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B.C. student recognized for OHS leadership

Aaron Agyeman wins Roberta Ellis Award for Excellence

February 12, 2020
OHS Canada

Aaron Agyeman is a student at the UBC School of Population and Public Health in Vancouver. (Photo submitted)

For Aaron Agyeman, earning an award honouring his excellence in OHS study and practice is the first step in a lifetime mission to impact worker safety.

The UBC School of Population and Public Health student recently won the 2020 Roberta Ellis Award for Excellence, issued through a partnership between WorkSafeBC and the university, for his work in researching occupational exposure.

“I am totally elated to be the recipient of such a reputable award,” said Agyeman. “And I am driven with passion and enthusiasm to aspire for newer heights in the occupational and environmental health discipline.”

Driven by the death of his grandfather as a result of chemical exposure, Agyeman is working to honour his memory by ensuring workers return home safely.

“After a few years of working in heavy industry and experiencing the ever-growing challenges in occupational safety and environmental health, and after losing my grandfather to chemical exposure, I was moved to make a difference,” he said.

“I am poised to bring to the rest of the world the gospel of safety and hygiene by collaborating with organizations such as Workplace Health Without Borders to improve and save the lives of workers, especially in developing countries.”

Agyeman joined WorkSafeBC as a practicum student in the summer of 2019.

In this role, he conducted research into prevention officers’ exposure to technologically enhanced radioactive materials in the oil and gas sector. The study was the first of its kind and increased awareness of potential hazards.

The Roberta Ellis Award for Excellence is presented annually to a student from UBC’s School of Population and Public Health who has demonstrated excellence in academic work or research in the field of occupational and environmental health.

The award was created to honour former WorkSafeBC vice-president Roberta Ellis, who retired in 2016.