David Lamanna, a long-time health and safety advocate and a member of CUPE 2 in Toronto, received CUPE’s National Health and Safety Award on October 22 at the CUPE National Convention.

A signal technician at the Toronto Transit Commission, Lamanna was touched by the award and thanked the delegates for the honour. Concerned about workers’ safety, he was advised to ‘be the change you want to see’ which inspired him to develop products and procedures that directly enhance workers’ health and safety. Some of Lamanna’s major achievements include:

  • Developing the ‘work area warning system’ to alert transit operators that there are workers ahead of them so operators can reduce the vehicle speed or stop, if required;
  • Working with Bombardier to develop a ‘track safe’ system, to detect and protect workers at track level on subway and rail lines;
  • Creating the ‘bonding assembly’ allowing workers to safely work at track level without being electrocuted.

Co-chair of his local’s Joint Health and Safety Committee, he improved safety and health at his workplace by negotiating additional training for all of the commission’s 450 health and safety committee members. He also produces the local’s quarterly health and safety newsletter.

James Chai