We began to meet in 1990 as an informal network of school district health and safety managers to share concerns and solve problems concerning school district compliance with Workers’ Compensation Board Regulations.
One of our significant accomplishments was the creation of the MSDS Fetch system, which allows school districts to comply with WHMIS regulations through a central agency. This program has expanded to include over two-thirds of the school districts in the province as well as supplying a service to various municipalities.
As the group expanded over the years, the need to formalize the group into an association became evident. In 1999 the process was formally started. The result was the formation of the British Columbia School Safety Association. Our membership includes those whose duties involve management of occupational health and safety for British Columbia school districts or the British Columbia Public School Employers’ Association.
The purpose of the Association is to develop and increase knowledge, skill and efficiency of its members in the fields of health and safety, and to promote cooperation between the Association and other societies and groups working in the field of education.
The first executive members of the British Columbia School Safety Association were:
President – John Bonnet, BCPSEA
Vice-President – John Scorgie, School District #23
Treasurer – Roger Cooper, School District #79
Secretary – Nancy Johnston, School District #38
Director – Earl Billingsley, School District #69
Director – Carole Peacock, School District #36
Director – Fred Makortoff, School District #08
Director – Robert Lawrence, School District #60
Past BCSSA Presidents
1999–2000 John Bonnet, BCPSEA – Health & Safety Officer
2000–2001 John Scorgie, School District #23 (Kelowna) – Health & Safety Officer
2001–2002 Robert Lawrence, School District #60 (Peace River North) – Supervisor of Safety Services
2002–2003 Russel Roy, School District #68 (Nanaimo/Ladysmith) – Occupational Safety Officer
2003–2004 Russel Roy, School District #68 (Nanaimo/Ladysmith) – Occupational Safety Officer
2004–2005 Fred Makortoff, School District #8 (Kootenay Lakes) – Director of Operations
2005–2006 Ken Emmons, School District #23 (Kelowna) – Safety Manager
2006–2007 Ken Emmons, School District #23 (Kelowna) – Safety Manager
2007–2008 Collette O’Reilly, School District #39 (Vancouver) – Manager Health & Safety
2008–2009 Robert Lawrence, School District #60 (Peace River North) – Supervisor of Safety Services
2009–2010 Ken Lear, School District #35 (Langley) – Manager, Health & Safety
2010–2012 Will Dirksen, School District #72 (Campbell River) – Safety Officer
2012–2013 Mark Margerison, School District #79 (Cowichan Valley) – Occupational Health & Safety Manager
2013– 014 Mary Campbell, School District #36 (Surrey) – Manager Health & Safety
2014–2017 Collette O’Reilly, School District #39 (Vancouver) – Health & Safety Manager, Human Resources