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WHSC Board names new Executive Director

WHSC Executive Director Andrew Mudge
Following an extensive executive search, the Workers Health & Safety Centre (WHSC) Board of Directors is pleased to announce Andrew Mudge as their choice for Executive Director. 

“Andrew has provided exceptional service to our organization for 10 years, first as Assistant to the Executive Director — Administration and most recently as Interim Executive Director. I and members of the WHSC Board are confident Andrew will provide the kind of strong, capable leadership we have benefitted from all these years,” observes Wayne Samuelson, WHSC President and Chair of the Board.

Mudge has been responsible for financial, human resource, health and safety, and facilities management at WHSC. This included drafting and submission of business plans and funding requests to the Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development (MLTSD), as well as reporting results and providing support to the Finance Committee and Board of Directors. Prior to joining WHSC, Andrew served in senior leadership roles at other non-governmental agencies for 15 years collectively.

Mudge takes over from Dave Killham, who retired last July, after leading the organization for 19 years.

“As WHSC Executive Director, Dave helped us thrive often under less than favourable conditions” says Samuelson. “He saw us through for instance, the dramatic shift in legislative oversight for Ontario occupational health and safety prevention that began 10 years ago. More recently he shepherded us through initial chaos of the COVID pandemic. We owe Dave much thanks,” adds Samuelson.

Worker well-being to remain priority one at WHSC

Where the WHSC goes from here has already been the source of many internal discussions. Mudge wants to reassure all connected to WHSC though. “Like everyone I am so looking forward to a post-pandemic future, where we can build back better. But I am committed to remaining true to the purpose established for us by WHSC founder, Clifford Pilkey. While COVID has changed much, this much will remain the same at WHSC,” says Mudge.

“Cliff well understood workers and their representatives need training and information services upon which they can rely – services that put worker well-being first. As we move forward, I will work to ensure this purpose remains central to who we are at WHSC,” adds Mudge.

Pilkey conceived of a workers’ training centre, while president of the Ontario Federation of Labour (OFL). With the passage of Bill 70, Ontario's Occupational Health and Safety Act, he recognized workers and workplaces representatives would require comprehensive training to confidently and competently exercise newly won rights and responsibilities as enshrined in the Act. He negotiated with government and even other labour leaders to secure centrally pooled grants in support of an OFL health and safety training project. On the strength of this project’s success, Pilkey made the successful case for sustained funding in 1986 from the then-Workers’ Compensation Board. 

Today, WHSC operates as one of six Health and Safety Associations through a transfer payment by the Prevention Office of the MLTSD funded from the Workplace Safety & Insurance Board. We are also Ontario’s only designated occupational health and safety training centre and only training provider to be endorsed by labour. 

“I am truly honoured our Board has placed their trust in me,” concludes Mudge. “I, in turn, will put my trust in our dedicated and talented WHSC staff and others in our senior leadership group. Supported by our Board, constituents and clients, together, we have met past challenges, particularly those of the last two years. Together, I know we will work equally hard to meet the challenges of the future. Ontario workers, their representatives and all pursuing safer, healthier work can count on us to do our part.”   
 
To learn more:
Call a WHSC training services representative in your area.
Email: contactus@whsc.on.ca
Visit: www.whsc.on.ca
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