2023 Western Conference on Safety May 1-2, 2023

Program Schedule

Monday, May 1, 2023

Click on a session title to jump to that session description.

Registration & Tradeshow Opens

Regency Ballroom  Tradeshow Area Opens

10:00 – 10:30am
Coffee Break and Safety Tradeshow

11:45 – 1:15pm
Lunch Break (on own for lunch) and Safety Tradeshow


2:45 – 3:15pm
Coffee Break and Safety Tradeshow (tradeshow closes at 3:30)

Conference concludes for the day

Tuesday May 2, 2023

Click on a session title to jump to that session description.

Safety Tradeshow & Registration Open

Regency Ballroom “A” Tradeshow Area (3rd Floor) Opens

8:30 – 9:45 am
Keynote Presentation:
Tornado Hunter: Risk Assessment and Management
by Greg Johnson: Tornado Hunter

9:45 – 10:15 am
Coffee Break and Safety Tradeshow

10:15 – 11:45am
Session 6A
Safety Coach 

10:15 – 11:45am
Session 6D
Disaster Resiliency and Your Organization

11:45 – 1:15pm
Lunch & Safety Tradeshow (Tradeshow closes at 1:15pm. On Own for Lunch)

Conference Concludes

Wednesday May 3, 2023

Optional Post-Conference Professional Development Courses (All courses at Hyatt Regency Vancouver, 655 Burrard St. Vancouver)

8:30 – 4:30pm
Course PC-2
Acccident/Incident Investigations Course

8:30 – 4:30pm
Course PC-4
Supervisors Safety Training


Please Note: All sessions, speakers, events, times and descriptions are subject to change without notice. Pacific Safety Center Ltd reserves the right to limit quantities and to correct errors or omissions. For the latest information and updates please check the home page.

Photography & Film Footage Will Be Taken During This Event
Please be advised that a photographer and videographer will be attending the Western Conference on Safety. By entering the conference your image may be included in some shots. If you do not wish to be included be identify yourself to the photographer/videographer and so indicate your wishes to them. Otherwise your presence here will constitute your consent to being photographed and/or video’ed and your acknowledgement that such photography/film may be used for promotional, archival or media purposes.

Scent Friendly:
Scent Friendly: The Western Conference on Safety is a scent-free environment. In consideration of others, please “scent-sitive” and reduce or avoid your use of perfume or other personal scents. Your fellow conference attendees will appreciate you for it.

Session Descriptions:

Monday May 1, 2023


Registration and Safety Tradeshow Opens

8:30 – 9:00am

Session 1A
Welcome and Opening Remarks
Master of Ceremonies: Tanya Steele, R(CSO), CSS, CHSC TR Steele Company
Welcoming Remarks by: Conference Chair, Terry Swain, President, Pacific Safety Center Ltd and Todd McDonald, Head of Prevention Services, WorkSafeBC

9:00 – 10:00am

Keynote Presentation by:

Dr. Mark DeVolder,

Change Ready: Engaging in High Performance Safety.

Hazards and obstacles abound in the fast and frenzied pace of business today. In the rush to stay competitive, people are increasingly tempted to take short cuts and sacrifice safety. The most common barrier, however, is actually change itself. Some employees feel paralyzed by change, and when they feel paralyzed, they disengage. Without the ability or capacity to change, accidents can happen.
In this high-energy presentation your team will learn mindsets and behaviours to embrace change, anticipation, safety innovation as well as increase resilience and capacity during change.

Dr. Mark DeVolder is a Change Management Specialist, International Consultant, Award Winning Speaker and Author. Mark is one of today’s original thinkers on transitions and is a frequent presenter at management meetings around the world. He has worked with many Fortune 500 companies and industry leaders like NASA, Medronic, MacDonald’s, Siemens, PepsiCo and Quatar Petroleum. Mark received the Top 5 Speaker Award in Business Management, Top 10 Speakers in Change Management and the Top 25 Speakers Award. For more information on Dr. DeVolder visit his website at https://markdevolder.com

10:00 – 10:30am

Safety Tradeshow and Coffee Break

10:30 – 11:45am

Session 2A
Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace

Learn how to promote mental health and address mental illness, including addiction, in the workplace from a health and safety perspective. This session includes a review of local policies or regulations, and provides an overview of National Standard of Canada for Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace.

