Saskatchewan Safety Research Symposium

Saskatchewan Safety Research Symposium

Are you interested in safety research in Saskatchewan?

Join us to discuss the challenges to safety in Saskatchewan and how industry, organizations and researchers can work together to develop solutions.

Event: Saskatchewan Safety Research Symposium
Connecting for Collaboration
Date: Thursday, May 3, 2018
Time: 9 a.m. - 3 p.m.

Corner Cafe, room 133.1
Saskatchewan Polytechnic, Saskatoon campus
1130 Idylwyld Dr. North, Saskatoon 

9-9:30 a.m. Muffins/Coffee and Networking
9:30-9:45 a.m. Welcome, Safety Moment, and Opening Remarks
9:45-10:30 a.m. "Making Connections for Safety Research in Saskatchewan"
  • Dr. Valery Chirkov, University of Saskatchewan (U of S)
10:30-11 a.m. "Overview of Current Health and Safety Injury and Fatality Trends in Saskatchewan"
  • Dr. Sean Tucker, University of Regina (U of R)
11-11:30 a.m. "Gender and Safety Engagement"
  • Dr. Madeline Press, Saskatchewan Polytechnic (Sask Polytech)
11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. Lunch / Browse Poster Presentations and Booths
12:30-1:30 p.m. Round-Table Presentations (Group 1)
  • Les Alm, Occupational Health & Safety, Sask Polytech
  • Doug Arnold, Service and Hospitality Safety Association
  • Melanie Kaczur, Applied Social Psychology, U of S
  • CJ Pelletier & Abdul Raouf, School of Mining, Energy, and Manufacturing, Sask Polytech
  • Dr. Andrew Stevens, Industrial Relations & Human Resource Management, U of R
1:30-2:30 p.m. Round-Table Presentations (Group 2)
  • Jade Anderson, Center for Research and Scholarship in Health, Sask Polytech
  • Barbara Compton, Safe Saskatchewan Inc.
  • Erwin Dyck, Machinist Program Head, Sask Polytech
  • Gord Moker, Safe Saskatchewan Inc.
  • Terry Peckham, Digital Integration Centre of Excellence, Sask Polytech
  • Dr. Raymond Spiteri, Computer Science, U of S and Mathtoons Media Inc.
2:30-2:45 p.m. Coffee/Snack and Networking
2:45-3 p.m. Concluding Remarks

Making Connections for Safety Research in Saskatchewan
Dr. Valery Chirkov

University of Saskatchewan

The purpose of this presentation is to reflect on the needs for and potential of safety research in Saskatchewan. In his presentation, Dr. Chirkov will outline some of the trends in the state of safety in the province including occupational and traffic safety and unintentional injuries. Dr. Chirkov will overview the research capabilities that the provincial academic institutions and other organizations have for conducting safety-related research to move the existing state of the provincial safety forward. He will also share the experience of his team of doing applied research in the mining industry, and the lessons learned from this project. In conclusion, Dr. Chirkov will identify some potential directions of safety research that may be of interest to various stakeholders.

Overview of current health and safety (OHS) injury and fatality trends in Saskatchewan
Dr. Sean Tucker

University of Regina

This presentation will provide an overview of current health and safety (OHS) injury and fatality trends in Saskatchewan. Next, Dr. Tucker will discuss opportunities and challenges associated with using compensation board administrative data in research. Finally, Dr. Tucker will identity key OHS stakeholders in Saskatchewan, highlight research priorities, and describe funding opportunities available through the Saskatchewan Workers' Compensation Board.

Gender and Safety Engagement
Dr. Madeline Press
College of Nursing, Saskatchewan Polytechnic

Dr. Press is a research chair for patient oriented interprofessional care in the School of Nursing at Saskatchewan Polytechnic. She will present on a review of the literature undertaken to identify research related to gender and safety engagement, specifically in male-dominated professions. Gender stereotypes play a role in job recruitment, hiring, and safety behaviors. Recruiting practices tend to be gender-specific, though the literature shows safety outcomes can be improved by having a balanced workforce.

