Meet your Safety Superheroes: Matt Henselwood, Safety Officer
Learn more about the Safety Officer at the University of Manitoba
Similar to superheroes, the safety officers at the University of Manitoba also work to save the day!
Get to know the safety professionals in your Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) office. We’re spilling the “safe-tea” with these safety heroes to learn about their career path and the rewards and challenges of their role.
Introducing Matt Henselwood, the Safety Officer in EHS. As Matt is part of the Fire and Life Safety program you’ll come across him during fire drills, incident investigations or as part of workplace safety and health committees. He also works closely with Physical Plant and Security Services for emergency response.
How did you come to this career/position?
I’ve always had a passion for helping people, and have thrived in settings where I can engage with the public. I initially started at the UM in Security Services and it was through our collaborations with EHS and participating on health and safety committees, that I was first introduced to Health and Safety as a career option. I was up for a challenge and enrolled in the Health and Safety program at the University of New Brunswick, which helped me in progressing into my current role.
Name something rewarding and challenging in your position.
I find that being able to better equip people in emergency preparedness and response is quite rewarding. Emergencies can be frightening and stressful, if I can help put people’s fears at ease and they’re able to keep a cool head and respond appropriately – it benefits everyone involved.
It can be challenging to have people recognize what fire hazards actually are. It’s not always the obvious, like open flames, flammable liquids or items stored close to a heat source. It is also the subtle things like the incorrect use of power bars or extension cords, using space heaters or poor housekeeping.
What might others be surprised to know about what you do?
My position relies heavily on interpersonal communication. I am involved in events that can have emotions running high or be potentially dangerous, so it’s important for me to communicate in a clear and concise manner. In addition to this, I am actively working to identify and assess risks to ensure they’re mitigated accordingly.
Superhero you most identify with and why:
If I had to pick I would say Batman. Only because he has a wide variety of tools at his disposal to assist in resolving the various situations that may arise, however he does not rely heavily on any one “super power” to get the job done.
You can reach Matt at matt [dot] henselwood [at] umanitoba [dot] ca or at 204-474-8375