Speaker: Lucette Wesley, Canadian Mental Health Association, Vancouver BC

Session 2B
Dealing with Difficult People

This session delivers an understanding of why difficult people act as they do and provides you with tools for addressing those difficult situations. When you encounter a reasonable person acting unreasonably, there are several highly effective strategies for restoring the relationship to a productive and functional state. Gain the tools to control your own emotional responses and also show you ways in which you can manage the other person effectively. If you have frequent interactions with difficult people, this session is for you.
Speaker: Gary McDougall, Conflict Solutions, Calgary Alberta

Session 2C
Fake News and False Systems Kill People and You May Have Them In Your Organization

Many organizations in recent history suffered catastrophic events or significant surges in serious events, despite the fact they reported ‘exemplary’ safety performance prior to these events. Something is seriously wrong if this happens, and this session will contend that safety has become a victim of its own success, with showcasing and grandstanding of companies, based on safety data that can be fudged. This presentation will expose fake news and false concepts in safety. It will challenge your deep-seeded beliefs and understanding in safety. It exposes several safety interventions, concepts or programs that are widely accepted and used and shows the flaws and dangerous consequences in each of them.

Speaker:  Corrie Pitzer, CEO, SAFEmap International

Session 2D
Workplace Safety Inspections

Looking for tips on how to conduct your safety inspections? Trying to get more participation or response from the people in your workplace? This is the session for you. Learn how to plan and conduct successful safety inspections, rate hazards and get advice on implementation. This is a great session for safety committees, supervisors or anyone responsible for doing safety inspections in the workplace.
Speaker: Norm Ralph, CRSP, CDMP, CHSC, President, Apex Abilities, Surrey BC

 11:45am – 1:15pm

Safety Tradeshow and Lunch (On Own For Lunch)

1:15 – 2:45pm

Session 3A
Understanding and Conducting Risk Assessments

Assessing risk is an important approach to workplace safety. All employers are required to assess a variety of situations by both provincial and federal OHS legislation. This session covers when a risk assessment must be done and will give you an overview of the different methods to conduct risk assessments at work
Speaker: Brian Campbell, BC Fed Health & Safety Centre

Session 3B
Emergency Response Planning — Drills: Really? I’m an Adult

What is an emergency? What are the emergencies you are likely to encounter in your workplace in this day and age; it is likely more than just medical and fire emergencies! Are you prepared for these emergencies (medical, fire, flood, weather, hostile (armed) individual on premises)? Do you have a plan? Has the plan been tested/rehearsed? This session will look at emergencies, planning and preparing for the worst while still hoping for the best. Today you are you! That is truer than true. There is no one alive who is you-er than you!
Speaker: Steve Wallace CRSP (NP), Saskatchewan

Session 3C
Safety Committees: Beauty or Beast

Gone are the days when employers could treat safety committees as just a necessary evil, something in place just because it was required by regulation but not something useful in the grand scheme of things. And gone are the days when committees should just be going through the motions and doing the same things month after month without taking proactive steps to improve safety for the workers they represent. Recent changes to the Workers Compensation Act have increased the responsibility for safety committees to an unprecedented level, and at the same time have increased the reliance that employers must place on committees to improve safety in the workplace. In this session we will review not only what these increased responsibilities are, but also what makes a safety committee great. Participants will take away valuable tools to energize meetings and make the important work done by committees proactive, and not just reactive.
Speaker: Cathy Cook, Safe Harbour Consulting, Langley BC

Session 3D
Intro to Mental Health First Aid in the Workplace

f I Sprain My Ankle, Chances Are You’ll Know What To Do. If I Have A Panic Attack, Chances Are You Won’t. Organizations across Canada are recognizing the tremendous cost in both human and financial terms of mental health issues in and out of the workplace. They are seeking to address and help those who may be facing mental health challenges by training designated in-house staff in Mental Health First Aid with the intention of providing initial support to someone who may be developing or experiencing a mental health issue. If a crisis does arise, a MHFA trained person can take appropriate steps that may help to reduce the harm that can result. This session provides an overview of mental health first aid and how your safety committee can get involved in implementing a similar program in their workplace.

Presenter: Laurie Lowes, Delta, BC.  Canadian Mental Health Association certified MHFA trainer


2:45 – 3:15pm

Safety Tradeshow and Coffee Break (Tradeshow Closes at 3:30pm)

3:15 – 4:30pm

Session 4A

New Worker Training & Orientation

Did you know that nearly one-third of time loss injuries are suffered by workers with less than one year of service? Or that more than half of all serious injuries occur during the first six months of employment? Provind effective new and young worker training is key to reducing workplace injuries, increasing productivity and ensuring worker participation in your health and safety program. This session will explore: Training vs Orientation what are the differences, what should be included and how you can make them more effective.
Speaker: Robin Schooley, OHS Consultant, Young & New Worker Program, WorksafeBC

Session 4B

Systems-Thinking – A Novel Approach to Safety Management

To understand and improve the way our organizations work, we need to start thinking “systems”. If we are ever to reduce risk, achieve zero fatalities, and zero disabling incidents, the safety community as a whole need to move to systems thinking. While it may seem like a novel idea, systems thinking is just about thinking more deeply about your organization and considering the interactions between all the parts of the system (human, legal, technical, information, economic and organizational) in light of organization’s goals.   In this session we will describe the interactions in the systems and failures that often result in workplace incidents and provide a framework for safety practitioners to start the “systems thinking” conversation at your workplace
Speaker: Glyn Jones, M.A.Sc, P.Eng, CIH, CRSP, Partner, EHS Partnerships Ltd.

