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Health and safety scholarship award is a first for Canada

Toronto, ON -- Apr. 2, 2002 -- The first post-secondary health and safety scholarship to be awarded in Canada was p...


Toronto, ON — Apr. 2, 2002 — The first post-secondary health and safety scholarship to be awarded in Canada was presented recently by the Industrial Accident Prevention Association (IAPA).

The Jim McLellan Occupational Health & Safety Award, established by his family, is a tribute to the life of the health and safety advocate and former director general of the occupational health and safety branch of Labour Canada, whose career spanned 30 years.

Recipient of this introductory award was Cindy Lew, a student in the fast-track, two-year School of Occupational and Public Health degree program at Ryerson Polytechnic University in Toronto. Lew, who came to this program with a degree in Kinesiology from the University of Waterloo, was the unanimous choice of the selection committee.

The award was presented by Maureen Shaw, president and CEO of IAPA. “This is the only scholarship available that provides young people like Cindy with the opportunity to make a significant contribution to workplace health and safety,” said Shaw, an advocate for the prevention of workplace injuries and illnesses. “We’re pleased to support initiatives like this that help with the education of future health and safety professionals.”

The first of its kind available to college and university students, the award “has given me hope that there are people out there who are helping to promote education in health and safety,” said Lew, who foresees a position as a vanguard at the “prevention side of things” when she graduates this spring. “It is important that health and safety activities become integrated into the workplace at the beginning, rather than as a reactive measure,” she said.

Lew spent last summer working at the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB), where she developed the College and University Student Health and Safety Awareness program, which complements a Young Workers Awareness program available for high schools.

Approximately 90 students are enrolled in the four-year Bachelor of Applied Arts Occupational and Public Health program at Ryerson. The program includes the two-year fast track component for students such as Lew.

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