Dr Olga Kuzmina has been included on 'Health and Safety at Work' magazine’s “40 under 40” list of achievers.
The list celebrates innovation in health and safety by highlighting the work of 40 leading early-to-mid-career safety specialists. This year it also marked 40 years since the first print edition of Health and Safety at Work magazine.
Health and safety innovation
Dr Olga Kuzmina joined Imperial in 2013 as a post-doctoral research assistant. Her industry experience, voluntary position at the RSC, and growing interest in promoting a safe working culture drew her towards the area of health and safety. In 2016 she became the FoNS Health and Safety Team Manager, providing support for staff and students at all levels.
"Olga has strong skills in innovating and developing new ideas... she is changing our health and safety culture” Stef Hoyle Head of Health and Safety, Faculty of Natural Sciences
Over the past two years Olga’s creative approach to the role has seen a marked reduction in the faculty’s year on year accident rate. She has been instrumental in unifying risk assessment and lab training, writing a catalogue of more than 60 standard operating procedures (SOPs). She also took the lead in creating a breathing apparatus response team to deal with hazardous spillages, which has proved invaluable on six occasions, avoiding lab closure, contractor intervention, and associated costs.
Health and Safety at Work highlighted Dr Kuzmina’s “rigour, creativity and attention to detail”, a sentiment echoed by Stef Hoyle, Natural Sciences’ head of Health and Safety:
“Olga has strong skills in innovating and developing new ideas, then ensuring they get implemented practically”, he said. “She is changing our health and safety culture”.
Real impact in the lab
Stef nominated Olga for the campaign and refereed her candidature. He emphasises the impact she has had in motivating staff and students, particularly at Imperial’s new Molecular Sciences Research Hub at White City. As well as conducting safety talks and training, assisting the design of predictive software for emergency procedures and COSHH assessments, and supervising student projects, Olga has also devised a student quiz exploring lab risks and control measures. The quiz has been taken by over 250 students so far. Additionally Olga acts as FoNS representative at College health and safety working groups and committees.
The “40 under 40” campaign received around 160 international submissions; 70 of these candidates were presented to an expert judging panel who scored each profile in the areas of “personal and professional achievement, evidence of innovation or creative thinking, and contribution to safety in its wider sense”.
The final 40 were chosen for their positive influence on safety and occupational health. They were also recognised as representatives of the rising generation of safety practitioners. Editor of Health and Safety at Work, Elaine Knutt, commented on the candidates’ “sheer ability to make things happen, to not accept the status quo, and above all to take safety messages beyond their own organisations”.
Mehriban Ulusoy, who previously worked with Imperial's Faculty of Natural Sciences Health and Safety Team, also made the "40 under 40" list this year - congratulations also to Mehriban and the other winners!
Find out more
- Meet the winners of this year's “40 under 40” Health and Safety at Work list
- Read Olga's profile on Health and Safety at Work
The winners will also be profiled in the January issue of the print magazine.
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