Member profile: Health and Safety Officer – Kim Wyllie

Professionally, Kim Wyllie wears many hats. As an employee of Transport Canada for more than 16 years, she is a Civil Aviation Safety Inspector for Cabin Safety & Aviation Occupational Health and Safety Officer,Delegated Labour Program Official . She is also a union activist for the past 14 years and recently became the chair of the newly formed Prairie Region Health and Safety Committee.   And as if that wasn’t enough to keep her busy, she is currently enrolled in the Occupational Health and Safety Professional program at the University of New Brunswick, where she is working towards her master’s degree.

Kim is part of a relatively small team of talented safety professionals who oversee and serve over 1,000 domestic commercial and private operators. These technical inspectors (TI’s)  are unique in that they hold two delegations that provide them with the authority to carry out and exercise specific powers, duties and functions on behalf of the Minister of Transport and the Minister of Labour, and responsibility to maintain their required professional certification.

For those who may not know, the field of Cabin Safety covers a wide range of areas, including crashworthiness, operations, human factors, and education to name a few. The aim for cabin safety inspectors is to reduce fatalities and injuries resulting from an accident, to increase the survival rate, and to provide a safe environment for passengers and crew members in and around an aircraft. They do this by ensuring airline operations are conducted safely and in accordance with legislation. They accomplish this in a myriad of ways including managing surveillance teams, inspecting facilities as well as safety and emergency equipment on board aircraft, and reviewing and approving safety and emergency procedures outlined in the air operator manuals and training programs.

Kim’s responsibility also is to administer Part II of the Canada Labour Code and the Aviation Occupational Health and Safety Regulations with regards to employees working onboard aircraft while in operation and in respect of persons granted access to those aircraft by the employer. The TI’s in this specialty, work together with Employment and Social Development Canada so that the purpose of the Code (to prevent accidents and injury to health arising out of, linked with or occurring in the course of employment) is achieved. Some ways that this is achieved includes investigations into continued refusals to work, fatalities and hazardous occurrences and/or providing information and education to employers and their employees concerning the prevention of hazards.

When you speak with Kim, you can’t help but see how she feels about her work and the hardworking individuals in her specialty. She said:

I believe in what I am doing, and I am passionate about my work.  We have people who come in from industry because they really care about transportation safety and spend the rest of their professional career here. Regardless of the challenges and obstacles we sometimes face, the level of dedication and professionalism in my specialty never ceases to amaze me. It makes me very proud to work here.

She shared with us that a mentor of hers once said, “We are successful if we act as a team, share and are always willing to ‘play well in the sandbox’ together.” She believes she has this relationship with all those with whom she works.

Kim is another great example of the incredible work our members do to keep Canadians safe. Thank you!

Union of Canadian Transportation Employees

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