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November 28, 2019

Lisa McCaskell, a dedicated, passionate advocate for health and safety, is the posthumous winner of the 2019 OFL Linda Jolley Lifetime Achievement Award.

In accepting the award on his sister’s behalf, Tim McCaskell noted that his sister would have been honoured to receive the award and pleased to be a role model for other advocates for occupational health and safety.

Lisa began her career at OPSEU in 1999 as a Health & Safety Officer. In 2003, Lisa was promoted to the Senior Health & Safety Office position, which she held throughout her career at OPSEU.

A longstanding advocate for occupational health and safety, Lisa fought for all workers’ right to be protected from work-related injuries and illnesses. She was highly respected in her field and brought unique credentials to the health and safety movement — having completed degrees in both nursing and journalism.

Joining OPSEU after several years as a health and safety specialist with the Ontario Nurses’ Association (ONA), Lisa was dedicated to the labour movement. Some of her most influential work was done during the SARS epidemic, including her work on the joint OPSEU/ONA submission to the SARS Commission.

True to form, Lisa opened her presentation to the SARS Commission stating that if workers are not protected from health and safety hazards, patients and the public are not protected either. It’s that simple. If workers are not told how to protect themselves, they cannot do so. If unions are left out of the process, we cannot play a role in helping our members get the information they need.

Prior to her death last February, Lisa served on numerous boards; as Vice-Chair of the Institute for Work & Health and for 12 years as a Director for the Centre for Research Expertise in Occupational Disease.

The Linda Jolley Lifetime Achievement Award for Health and Safety was created at the 2013 OFL Convention following the death of Linda Jolley, a former Research Director for the Ontario NDP and the former Director of Occupational Health and Safety at the Federation.

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