Occupational Health and Safety Program Saskatchewan Polytechnic
Les Alm

Employers across the country, from natural resource companies to hospitals, office-based businesses to retailers, must conform to Occupational Health and Safety legislation. As legislation and standards become more multifaceted, demand for qualified occupational health and safety practitioners continues to grow. Saskatchewan Polytechnic provides an Occupational Health and Safety certificate program. Graduates work in a wide variety of industries advising employers on critical OH&S issues. In this course, you'll develop skills you can use to help employers develop, implement, and evaluate Occupational Health and Safety systems. The program provides knowledge of the following areas: auditing safety management, contractor safety management, disability management, emergency management, ergonomics, fire prevention, law and ethics, incident investigation, industrial hygiene, risk management, and safety program management.

Service Hospitality Sector
Doug Arnold,

The Service and Hospitality Safety Association of SK (SHSA) is the safety association working primarily with community service organizations, hotels, and restaurants focusing on reducing injuries in the workplace. Seventy percent of youth get their first jobs in these industries, so the SHSA has invested heavily in educating youth on safety before they enter the workforce. Our Youth Safety Advisors deliver presentations to Grade 6 students on "Safety at School, Safety at Play, Safety at Home." September 10th has been declared "Youth Safety Education Day" by the Ministry of Education for six consecutive years. Youth Safety Education Day started with just the SHSA visiting schools and doing presentations, but has expanded to take place over the course of a week, include partners, and involve schools around the province.

In addition to focusing on physical health, mentally healthy workplaces are an emerging issue. More research is required on effective ways to manage those claims and accommodate workers. When the WCB legislation was changed to more easily allow psychological injury claims, the SHSA started a Best Practice Group for employers to collectively learn from each other, and from guest experts, about this topic. The SHSA also works with employers to integrate psychological health and safety into their existing safety management systems.

Culture and Climate of Safety: Conceptualizations and Assessment
Melanie Kaczur, MA

In most organizations, the technological and non-technological aspects of safety are each assessed and continuously improved to prevent and reduce accidents, injuries, and fatalities. Safety culture and safety climate are two constructs commonly involved in the assessment of non-technological or "human" aspects of safety. However, there is conceptual confusion regarding these constructs as there is no single, unified theoretical and operational definition for each of them. This has led to a vast number of assessment tools with questionable validity and applicability. In Study 1, a conceptual analysis of the concepts safety culture and safety climate was conducted, including: analysis of numerous theoretical definitions for each construct; analysis of their operational definitions; and, assessment of congruency between these types of definitions. A theoretical definition and an operational definition was developed for both safety culture and for safety climate based on the conceptual analysis and an examination of relevant literature. In Study 2, a 62-item safety climate scale was developed based on the theoretical and operational definition develop in Study 1. The questionnaire was piloted on 267 students in the College of Engineering at the University of Saskatchewan in order to examine the questionnaire's psychometric properties and investigate the existing safety climate in the College of Engineering. The results of the questionnaire demonstrated adequate psychometric properties and highlighted the link between safety climate and students' previous industrial work experience and students' experience with injuries and near misses. Overall, this questionnaire may be a useful means of examining safety climate within colleges and universities.

Use of Remote Sensing and GIS Technologies to Improve Safety
CJ Pelletier and Abdul Raouf
Department of Geomatics and Surveying Engineering Technology, Saskatchewan Polytechnic, Moose Jaw Campus

Remote Sensing and GIS technologies are increasingly used for resource mapping, land-use/land-cover planning and environmental management. These technologies are particularly useful for the mapping of changes happening over time, areas prone to natural hazards, and mapping of hazards associated with manmade structures like oil pipelines. This presentation will demonstrate the use of these technologies for monitoring temporal changes, flood zone mapping in an urban environment, identifying areas prone to landslides, and mapping of hazards associated with oil pipelines. Examples from the capstone projects done by GSET students will be used during this presentation to demonstrate the use of remote sensing and GIS technologies to improve the safety of people and the environment.

