Board of Advisors

Yvonne O’Reilly, CRSP

Yvonne is the owner and principal consultant of O’Reilly Health & Safety Consulting, a national consulting practice based in Ontario. She has significant hands-on experience in developing and delivering due diligence training, developing written programs and conducting audits. Yvonne’s diverse professional experience includes working on a multi-billion dollar construction project as well as establishing an occupational health and safety practice within two national law firms. Her extensive knowledge of legislation and comprehensive audit skills, coupled with her engaging presentation style, has provided value to employers across Canada.

She has achieved Canadian Registered Safety Professional designation, is a board member of the Toronto chapter of the Canadian Society of Safety Engineering, has authored or contributed to numerous articles and been a presenter at national conferences and seminars.


Andrew Cooper

Based in Edmonton, Alberta Andrew is a Senior Health and Safety Consultant with RiskCheck Inc., an environmental, health and safety risk management consulting firm offering services to property owners and building management organizations throughout Canada. He has over 20 years of wide-ranging experience in the health and safety field, including previous roles as the OHS Manager for the City of London, as a Senior Health and Safety Consultant for the Industrial Accident Prevention Association (IAPA), and as Acklands-Grainger’s National Health and Safety Manager.

In 1996, Andrew lead the internal investigation into the tragic death of a young worker following an explosion at a municipal arena. The investigative findings led to improvements to public and worker safety in community arenas across Canada. He also played a leadership role in the renewal of Ontario’s Young Worker Awareness Program, entitled “Seven Things You’d Better Know,” and in the development of IAPA’s LINK Young Worker Health and Safety Forum.

Andrew is a graduate of the 3 year Technologist program in Industrial Hygiene from Lambton College in Sarnia, Ontario. He’s a Certified Health and Safety Consultant, a professional member of the Canadian Society of Safety Engineering (CSSE) and an international member of the American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSA).

Finally, Andrew is an active contributor to the occupational health and safety community and serves as Canada’s Chair for NAOSH Week. He is also the Secretary of the CSSE and a member of CSSE’s Executive Committee.


Dave Myrol

David is one of the leading practitioners of OHS law in Western Canada. A former criminal and OHS Prosecutor now Regulatory Defence Lawyer, David defends companies against OHS, environmental and other regulatory prosecutions. Whether giving preventive advice, performing a legal compliance audit, responding to a serious workplace accident, dealing with search warrants or defending against charges, David provides immediate and insightful advice to international, federal and provincial companies. He’s listed in the 2008 edition of the Best Lawyers in Canada.

Despite a busy regulatory practice, David also finds time for education and training. He’s the Chair of the McLennan Ross OHS Practice Group, editor of the firm’s HSE Newsletter, Chair of the National OHS Subcommittee for the Canadian Association of Counsel for Employers, a member of the Advisory Committee for the OHS Certificate Program at the University of Alberta, and a sessional faculty member at the University of Alberta for the OHS Diploma Program. He frequently publishes articles and presents at OHS Seminars across Western Canada. He also sits on the Board of Directors for the Job Safety Skills Society and the Alberta Safety Council.


Fred Leafloor, CRSP, CHSC

Fred is President and Principal Consultant of Safety First Industrial Safety Services, operating from Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. Established originally in Calgary, Safety First Industrial has been an active consultancy for over 20 years, extending its operations to numerous international projects, as well as maintaining a base of Canadian clients. Fred has been involved in the occupational safety and health function since 1982. His initial safety work was in the offshore energy marine environment; however, his experience and technical skills base has broadened over the years to include most commercial and industrial sectors.

Fred has published numerous articles and reports and was awarded the Canadian Petroleum Association National Award of Merit for his work in offshore evacuation technology research. He has served in a number of safety-related organizations as an executive member and is currently in his second term as Canadian Society of Safety Engineering Regional Vice President (Atlantic).


Norm Keith

Norm is a partner in Gowlings’ Employment and Labour Group, specializing in occupational health and safety law, wrongful dismissal litigation, and workers’ compensation. He also advises on matters including privacy law, labour and employment law, and alternate dispute resolution. He has extensive experience in drafting employment contracts, and is counsel for employers involving human rights, labour arbitration, judicial reviews, Ontario Labour Relation Board hearings and fiduciary duty lawsuits.

