Health and safety scholarship open to London students

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London's Tim Hickman Memorial Scholarship for Health and Safety promotes the importance of health and safety in the workplace and beyond.

There can be no change without the active participation in the process. This is the underlying message behind the Tim Hickman Memorial Scholarship for Health and Safety.

With an active focus on the health and safety of citizens on the job, especially those newest to the work force, the City of London is encouraging students enrolled in college and university to come forward with their ideas for improving working conditions in establishments and industries they look to work in upon graduation.

Tim Hickman was a part-time city employee who was tragically killed in a workplace accident in 1996. The scholarship was created in his memory by his family, the City of London and local unions CUPE 101 and 107. The scholarship is an annual prize of $3000, awarded to one recipient who best promotes proactive health and safety awareness, innovation and change.

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“The important aspect of this scholarship is it’s not something you need to have done today, but it’s going to be something that you think you’d like to do as part of your career moving forward. We’ve had situations where people have done something that encourages health promotion and they reported that. We’ve also had situations where applicants are thinking about doing something in that regard,” said Gary Bridge, manager of human resources and corporate services for the City of London.

Past applicants have provided overseers of the scholarship with a variety of solutions to job and industry specific situations where a need for reform was observed.

“One year we had a person who was focused on how to avoid workplace violence. They presented ideas on education and awareness that they wanted to gain in their career to help minimize it. We had another situation that was focused on ergonomics, such as the lifting hazards associated with working as a therapist and how we can ensure that people are doing their therapy, whether it’s physiotherapy or occupational therapy, in a safe manner,” said Bridge.

Fanshawe College has seen winners of this award in previous years, such as Emily Sturtridge in 2018, whose aim was directed towards the health and well-being of London’s homeless by creating hygienic care packages. Another winner includes Angela Bobbett in 2013, who advocated for workplace safety on behalf of unionized workers ensuring greater management responsibility related to workplace violence, as well as Paula McFarlane in 2007, who created a lifting protocol with another student to help offset work related injuries for paramedics.

The scope and application of the ideas submitted help to create safer work environments. Health and safety, however, extends beyond the need for its application in occupational settings.

“From a student perspective, think about the physical safety of it, the way we sit, stand or walk. Also, there are a number of other safety factors which we need to remind people of like workplace violence. Whether it’s student to student, student to teacher or teacher to student type of situation. Fanshawe also has a number of technical programs where they deal with a number of safety hazards and if we can get students to work safely, as part of their education and before they go out to work in their careers, hopefully we can create a safer world and workplace,” said Bridge.

In order to continue the progress made within the 14-year span of the scholarship, people need to continue applying, remembering that it is the ideas of those in the know that can create the most effective positive changes.

“I know sometimes we think about, ‘I don’t want to complete that essay or participate for that award’ because of the unlikelihood of being awarded the scholarship but learn from others. This scholarship has been awarded to several Fanshawe students over the years so get your applications in because we look forward to hearing from you,” said Bridge. As health and safety awareness continues to rise, so does the call to action to those with the vision to create solutions.

The application deadline for consideration is Jan. 31, 2020. Further details about submission requirements can be found on the website under: Tim Hickman Memorial Health and Safety Scholarship.