|LEAD Action News Volume
14 Number 3, June 2014, ISSN 1324-6011
Incorporating Lead Aware Times ( ISSN 1440-4966) and Lead Advisory Service News (ISSN 1440-0561)
The Journal of The LEAD (Lead Education and Abatement Design) Group Inc.
Editor-in-Chief: Elizabeth O’Brien, Editorial Team: Yiru Rocky Huang and David Ratcliffe
Vale: Professor Chris Winder
Our sincerest thoughts and sympathy for the family of Professor Chris Winder who passed away 21 May 2014.
Sydney Morning Herald Funeral Notice
WINDER, Professor Christopher
15.8.1951 - 21.5.2014
Everloving father to Adam. Adored brother of David, Norma, Pauline and Roz. Esteemed colleague and educator to many and many more alike. A gentle soul that touched so many lives along the way.
Speaking words of wisdom - let it be
Aged 62 years
Family and friends of CHRIS are warmly invited to attend his Celebration of Life Service at Centennial Parklands Dining. Cnr of Park Rd and Grand Drive (access Robertson Rd Gates) on Monday (May 26, 2014) commencing at 11am.
Obituary Contributions from Colleagues of Chris Winder
Chris was a founding member of The LEAD Group’s Technical Advisory Board, founded in the early 1990s, and also served for a time on The LEAD Group Committee in the 1990s, as well as being a founding member of the Lead Education and Abatement Fund (LEAF) Committee, but more than that, he was an invaluable proponent of lead-safety at work and campaigner for good public health policy due to his heartfelt desire to protect children, especially unborn children, from lead.
The Chris Winder that I knew, through The LEAD Group, the environmental NGO campaigning on lead safety, was a hugely intelligent, witty and compassionate man.
Above all, he understood systems – by which I mean, he understood the way industry, government and media work and interact, and, most of all, what communities need in terms of knowledge and strategy in relation to occupational health and safety.
He extended his expertise in toxicology beyond the limits of occupational health and safety for workers, to their families as well. He shared his extensive knowledge with campaigners, and went in to bat for them. He never stopped learning, and sharing his knowledge, whilst understanding that people in a position to make change happen, sometimes need encouragement, to take into account new information, without their feeling a loss of face. It’s called ‘finessing’, at which he was a respectful expert.
Chris Winder’s legacy becomes apparent if one Googles his name. There are 70 articles by him on The LEAD Group’s web site alone. His influence extends over many toxics: including heavy metals other than lead, pesticides, and ‘aero-toxics’ (toxics in aircraft cabins).
With his advice, help, strategizing and support, The LEAD Group has been able to extend its reach from that of a local environmental health NGO to a globally recognised collaborator with the United Nations and the World Health Organisation.
He always said, whenever he lent me an important book or video about lead, “If you don’t give this back, you’ll owe me your first born.”
Whenever I was totally frustrated with what seemed to me to be deliberate misinformation from industry, or the glacial rate of change in government policy (I am speaking of glaciers before global warming), Chris would always advise me to ‘never assume conspiracy, when you can assume incompetence instead.’
Chris used his extensive knowledge to make the world a safer place.
Elizabeth O'Brien, President, The LEAD Group Inc.
I will always remember him as a larger than life figure, full of good humour and more than happy to share his expertise with a struggling novice. I thought he was wonderful. So sad I can't be there as we are still overseas.
Michelle Calvert, Vice President of The LEAD Group Inc.
Chris has not only contributed enormously to workplace safety but has made a substantial contribution to community safety in Australia. His expertise in and contribution to practical toxicology has been enormous. I look forward to another community leader stepping up to continue Chris’s lifelong passion for the wise and safe use of chemicals in our lives, and the prevention of workplace, public health and environmental toxicity effects of chemicals.
Caroline Reid, Director of Occupational Hygiene, Safe Work Australia.
It is with great sadness that we learned this week that Professor Chris Winder passed away in Sydney following a long illness. Chris’ specialty was toxicology and chemical safety. He was Professor in Toxicology and Occupational Health of the School of Risk and Safety Sciences of the University of New South Wales and then Professor in Toxicology and Occupational Health and Academic Coordinator, Occupational Health, Safety and Environmental Management Programs at the Faculty of Business, Australian Catholic University.
Chris has also been editor in chief of the Journal of Health, Safety and Environment and served on and chaired Standards Committees including Standards Australia committee SF/1, developing standards for occupational health and safety management systems (AS/NZS 4804 and AS/NZS 4801) and he was a community representative for public health on the National Industrial Chemicals Notification and Assessment Scheme (NICNAS) Community Engagement Forum. Chris was a Fellow of the Safety Institute of Australia.
Chris was dedicated to improving the lot of workers through his general contribution and specifically when he represented the ACTU on national chemical committees and assisted the ACTU and individual affiliates on various chemical issues. It was a joy to receive his incisive report-backs. They were speckled with witty comments and observations – a rare gem in the context of sometimes dry and tedious debate. Chris took up community and worker concerns: issues that were not always supported by big chemical interests. That made his work even more significant, never shying away from debate. Many of us were privileged to have worked with him on committees – in my case, the NICNAS CEF – for many years. Chris was a lovely, funny and highly principled person. His death is a loss, and he will be sadly missed.
Cathy Butcher, OHS Co-ordinator, Victorian Trades Hall Council (VTHC) – previously at ACTU
I want to express my immense respect for Chris as an educator, ethical researcher and public intellectual. I hadn’t seen Chris for about 15 years, although he clearly made a strong impression on me.
