Dr. Michael Wahl

  • Dr. Michael Wahl

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    Keynote Address – Wednesday, January 22

    Putting the Health in Health and Safety

    Today we face complex challenges that impact the health and well-being of our workers. These factors include the remote nature of our working environments, shift work, fatigue, mental health challenges, and rising rates of obesity – stemming from poor lifestyle, shifts in the age demographics of workforces, and a rise in automation leading to sedentary jobs. These factors may predispose workers to become susceptible to long-term disability, injury, or incident. This presentation highlights case studies and novel doctoral scientific research from heavy industry. Dr. Wahl will illustrate the role of lifestyle intervention, injury prevention education, and worker physical capacity assessments as an effective means of reducing the risk of illness and injury and their associated costs to organizations both financially and operationally.

    Assembly Address – Tuesday, January 21

    Physiological Approach to Fatigue Management

    Fatigue can be defined as a physiological state of reduced mental or physical performance that comes about because of sleep loss or extended wakefulness, circadian phase, or workload via mental and/or physical activity. It is broadly understood that fatigue in the workplace, whether a result of work related factors or not, can impair a workers alertness and ability to perform duties. In safety-sensitive environments, any hindrance to a workers ability to perform can cause safety concerns for the individual, and the workplace as a whole. Participants in this session will:

    • Understand the physiological mechanisms associated with fatigue
    • The impact fatigue has on safe work performance
    • Strategies organizations can employ to reduce fatigue-related risk
    • Steps they can take to identify fatigue-related incidents

    The presentation will be available for distribution among the attendees for use within their organization.

    Biography

    Dr. Michael Wahl has over 20 years of experience in the field of health and wellness working in athletics, academics and the private sector. He has coached thousands of business leaders and blue-collar working workers to better health and has set up wellness programs used around the world in some of the most remote and challenging conditions.

    Mike holds a Ph.D. in Medicine from Memorial University and while he was getting his degree, he founded a start-up that grew to gain international recognition with companies like ExxonMobil, Transocean and Vale. He won the Global Student Entrepreneur of the Year in 2015 and several other regional and national business awards even representing Canada at the G20 summit on entrepreneurship.

    Mike founded Definitions Health & Wellness that was acquired by the Medisys Health Group, a wholly-owned subsidiary of TELUS Health, in addition to the Senior Director of Wellness for three years. During his career, Mike has spoken internationally at industry conferences on a variety of topics ranging from health and safety to wellness, entrepreneurship and a positive mindset. Mike is now an adjunct professor at Memorial University conducting research for the private sector in safety-sensitive environments and professional speaker.

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