Health, Safety and Environment Symposium

The Health, Safety and Environment Symposium is a series of workshops, presentations, and facilitated discussions held throughout November and December 2022. 

Online sessions are scheduled for Tuesdays and Thursdays throughout November from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m.

NEW for 2022: The symposium will conclude with an in-person event on Thursday, December 1 in The Maple Leaf Room (Lister Centre).

Who should attend?

This event is intended for University of Alberta staff and students in a safety leadership role, including supervisors, senior administrators, and members of institutional health, safety and environment (HSE) committees

How do I sign up? 

  1. Review the session summaries below and select those you'd like to attend. 
  2. Use the online form to register.

You will receive calendar invitations based on the sessions you select. Registration for online sessions will remain open until the day before each session or until each session is full. Registration for the December 1 event closes Wednesday, November 23.

Register to Attend

Missed a session?

Presentations and recordings are available post-session here


Tuesday, November 1 - Incident Retrospective: Lessons Learned in 2021/22

Date/Time: Tuesday, November 1 (10 a.m. to 11 a.m.)


  • Philip Stack - Director, HSE
  • Andrew Cooper - Manager, Regulatory & Consulting Services, HRHSE

Session Description:

In 2021-22, the university experienced a significant number of serious reportable and near-miss incidents, several of which could have resulted in fatalities. While it is alarming that these incidents continue to occur, it could be truly tragic if we don’t learn from them.  

At this session you will be provided an overview of some of the incidents that occurred in 2021-22 and their root causes. Most importantly we will focus on corrective actions so that we can prevent similar incidents in the future.


  • Learn about the number and type of serious reportable incidents the university is experiencing.
  • Understand their root causes and what corrective actions were taken.
  • Assess whether similar corrective actions may be required in your workplace.
Thursday, November 3 - Spinning Wheels on Shifting Sands: Environmental Change, Exhaustion and Adaptation

Date/Time: Thursday, November 3 (10 a.m. to 11 a.m.)


  • Kathleen (Kat) Danser - Organizational Development Consultant, HRHSE

Session Description:

There is a common notion that there is no such thing as burnout but anyone who has experienced it knows that is simply not true. Burnout happens when the proverbial gas tank has run on empty for too long. Unlike vehicles that stop without fuel in the tank, human beings keep running…on ‘exhaust’ion. This sense of depletion is unique to each individual and has become commonplace in the new ways we are expected to work. 

This hour long session creates a safe, virtual, environment where participants can define the cause and effect of dramatic environmental changes on their sense of well-being. Ultimately, participants will learn to put more personal energy into areas of their lives in which they have sole control. 


  • Define your professional self at its highest and best.
  • Determine the effects of rapid and prolonged change and its role in clinical exhaustion.
  • Identify, through personal reflection, the significant events that contributed to your own feelings of depletion and burnout.
  • Create a short-term plan to re-establish a sense of purpose and self-control.
Tuesday, November 8 - Bringing Safety Home

Date/Time: Tuesday, November 8 (10 a.m. to 11 a.m.)


  • Greg Hodgson - Occupational Hygienist, HRHSE

Session Description: 

Health and safety practices are not just for work; they can be applied to all aspects of life. This session will explore two considerations regarding safety and your personal life. First, how would a safety incident at work affect you? And second, how would a safety incident in your personal life affect you? With these two questions in mind, we will discuss how changing your mindset about safety can have a positive impact both at work and at home. This will include various examples of health and safety considerations you may come across in your personal life and how the learnings regarding safety from work can be applied.


  • Understand the importance of health and safety practices both at work and at home.
  • Understand how a health and safety mindset can be used in day-to-day work and personal activities.
Tuesday, November 15 - Leading with Care: Creating a Psychologically Safe Workplace

Date/Time: Tuesday, November 15 (10 a.m. to 11 a.m.)


  • Ravi Narine - Director, HR Service Partnerships, HRHSE


Building a psychologically safe workplace requires everyone’s involvement; however, the responsibility and accountability to do so rests with leadership. Creating and fostering a physically and psychologically safe environment starts with care, both for yourself and for your team, so that the door is opened for vulnerability, introspection, learning, and growth.


