History and Accomplishments

Minerva Canada’s History and Milestones
1989: Project Minerva Canada (PMC) initiated by the Canadian Society of Safety Engineering (CSSE). It was modeled after a U.S. program funded by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) which failed after a few years due to lack of funding. Imperial Oil Limited initially funded Minerva Canada with a grant of $40,000. This was followed by grants from DuPont Canada, and General Motors of Canada. These three companies remain involved today as sponsors and active supporters of Minerva Canada.
1990: The Newfoundland Chapter of the Canadian Society of Safety Engineering (CSSE) created the first Canadian Minerva Committee and organized a symposium at Memorial University, with business, academic and government participation.
1991: The Ontario Project Minerva Committee was created, including representatives from business, government and academia. Terms of reference were formulated and a five-year strategy was developed to introduce health and safety management concepts into the curricula of schools of business and engineering. The Committee was initially administratively supported by the Industrial Accident Prevention Association of Ontario (IAPA), which today is part of the Workplace Safety and Prevention Services (WSPS) of Ontario. The WSPS continues to provide administrative support to Minerva Canada.
1992: The CSSE appointed a National Coordinator to work with the Ontario Committee. Over the next two years, the Ontario Committee:

  • Established relations with the NIOSH-funded U.S. Minerva Education Institute at Xavier University Business School in Cincinnati, Ohio.
  • Produced and distributed Minerva Canada promotional materials (fact sheets, etc.).
  • Initiated an awareness campaign comprising letters, meetings and presentations to target audiences in academia, industry and government.
  • Developed a fundraising strategy. Sponsors included Alcan, Apotex, Dacon, DuPont Canada, Imperial Oil Limited, Labour Canada, Ortho-McNeil, Procter & Gamble, Southam, The Woodbridge Group, Twinpak and Versa Services.
1997: The committee created the not-for-profit corporation Minerva Canada, which continues the work under a national umbrella and partners with other organizations, including the CSSE, that conduct similar activities.
2003: The Ontario Workplace Safety Insurance Board (now part of the Workplace Safety and Prevention Services (WSPS) of Ontario) began providing sponsorship funding to Minerva that allowed it to expand its programs and activities. These included the creation of a Summer Institute in 1994, an engineering student award in 2006, and an Intercollegiate Business School Competitions (ICBC) business student H&S award venue in 2010. In addition, Minerva Canada’s growing list of case studies now numbers 25. And some 35 universities and colleges, over 600 professors and over 800 engineering, business students have been involved in one or more of Minerva’s health and safety educational programs and activities.
2012: Minerva Canada undertook its most ambitious project ever – the development and piloting of 22 Health and Safety student teaching modules with assistance from numerous Canadian Universities/Colleges, industry organizations, and other key Minerva stakeholders. Minerva received special sponsorship funding from several companies, Mitacs and the Ontario government which it provides to Canadian universities in order to allow this four-year project to proceed.To date, we have over ten modules available for use by post-secondary professors and instructors.
Today: Minerva Canada remains the only organization of its kind in North America promoting health and safety education in post-secondary teaching institutions. Minerva’s successes since the early 90’s is the direct result of the very strong collaboration between industry, government, academia and professional associations in Canada to advance health and safety education in universities and colleges. They all share the same vision as Minerva.