OHS Canada Magazine

Virtual Events
ProtectHer: The Women’s Safety Leadership & PPE Symposium
March 27, 2024 at 1:30pm ET

Keynote Speakers


  • Shirley Hickman, Founder and Executive Director, Threads of Life
  • Maureen Shaw, Health & Safety Thought Leader

Shirley Hickman
Shirley’s and her family’s lives were forever changed when they suffered a traumatic workplace tragedy.

Since that time, she has focused on making a difference in workplace health and safety. On April 28, 2009, Shirley was a guest speaker at the International Labour Organization’s World Day for Safety and Health in Geneva, Switzerland and the XVIIth World Congress on Health and Safety, among others.

In 2008 she became the third recipient of the IAPA-CME Health & Safety Leadership Award, which recognizes outstanding individuals who have demonstrated a dedicated contribution to the innovation and advancement of health and safety in the workplace and/or community.

Shirley’s story has been showcased in the Ontario Workplace Safety and Insurance Board’s advertising campaign with the hope that heightened injury prevention awareness will save lives. She received the 2007 YMCA of London Women of Excellence Award for Community Volunteerism and Humanity for her contribution to workplace safety in London and across Canada.

In 2002, Shirley co-founded Threads of Life – A Workplace Tragedy Family Support Association. She is currently the Executive Director of Threads of Life. Threads of Life helps families affected by a workplace fatality, life-altering injury or occupational disease along their journey of healing. It provides these families with referrals and the only one-on-one peer support assistance program in the world that is delivered by trained Volunteer Family Guides who have also experienced a workplace tragedy.

It is currently working with more than 2,000 family members from across Canada who have been affected by a workplace tragedy. Threads of Life promotes public awareness and accountability for workplace health and safety. Its vision is to lead and inspire a culture shift as a result of which work-related injuries, illnesses and deaths are morally, socially and economically unacceptable.

Maureen Shaw
Maureen Shaw has spent over 30 years as a leader in Occupational Health and Safety – provincially, nationally and internationally. She is the former President and CEO of IAPA (Industrial Accident Prevention Association) headquartered in Toronto, and led IAPA in the development of its Healthy Workplace Model, which integrates leadership, physical health and safety, wellness and psychological health into organizational strategy and culture. The Healthy Workplace framework and model has been adopted by the World Health Organization as their global strategy. Maureen is a thought leader, lecturer and presenter in boardrooms, conferences and in the education community, and is a regular writer and contributor on organizational wellness and mental health for Canadian Occupational Safety Magazine. Maureen is a lifelong learner and teacher of organizational leadership, governance, and people.

Maureen has been recognized nationally and internationally for her leadership, including being one of 60 Canadians to be recipients of the Inaugural Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal; being recognized by the International Labour Organization (ILO) for her “contribution and commitment to the worldwide advancement of occupational safety and health”; receiving the Commemorative Medal for the 125th Anniversary of Confederation, also referred to as the Canada 125 Medal; being a recipient of the Calgary YWCA Woman of Distinction in Business, Labour, and the Professions Award; and, receiving the Canada Safety Council National Award.

Maureen is passionate about all things creative. She encourages innovation and creativity in all aspects of life and work, and is a lifelong love of reading, writing, visual and performing arts.​

Presented By