Session 4C
The Truth Behind Our Ill Fitting PPE: An issue of Safety, Health and a Strong Workforce

We know the importance of wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) on the job, but when it comes to equipping your female employees there’s an elephant in the room that shouldn’t be ignored. To ensure a safer, healthier, stronger Canadian labour force it’s important to consider why sizing of PPE is based on male standards and look at how that impacts your female team members and the strength of your organization. Are you measuring up? In this eye-opening session engineer-turned-advocate Jodi Huettner shares insights gleaned from a 10-year-long study of women’s PPE in the workplace, why is doesn’t work, and how your organization can benefit from changing your standards.

Whether you are a woman or an ally in the field, a foreman/woman, an H&S professional, a JOSH team member, or an executive who cares about your employees, this session will arm you with tools to do better for your female team members, and ultimately improve workplace safety, health and performance across the board.
Speaker: Jodi Huettner, President and CEO Helga Wear Inc, Vancouver BC

Session 4D
Tiptoeing Through Pandemics, Fires, and Floods: A Conversation about Stress, Fatigue and Resilience

In the world of pandemics, fires, and floods, it’s not unusual to feel like we’re barely hanging on. The unending loop between stress and fatigue is not an easy one to jump off. This session will address the relationship between these two as they battle for our attention, with an emphasis on what matters most to prevent us from spiraling out of control.

Speaker: Mike Harnett, President, Solaris Fatigue Management

Tuesday May 2, 2023


Registration and Safety Tradeshow Opens

8:30 -9:45am

Session 5A: Keynote Presentation
greg-johnson-tornado-hunter-july-2014-low-resGreg Johnson – Tornado Hunter: Risk Assessment and Management

As the first person to live stream a tornado in Canada, Greg Johnson has had the type of career that most people only dream about. What drives a seemingly sane individual to chase a tornado for the opportunity for a perfect photo? Greg uses the metaphor of storm chasing to relate the message that situational awareness, preparation, and implementation are the real keys to success. Greg will take you on an emotional journey as he shares his stories and experiences. Taking risks in life is important, but there is a difference between taking risks and being reckless.
Speaker: Greg Johnson. Regina, Saskatchewan

9:45- 10:15am

Safety Tradeshow and Coffee Break

10:15 – 11:45am

Session 6A
Safety Coach

As the safety expert in your organization you’re responsible for providing pertinent safety information. But do you ever feel like you’ve slipped into a bit of a parental role of ‘remind’ people over and over and wondering why people don’t show more initiative? In this session we’ll explore how to use a coaching approach to shift this pattern by moving away from telling and solving and towards asking and developing. Leave with 3 simple coaching practices you can put into action immediately.
Speaker: Christina Sestan, Citrus Coaching.

Session 6B
Situational Awareness and Violence in the Workplace

On enhancing employee safety through situational awareness. In this interactive and engaging presentation you will explore the four various categories of potential violence in the workplace. These include: violence from people who have no legitimate relationship to your workplace yet are seeking to commit an offence such as theft, robbery, assault or abduction, violence perpetrated by customers who are unhappy, violence perpetrated by current or former employees and violence involving domestic situations spilling over into the workplace. The concept of situational awareness will be explored which involves employees being mindful of things going on around them in an ever changing and dynamic workplace.
Speaker: Gary McDougall, Conflict Solutions, Calgary Alberta

Session 6C
Fitness for Duty: Combining the Science and the Law

Managing impairment in the workplace is fundamental to every safety professional’s goal of ensuring everyone makes it home safely. Most organizations face complexity and uncertainty regarding how to prevent and manage impairment on the job. To date, there is little guidance on a reliable approach to mitigate the related harm of an unfit worker that is broadly inclusive of the many forms of workplace impairment. This session is for safety professionals and senior leadership willing to consider incorporating aspects of a new standard created to offer a comprehensive harm reduction approach to impairment in the workplace.
Speakers: Dan Demers BSc, C-SAPA, Director of Business Development, CANN//AMM Occupational Testing Services and Norm Keith, B.A., J.D., LLM., CRSP,

