Our Founder and Director, Bridget Gilmour, shares her thoughts from the recent Canadian Society of Safety Engineering (CSSE) Professional Development Conference (PDC)….
I’m home from Niagara, PDC done, memories made, and as my favourite bear says,
‘How lucky am I to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.’
Even before I’d packed my bags and left home I knew I was heading to the best place for me. Since 2008 the CSSE conference has been part of my calendar. This year after a few long months heading to Niagara felt like I was going home. The messages that flew around from friends asking when I arrived, what I was doing. They had no doubt over whether I would be there, and I couldn’t wait to be.
Close to 750 people came together in Niagara Falls. Many friends and this year a record number of new people to meet. There were an amazing 237 first timers this year’s event. I also found out I was one of the 9% of attendees that were there from outside of Canada. Word of this amazing learning opportunity is clearly spreading.
The opening ceremony always starts with the national anthem and as the first notes played I got goosebumps. I love this place and these people, and I was absolutely where I was meant to be.
The theme of this year’s PDC was People, Purpose, Passion. The people side needs no more explanation, the purpose bit for me is being there to learn and reinforce our own purpose. From the keynotes and sessions, I attended, through the Leadership, Sustainability and International meetings I was part of and from responses to the session I was part of delivering with Graham Parker.
We presented the IOSH ‘No Time To Lose’ campaign as a session. Covering the four sections of diesel, solar, silica and asbestos as carcinogens and the occupational cancers they cause. The content resonated with our audience who up to the point I was leaving conference were still talking about what we said and asking what comes next. The CSSE also signed a pledge to the campaign. I was very proud to represent IOSH for all of this.
So, when it comes to passion I think that is clear for anyone to see. As a safety practitioner I care about my profession and all I work with to look after their greatest asset. This PDC reinvigorates all that my peers and I do every day in our worlds.
Some key messages I wrote down as they made me think where:
- We are a product of our surroundings, we have to stand up to stuff.
- Just because something is hard doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do it.
- I am stronger than I ever used to be.
- How great to consider mental health alongside safety engineering and occupational safety and health. We are more than just a body. We are a mind and a heart as well. And they can all be broken.
- An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
- At the end of the day you’ve just got to say it’s alright. Take advantage of every moment given to you. Decide on your dreams and make them happen.
In my dreams I know I don’t want the PDC to be my only trip to Canada each year. Time to work a little more on that dream.
At both CSSE and IOSH I sit amongst the leadership. It has been said – If you want to be a leader, find someone to follow. I found that at CSSE and I have followed for many years. Happily, I now stand side by side with their amazing leaders and I cannot wait for whatever adventures come next.
One thing I know that will be next is next year PDC 2019 is in Winnipeg. Hundred Acre is very excited at the prospect of going to Winnie’s home and we hope we will see you there too. X
If you’d like to find out more about Hundred Acre and our services, please call us on +44 (0)1933 201103 or write to us via our contact page. We look forward to hearing from you and welcoming you into our world.