Mapping of temporal changes can provide accurate assessments of aftermath situations and the damages caused by natural disasters including hurricanes, forest fires, floods, and volcano eruptions. Similarly, identification of areas prone to natural disasters like landslides and floods can help to initiate preventative measurements and to coordinate mitigation efforts in case of disaster. The use of these technologies is particularly important in situations where physical surveys are either not possible or safety of the surveyors is major concern. Similarly, oil pipelines provide a convenient and easy solution for transportation. However, leakage from these pipelines can be devastating. Identification and mapping of hazards associated with oil pipelines can effectively be used to develop preventative measurement strategies for dealing with such catastrophic events.

From housing to the workplace: Social determinants of health among migrant workers in Saskatchewan
Dr. Andrew Stevens,Associate Professor, Faculty of Business Administration, University of Regina.
Farha Akhtar (University of Saskatchewan)
Dr. Sean Tucker (University of Regina)

For nearly a decade the Canadian province of Saskatchewan has come to rely on migrant workers to fill labour shortages in sectors such as food services, hospitality, agriculture, and construction. This parallels the experience of other resource extractive economies across Western Canada, particularly the province of Alberta. Using data obtained through access to information requests, government documents, and semi-structured interviews with gatekeepers and foreign workers (n=43), the paper explores the largely ignored world of foreign labour in Saskatchewan's broader industrial relations climate through a social determinant of health framework (Preibisch & Hennebry, 2011; Simich et al, 2005; Stevens, 2014). The existing literature finds that migrant workers throughout North America are particularly vulnerable to factors including poor housing conditions, workplace safety and access to health services - all which can be considered modifiable determinants of health and all of which are affected by various forms of legislation and regulation. The paper demonstrates that the "temporary" nature of their legal status in the province of Saskatchewan increases the vulnerability of Here, the authors conclude by identifying prescriptions for labour organizations, housing authorities, and policy makers where access to public services intersect with the world of work and employment.


Addressing community safety through homelessness in Prince Albert: A collaboration of community leaders, service providers, and homeless persons
Jade Anderson
Research Facilitator, Centre for Research and Scholarship in Health, Saskatchewan Polytechnic

Homelessness is still a major problem in Canada with especially damaging effects in rural and northern communities. Saskatchewan experiences higher rates of homelessness than the national average (e.g., one in five residents are homeless or at risk of homelessness; Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, 2015). Leaders in this domain (e.g., National Centre for Excellence in Homeless Services, Housing First, etc.) agree that increased collaboration between academia, existing service providers, and community leaders is vital to ensuring existing and upcoming initiatives are well coordinated, effective, and efficient. Our team recently received a SSHRC Partnership Engage Grant to conduct participant action and community capacity building research in Prince Albert. Included within this project are a series of focus groups and a full day event at which we will communicate results of the focus groups and elicit follow-up responses through private interviews. The purpose of this research is to enhance the ability of PrinceAlbert to respond to homelessness by stimulating discussions and mutual collaboration between academic researchers, community leaders, social agencies, front-line workers, and the homeless population. The specific goals of this partnership are: 1) for all parties to develop a better understanding of the needs and potential supports for the local homeless population; 2) to develop a greater awareness of the challenges and advantages that community agencies experience when providing supports and programming; 3) to improve each parties' capacity for participatory action research

Safe Saskatchewan Inc.
Barbara Compton

Injury prevention policies and procedures exist to varying degrees in school divisions across Saskatchewan, but are not managed through a systemic framework. The Community Safety Education Strategy (CSES) engages education, industry and community partners to collaborate in sharing responsibility for the integration of injury prevention knowledge and practices into Saskatchewan schools and communities. A coordinated effort can provide a solid foundation from which to develop action plans resulting in sustainable injury reduction and productive workplaces and communities. The critical success factor to any form of prevention is an organized approach as seen through an integrated health and safety management system.

Safe Saskatchewan in partnership with Prairie South Schools have developed and are piloting a four-step implementation process to inform, involve and engage stakeholders in working towards eliminating injuries and their related costs. When staff and community model safe and healthy behavior, we promote a culture that values injury prevention. This positively impacts the entire school community.

The CSES, four-step implementation plan will provide an effective accountability process for streamlining administration, clarifying roles and responsibilities, and managing injury prevention resources that support the outcomes identified in the CSES. The implementation of the CSES will result in mitigating risk, and efficiency in managing policies, procedures, regulations and resources.

