

The Culture of Care challenges us to broaden our mindset to safeguard the physical, psychological and cultural well-being of our people.

Join Eldeen Pozniak as she explores the challenges and opportunities that accompany "The Young and the Reckless" in a work setting and offers strategies to help ensure that everyone goes home safely each day.

Safety, Sustainably!

Behn Jang, Program Team Lead, EMSO, VP F&O - Energy & Climate Action
Dr. Greg King, Augustana - Sciences
Dr. Kseniya Revunova, HSE Safety Advisor, Health, Safety and Environment


A look at the intersection between safety & sustainability, how it comes together in different ways at the U of A, and the associated challenges and opportunities.

Crisis Management at the U of A

Adam Conway, Director of Emergency Management, VP F&O


Coming soon

Creating and Fostering a Respectful Workplace

Dr. Carrie Smith, Vice-Provost (Equity, Diversity & Inclusion)
Dr. Evelyn Hamdon, Senior Advisor, Equity & Human Rights, Provost & VP Academic


Many of us have a greater understanding of physical safety and the risks to life, limb and health associated with exposure to these hazards. Psychological and cultural safety are new concepts that have only been recognized in the Alberta Occupational Health and Safety Act since 2018.

The Culture of Care brings the three safeties together; physical, psychological and cultural, in a series of important initiatives over the next three years. It links to the Braiding the Past Present and Future: U of A’s Indigenous and the Equity, Diversity and Inclusivity (EDI) strategic plans. 

In this session, you will hear from Carrie Smith and Evelyn Hamdon from the Office of the Provost, who lead our cultural safety initiatives, about how we can leverage the activities and resources in these plans to create and foster the respectful work environment that we all desire.