Shirley Hickman, founder and executive director of Threads of Life, and Eleanor Westwood, manager of communications for the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS), were recently awarded Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medals for their contributions to workplace health and safety.
Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters nominated Hickman for her leadership in founding the Association for Workplace Tragedy Family Support — Threads of Life. The organization is a national registered charity that supports families that have suffered from a workplace fatality, life-altering illness or occupational disease. The charity and its work have become an inspiration and model for similar organizations in other parts of the world. Hickman and other members of Threads of Life have become sought-after speakers at public and corporate health and safety events. With the help of community volunteers, the organization also holds Steps for Life, a 5 km fundraising walk, in communities across Canada. This year the walk takes place on May 5.
Eleanor Westwood received her award in recognition for her dedication to public service and contributions to the community. CCOHS promotes the physical, psychosocial and mental health of working Canadians by providing information, training, education, and solutions that support health, safety and wellness programs. A not-for-profit federal department corporation, CCOHS is governed by a tripartite Council that represents government, employers and labour to ensure a balanced approach to workplace health and safety issues.
Westwood joined CCOHS in 1988. Among her recent accomplishments:
designing and launching the CCOHS Forum, a national event that brings together tripartite stakeholders from each province and territory to share ideas on and solutions for priority health and safety topics.
adopting social media, such as Facebook and Twitter, early on as a means of increasing access to CCOHS knowledge and resources.
contributing her expertise on an ongoing basis to Threads of Life, starting as a member of the inaugural board of directors in 2006. Westwood also helped launch a local Steps for Life walk on behalf of Threads of Life.
Threads of Life volunteer Lisa Kadosa also received a Jubilee award for her contributions to Threads of Life and Steps for Life. Kadosa is an active member of the speakers bureau and for five years has co-chaired the Ottawa Steps for Life event. Kadosa works in health and safety with the Public Service Commission of Canada and was nominated by co-workers.
The Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal is given to Canadian citizens who have demonstrated distinguished service to their fellow citizens, to their community and to their country.