The Importance of Job Specific OHS Policy
Erwin Dyck
Machinist Program, Saskatchewan Polytechnic

Blanket safety policies and procedures may be putting some industry employees at risk. Certain PPE requirements heighten risk levels rather than mitigating them, depending on the job description or assigned task. OHS committees in some workplaces default to blanket policy rather than job specific policy.

Machine shops are found in many industrial settings. They may be a stand-alone business, or they may be found in mines, chemical plants, pulp mills, steel mills, etc. Machine shops are often a niche within the later, and in these larger industrial settings the nature of the work done by machinists is often misunderstood. Safety policies, which in general make sense, are often applied in a general industrial plant environment, but endanger people working on machine tools. Machinist typically work in close proximity to open moving machinery (milling machines and lathes). Safety concerns specifically apply to requirements to wear long sleeves and work gloves, both of which are considered snagging hazards in machine shop work and increase the risk of being caught up in moving machinery.

Former graduates of our machinist program at Saskatchewan Polytechic have contacted me on several occasions when company PPE policies directly conflict with standard machinist trade practice and they feel that the company OHS policy has raised their level of risk. They have asked me to advocate on their behalf on this matter.

Safe Saskatchewan Inc.
Gord Moker

Our province has among the highest unintentional injury rates in Canada. Every day in Saskatchewan, 289 people visit an emergency room because of a preventable injury they've had at work, at home, at play, on our farms & ranches, or on our road system. Of this number, 26 people will be admitted to hospital, six will suffer a permanent disability, and one or two people will die. A conservative estimate of the cost of these preventable injuries to our economy is $1 Billion annually. Children and youth can have a profound effect on behavioral change in society. The solution to this unintentional injury epidemic lies in teaching future generations injury prevention values at an early age. The Community Safety Education Strategy (CSES) is a comprehensive provincial strategic framework that focuses on injury prevention education, resources and supports for Saskatchewan children and youth in the K-12 education system. The CSES' mission is to empower Saskatchewan youth to live-injury free. Its vision is an injury-free Saskatchewan where safe lifestyles influence how we live, work, and play.

Saskatchewan Polytechnic
Terry Peckham

Terry Peckham has his PhD in Computer Science and has been working at Saskatchewan Polytechnic for the past 13 years. He has been involved in various roles with his most recent work developing and coordinating the Digital Integration Centre of Excellence at Saskatchewan Polytechnic. Terry is currently working on multiple projects in Artificial Intelligence, Data Analytics with IoT devices. He will be presenting on applied research on the Digital Integration Centre of Excellence (DICE) which can support occupational health and safety from a Digital perspective. For example he is working with companies to develop construction site safety through the use of analytics and AI.

Mathtoons Media Inc.
Dr. Raymond Spiteri

Despite the fact that lecturing has persisted for literally thousands of years, it is becoming increasingly appreciated that learning from traditional lecture-style teaching is generally not highly effective: learners typically pay less than 10 minutes of focussed attention for every hour of lecture. Incredibly, we can actually leverage the technology of the modern connected and over-stimulated world to help learners become more efficient and effective in acquiring knowledge. The idea is to combine three powerful technological forces into one platform that embodies the state of the art in learning science research. The first is to use mobile technology to distribute course material in the form of bite-sized quizzes and allow learners to have access and perform retrieval practice anywhere, anytime. The second is to use data analytics to give relevant, real-time, and customized feedback to learners and instructors, enabling a candid assessment of progress and pathways for optimal course delivery. Finally, the third is to use the cloud to store everything from the curriculum to the results to the analytics, allowing for real-time access as well as editing and creation capabilities. The platform also facilitates the critical social aspects of engagement such as gamification, connectedness, and accountability, thus meeting modern learners on their own terms.

Practi is a mobile app developed by Mathtoons Inc. for rapid learning of declarative knowledge. In this presentation, I will give a brief overview of the scientific basis behind the Practi app and my experiences in its use for engaging learners in the university classroom.


For more information contact Dr. Press at 

Learn more about safety engagement research.