  • Understand what is meant by psychological safety.
  • Recognize the value of conflict as an opportunity for growth.
  • Understand how your behaviour as a leader contributes to psychological safety.
  • Understand how care, compassion, trust and candour contribute to a psychologically safe environment.
Thursday, November 17 - Trends and Tips: Violence and Harassment Prevention (panel)

Date/Time: Thursday, November 17 (10 a.m. to 11 a.m.)


  • Donnell Willis - Advisor, Office of Safe Disclosure and Human Rights, Provost & Vice-President Academic - Safe Disclosure & Human Rights
  • Deb Eerkes - Sexual Violence Response Coordinator, Provost & Vice-President Academic
  • Mike Bartkus - Protective Services Manager (Inspector), Vice-President Facilities & Operations - University of Alberta Protective Services


There has been a flurry of activity at the university to create the respectful, inclusive and engaging environment that we all crave in our working interactions. This panel discussion will bring together three community leaders each offering a different perspective on workplace violence and harassment prevention activities, campus trends, and tips for fostering a safe and supportive workplace.


  • Understand the role of three key resource/support units for violence and harassment prevention.
  • Identify violence and harassment prevention activities and trends on campus.
  • Create a personal action plan to foster a supportive and respectful working environment.
Tuesday, November 22 - Safety Lessons Learned from F&O's Journey of Care

Date/Time: Tuesday, November 22 (10 a.m. to 11 a.m.)


  • James Allen, Associate Vice President, Asset Management and Operations, Vice-President Facilities and Operations


Facilities and Operations has been on an amazing journey of safety transformation for the last few years and is an active change leader as we build our Culture of Care at the U of A. Hear from one of F&O’s senior leaders about their journey of care as they continue to foster safe work, learning, and research spaces at the university. Successes, challenges, lessons learned, and helpful information about how they can partner with academic units to enhance safe spaces will be highlighted.


  • Learn of F&O’s experiences during their safety transformation
  • Identify challenges and success strategies impacting your own Culture of Care transformation.
  • Recognize where F&O intersects with your plans to improve the safety of your workspace.
Thursday, November 24 - Beyond the Lab: Safety Considerations in Other Settings (panel)

Date/Time: Thursday, November 24 (10 a.m. to 11 a.m.)


  • Tim Klassen - Space Planning and Management Librarian, Library and Museums - Facilities
  • Julie McClelland - Faculty General Manager, Faculty of Law
  • Victoria Pham - Facilities and Capital Lead, Faculty of Arts - Deans Office

Session Description:

Think of “safety” at the U of A and you might think of laboratories, experiments and dangerous equipment. But safety-related incidents are reported all across the university, in offices, libraries, workshops and beyond. What’s happening in these spaces, are there common principles, and how can we learn from these incidents to make the university a safer place to work and study?

Join us for some safety storytelling and a chance to learn from and engage with other units exploring safety challenges and solutions at the U of A.


  • Hear about past incidents and lessons learned.
  • Recognize common workplace hazards and know how to report an incident.
  • Learn from others who have had similar experiences and share your own insight.
  • Discover what HSE resources are available to help control workplace hazards.
Tuesday, November 29 - Thanks But No Thanks: The Hazards and Risks of Gifts, Donations, and Stuff Left Behind

Date/Time: Tuesday, November 29 (10 a.m. to 11 a.m.)


  • Lois Dvorsky - Manager, Environment & Support Services, HRHSE
  • Michelle Rooker - Manager, Inspections & Technical Services, HRHSE

Session Description:

The University of Alberta often receives donations of land, buildings and commodities from members of the community. Similarly, researchers often share materials and chemicals with colleagues, especially upon retirement. These "gifts" may provide valuable opportunities for research; however, there are important considerations from an environmental and risk perspective. We will discuss the unintended consequences that can arise from these donations and transfers.


  • Recognize potential long time risks and costs associated with gifts and donations. 
  • Understand who to consult when gifts and donations are offered to the university.
Thursday, December 1 - A Culture of Care: Enabling Safety Leadership in Everyone

Date/Time: Thursday, December 1 (9 a.m. to noon)

Location: Maple Leaf Room, Lister Centre

An in-person opportunity to celebrate health, safety and environment accomplishments and to look ahead to new challenges. The morning will include:

  • Keynote address by Gord Winkel, Chair and Industrial Professor for the David and Joan Lynch School of Engineering Safety and Risk Management
  • Launch of an institution-wide safety initiative
  • Presentation of the annual Health, Safety, and Environment Committee Award

Questions? Contact