Have You Met… Abraham Afese Fomboh?

Have you met Abraham, Health and Safety Coordinator in the Faculty of Arts — Deans Office? Spend the next few minutes getting to know him…

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Have you met Abraham, Health and Safety Coordinator in the Faculty of Arts — Deans Office? Spend the next few minutes getting to know him a little better.

The Fine Arts Building. That’s where I studied and now where I work. On my first day here as staff, everyone here was great — they accepted me as part of the team.

Tablet. I prefer it because it offers me the tools I need to do my job. I don’t even carry a notepad with me.

My smile. It’s the smile my family gives me when I’m home, and I bring it to work. It inspires me to have a smile in my work space and it makes every day a great day.

Communication. Information is key to me in every aspect of my life, personally and professionally.

Berlin. I’ve spent some time there; it’s a great city. The transport network there amazes me. I didn’t speak the language while I was there, but I was able to communicate. The people in the city were very receptive.

Apart from my family, it would be Bill Clinton. His level of personality makes me see how politicians and leaders could handle things differently. Having dinner with that type of person would be inspiring.

I would like to do some form of community social work. I like to do things that impact the lives of people a lot. So I’d like to switch jobs with someone that would let me make an impact, on either a macro or micro level.

To me it means actually making people see their own potential, and helping them to capitalize on that potential, irrespective of background.

Poverty. It’s a complex situation. People have to be able to live a decent life, but when some don’t have the means it challenges our basic tenets as human beings. Why should I get three meals a day while this other person gets none? Why should I get a comfortable living space while this other person is homeless? If I could solve anything, I would solve poverty.

Collaboration — When it comes to collaboration, everyone that I work with is willing to step in and do what is expected of the program I run. Everyone is able to work together as a team to meet the goals of the program.

Acceptance — They accept you for who you are and what you are able to offer as part of the team without being judgmental. Everyone that I’ve come across within every area in this campus is accepting.

Humility — In some other environments people don’t want to bring themselves down to work with certain people because of their lower-level status. But here, everyone is so willing to humble themselves to work with others as a team regardless of their professional rank.

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Abraham Afese Fomboh is the Health and Safety Coordinator with the Faculty of Arts. He has more than 6 years of experience working in various safety roles, including in the Oil and Gas industry. For the past 12 months he has worked with relevant stakeholders in the faculty to ensure that a structured health and safety program in line with OHS Legislation and the University of Alberta EHS expectations is in place. His focus is to support the building of a safety culture in the faculty that promotes and maintains the physical, psychological and social well-being of staff and students by ensuring hazards/risks are clearly understood and managed to prevent injuries, illness, and damage to the environment and to property. Sustained engagement in and ownership of safety initiatives by all is at the core of the faculty’s health and safety mission that he is championing.

He holds a Certificate in Occupational Health and Safety from the Faculty of Extension, University of Alberta. He also holds an International Master of Science in Rural Development degree from Ghent University Belgium and a Bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Economics and Rural Sociology.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.