Session 6D

Disaster Resiliency and Your Organization 

With the growing number of natural disasters we are facing these days it is more important than ever to be “Disaster Resilient”. Our presenter has spent her career in the disaster preparedness and response field working with such organizations as Transport Canada, 2010 Olympics and other major Canadian and US organizations. She shares her expertise on lessons learned from earthquakes, climate emergencies, terrorist attacks and pandemics centered on helping your organization and community prepare, survive and recover from disasters.
Speaker: Pat Docking

11:45 – 1:15pm

Safety Tradeshow and Lunch (On own for Lunch, Tradeshow Closes at 1:15pm)

1:15pm – 2:30pm

Session 7A

Battling Complacency: Addressing this Hidden Risk In Your Safety Management System

Inside the most comprehensive safety programs lurks a hidden risk. Is complacency preventing you from seeing potential new hazards? In this session learn to recognize the signs that confidence and routine are creating a false sense of security and stealing focus. See how other organizations are battling complacency effectively and construct your own solutions using proven techniques you can apply at your workplace.
Speaker: Erin Quinn

Session 7B

Ergonomics for MSI Prevention – Utilizing Systems Approach

Provides an overview on Systems Approach, how it is used in Ergonomics and how to manage MSIs (Musculoskeletal Injuries) at the workplace. Ergonomics is a systems discipline applying systems philosophy and approach. The importance of taking a systems approach to ergonomics is that the issues which lead to problems are usually much more complex than a simple change in the specific task, the specific machine or the individual aspects of the work. Any change in one element can cause changes in other aspects of the overall task.
Speaker: Manu Nellutla, MBA, MPT, CCPE, CPHSA,

Session 7C
Creating a Culture of Feedback in Safety

Following safety procedures and recommendations is critical and needs to be addressed – not always easy. How do you create a work environment where employees hold each other accountable in being safe and not replying on the boss to always do so? You will learn how to create a culture of feedback through tools that make it easier to provide feedback in a way that will increase the chance of lasting behavioral change.

Speaker: Glen Sollors, Partner, Kwela Leadership & Talent Management, Vancouver BC

Session 7D
Introduction to a Human Factors Approach to Incident Investigations

Why use the Human Factors approach in investigations?  The human factors approach is key to understanding how people interact with the workplace system.  This understanding of how workers’ decisions and actions made sense to them at the time, in the context of their workplace is fundamental to advancing safety, conducting thorough investigations and developing practical, yet effective prevention control measures.

This session will provide participants with principles and practices to conduct effective investigations.
Speakers: Jenny Colman, MSc, CRSP, & Heather Kahle, MSc, CRSP, Worker and Employer Services, Risk Analysis Unit, WorkSafeBC

2:30pm – Conference Concludes


Post Conference Courses:

Wednesday May 3, 2023

8:30am – 4:30

Course PC-1
Fundamentals for Joint Health and Safety Committees Course   
This course is ideal for new safety committee members needing to comply with WorkSafeBC’s Safety Committee Member training regulations as well as existing members looking to upgrade their safety knowledge and skills. If your organization is setting up its first safety committee or looking to makes its existing committee more effective, this one day course is just what you need.

Topics include: applying the process of safety inspections and accident investigations, participating in constructive committee meetings, helping your committee work together and much more.

$265.00 (register by Mar. 28, 2023)
$295.00 (after Mar. 28, 2023)
GST extra

Course PC-2 (One Day)
Accident/Incident Investigation Course 

Great course for safety committee members, supervisors or anyone who is required to conduct and/or review accidents and incidents in the workplace. It will help you to effectively investigate accidents with the objective of reducing or preventing future accidents. This is one of our most popular courses.
$295.00 (register by Mar. 28, 2023)
$345.00 (after Mar. 28, 2023)
GST extra

Course PC-3 (One Day)
 Hazard Identification and Risk Assessment Course 

A fundamental concept in managing occupational health and safety (and also in many WorkSafeBC’s regulations) is the recognition, assessment and control of hazards. The process is commonly referred to as Hazard Identification or Risk Assessment. But how do you determine what is a hazard and how do you find hidden hazards before someone gets hurt? This course will assist you in recognizing and rating the severity of workplace hazards and explore common strategies for controlling them. A great course for supervisors, managers and safety committee members.

$295.00 (register by Mar. 28, 2023)
$345.00 (after Mar. 28, 2023)
GST extra

Course PC-4
Supervisors Safety Training Course

Supervisors are arguably the most influential people in preventing workplace incidents and injuries. But only if they understand their key role and have the specific skills needed to follow through on that understanding. If they don’t or worse, have nevere been taught how to supervisor for safety as part of the job, then accidents and injuries nearly always follow. This jam-packed one day course guides new or experienced supervisors through the fundamentals they need to ensure safety on the job.

$295.00 (register by Mar. 28, 2023)
$345.00 (after Mar. 28, 2023)
GST Extra