Norm is an accomplished trial lawyer. During his career, he has successfully defended more than 1,000 charges under the Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act, related statutes and regulations. He has also represented employers at administrative tribunals, environmental prosecutions and coroner inquests. Norm has assisted clients in a wide range of industries in advising on workplace risk management and emergency preparedness planning. He leads the firm’s national occupational health and safety (OHS) practice team of lawyers and OHS consultants. He is a frequent speaker at national and international risk management, OHS and legal conferences and seminars.

Lexpert has rated Norm the most frequently referred lawyer in Ontario for OHS law matters. He is also recognized in The Best Lawyers in Canada as a leader in his field. He is a member of the Law Society of Upper Canada, Canadian Bar Association, Human Resources Professionals Association of Ontario, Association of Canadian Registered Safety Professionals, American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) and Canadian Society of Safety Engineering. He has authored leading texts including Canadian Health & Safety Law, Ontario Health & Safety Law, Creating an Effective Joint Health & Safety Committee and Human Resources Guide to Preventing Workplace Violence and Workplace Health & Safety Crimes (Bill C-45) and Canadian Emergency Management and Response Manual. He’s also the editor of the ASSE International Practice Specialty newsletter, World Focus.

Called to the Ontario Bar in 1983, Norm has an LLB from Osgoode Hall Law School (1981) and a BA from York University (1978). He received his Canadian Registered Safety Professional designation in 1998. He’s the only practicing lawyer in Canada to achieve the CRSP designation.


Cheryl A. Edwards

Cheryl joined Heenan Blaikie as a partner in January 2008. She brings a highly focused, strategic and practical approach to workplace safety management, problems and litigation for provincial, national and international clients of the firm. A former Ontario Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) Prosecutor, Cheryl has been recognized as one of the best OHS and Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) lawyers in Canada on the National Post “Best Lawyers in Canada” list, and as a leading Canadian occupational health and safety practitioner by Lexpert for over 10 years. She is Lead in the firm’s national OHS and WSIB Practice Group.

Cheryl has extensive experience representing employers, constructors, supervisors and officers and directors at OHS regulatory trials, complaints, inquests and appeals. She also advises and conducts litigation in labour relations and employment matters, including grievance arbitration, employment standards, wrongful dismissal, human rights and workers’ compensation matters. She was partner at a boutique labour and employment firm before joining Heenan Blaikie.

Drawing on her extensive knowledge of occupational health and safety law, Cheryl routinely assists clients with proactive OHS measures, including advice on policy development and compliance with OHS and WSIB requirements. Cheryl has conducted health and safety “due diligence” audits for organizations of all sizes and their management. She assists with the immediate issues arising from a serious workplace accident, but also develops proactive Accident Response Plans and strategies to minimize the legal consequences of accidents. She also conducts practical and interactive in-house seminars and training sessions. Her in-house training seminars provide guidance on such topics as meeting Canadian OHS due diligence standards, dealing with workplace violence requirements, OHS standards when using contractors, discipline for safety infractions.


Barbara Semeniuk, BSc, CRSP

Barbara is President of Purcell Enterprises Ltd., a safety and loss management consulting firm. She has over 20 years’ experience in industrial Health and Safety. She has conducted over 1500 audits of companies both large and small in the Construction, Food Processing, Oilfield, Trucking, Retail, Security, and Manufacturing industries. She has taught auditing skills at Red Deer College, for the Food Processor’s Association, the Manufacturers’ Health and Safety Association and the Alberta Construction Health and Safety Association (ACSA). At the ACSA, Barbara was a pioneer in the creation of their auditor training course and the peer auditing system.

Barbara has her degree in Biology from Simon Fraser University, a diploma in Occupational Health and Safety and a Certificate in Adult and Continuing Education from the University of Alberta. She believes that health and safety auditing reduces the terrible costs of incidents and is a very passionate and humorous speaker. She believes “Safety matters, because you matter.”


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