Interview with Donna Saworski, Graduate, Environmental and Occupational Health Certificate
What is your current position?
My title is HR Specialist – Occupational Health and Safety. I work for the Kawartha Pine Ridge District School Board.
Can you give me a brief overview of what it is you do in your work?
I have a wide variety of responsibilities in this position. I prepare and present health and safety awareness training, provide guidance and support to schools in health and safety site inspections, I developed the auditing process at our workplace to do our annual health and safety inspection audits, I work directly with educational assistants in understanding their needs for personal protective equipment to ensure they receive the protection they need when working with high needs students, I do hazard analysis and risk assessments for various sites and perform ergonomic assessments to name a few of my key roles.
How did you get started in Environmental and Occupational Health (EOH)?
I began working in industry in the field of asbestos remediation as a lab tech. That lead to a career in remediation consulting, industrial hygiene assessments and environmental consulting.
Why were you seeking EOH education?
I was seeking credentials to pair with my experience. I love the opportunity to expand my knowledge base.
What attracted you to the UVic EOH certificate program?
I did considerable research into different colleges and universities offering similar programs. When I explored the information presented on the University of Victoria's website I was very impressed with the ease of navigation of the site, the quality of information provided and the functionality of the website. I felt there was a sincerity to the institution and as it turned out, I was not disappointed. This program was excellent!
What do you love the most about working in this industry?
I really love making a positive difference in the workplace. I love sharing my expertise in matters of health and safety and am always open to new ideas and working inclusively with employees.
What skill set should every EOH professional have in their portfolio?
I believe the skills necessary for every EOH professional include: integrity, honesty, excellent communication skills, being highly organized and understanding how to prioritize, have a foundation in scientific principles, social perceptiveness, have a very good attention to detail and possess leadership qualities.
What's next for you in your work? What are you looking forward to?
I have a lot to tackle at work as most of the health and safety processes are in dire need of updating. I welcome the challenge and look forward to raising the bar in my organization by improving the overall health and safety culture.
Want to learn more about the UVic EOH program?
Help people stay safe in the workplace—you'll learn how to identify health risks, prevent serious accidents and maintain safety regulations with our online certificate program.
- Posted Nov. 20, 2017