I got to know Chris when he worked at the National Occupational Health & Safety Commission because I was working on reproductive health risks (especially lead) in relation to sex and pregnancy discrimination in employment, for the Federal Sex Discrimination Commissioner. Subsequently, I got to know him when I was a guest teacher on occupational exposure and sex discrimination in the Master’s program at UNSW. We were co-authors of a paper that summarised the situation. I was also a member of the Technical Advisory Board of the LEAD Group.
In those capacities, I learned from Chris’ teaching about how researchers could (and were) replacing the use of animals, and to minimise harm. I am very pleased to see his ethical practices were recognised and awarded – something he valued highly, since it is part of his profile on The Conversation.
I got to witness Chris communicating with integrity nor resiling when his actual work was being pressured by Big Lead. As a top researcher and teacher, Chris gave his knowledge and support, generously to community organisations, as I know to the LEAD Group. He foresaw the value of reducing environmental and occupational exposure of lead, by reducing reliance on primary sources and promoting recycling. He was progressive in supporting reduced occupational exposure and effective practices that would also reduce reproductive risk.
I’d like his son to know that he can be very proud of his father’s work and its ongoing benefit to people and all living things. He was a pleasure to be with.
Dr Chloe Mason, PhD, MEnv Stud, BLaws, BA (Hons), Legal Practitioner NSW, Visiting Fellow, Associate, Institute for Sustainable Futures (AISF), University of Technology of Sydney (UTS)
Dr Chris Winder, Professor in Toxicology and Occupational Health at the Australian Catholic University had spent his life fighting to protect workers and communities from exposure to toxic chemicals and when no one else from academia would speak out to defend them, you could always count on Chris to come to their aid. We worked with Chris on issues to do with dioxin, lead, asbestos and industrial pollution for over 2 decades and to hear that he had died last night from a brain tumour is both tragic and so very sad.
Mariann Lloyd-Smith, Senior Advisor, National Toxics Network (Taken from NTN Facebook Page)
Chris was an influential leader in OHS science and health risk assessment in Australia. Chris was a strong and passionate advocate for chemical safety and safe use of chemicals in Australian workplaces.
He was instrumental in leading the establishment the scientific principles underpinning the Chemicals regulatory system in Australia- formulating the NICNAS technical assessment policies and processes as the organisation was formed. He established best practice methodology and approach for the toxicology, human health and safety and environmental risk assessment paradigms within the new regulatory body and brought both expert knowledge and practicality.
He believed in evidenced based decision making and has ensured professionals he trained have sound knowledge of the science underpinning regulatory toxicology and OHS chemicals assessment. He was an aspiring teaching and an respected advisor. He will be sadly missed by the profession and all who dealt with him.
Margaret Hartley FTSE, CEO, Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering
Chris was one of the few people who made the links between occupational health and environmental health in his teaching and research and was probably instrumental in getting the Journal of Occupational Health and Safety changed to the Journal of Health, Safety and Environment. One important thing he did which may have been overlooked was to draw public attention to the aero toxic syndrome caused by oil fumes in aircraft. For this research he and his PhD student were criticised by Qantas who initially denied there was a problem and sought denigrate the PhD student.
Chris would have been pleased to see the WHO make the relatively recent recommendations for the reduction in blood lead standard well below the current Australian standards for workers and the public.
Please pass my condolences and my comments onto Adam Winder.
Warwick Pearse, ex-Director, Chemical Assessment Branch, Worksafe Australia, ex-teacher of Health Studies at University of Western Sydney Macarthur at Campbelltown. Now Associate Professor, Faculty of Health, School - Public Health and Social Work, Queensland University of Technology.
On behalf of Patrick Murphy - Chair of the SIA Board of Directors, we offer our sincerest thoughts and sympathy for the family of Professor Chris Winder who passed away early Wednesday the 21st May after a long battle with a brain tumour. Chris was a giant among OHS pioneers in Australia, especially in chemical safety and toxicology.
Chris began working in OHS in 1985 and held academic positions as Professor in Toxicology and Occupational Health of the School of Risk and Safety Sciences of the University of New South Wales and then Professor in Toxicology and later Occupational Health and Academic Coordinator of the OHS programs at Australian Catholic University. Chris has also been editor in chief of the Journal of Health, Safety and Environment and served on and chaired Standards Committees including Standards Australia committee SF/1, developing standards for occupational health and safety management systems (AS/NZS 4804 and AS/NZS 4801) and he was a community representative for public health on the National Industrial Chemicals Notification Assessment Scheme (NICNAS) Community Consultative Committee. Chris is a Fellow of the Safety Institute of Australia.
Many Australian OHS professionals and educators will have known Professor Chris Winder, worked with him, been taught by him or had masters or PhD projects supervised by him. He will be sorely missed.
Danielle Laffey, General Manager – Operations, Safety Institute of Australia Ltd
It is difficult to capture all that Chris did during his time at WorkSafe/ NOHSC - but he certainly did a lot. These were difficult times as, due to the tripartite structure of WorkSafe, Chris had to work through Committees satisfying all parties. He also had to make sure of the compatibility of the plans for NICNAS with international approaches here, that NICNAS aligned with the EU system and linked into the OECD chemical committee. There was much negotiation by Chris!
Chris had a great deal of essential input into NICNAS. Besides inventing the name and setting up the early procedures, he set up the assessment section, supervising the recruitment of technical staff, laying out application tracking processes and training assessors at a time when they were in short supply. He also established the standard for transparency in the early reports.
From Chris's early days at WorkSafe he was largely responsible for the production of the Guidance Note for Material Safety Data Sheets, and for the Guidance for Labelling of Hazardous Substances. He also provided major input into many chemical issues.
On the personal level Chris had a terrific sense of humour and produced many cartoons (of which I had a collection which was lost in a move) and had a comedy act with a couple of others. All this was at a time when threats to close WorkSafe were "just round the next electoral corner.”
Senior management may have viewed Chris's humorous style as somewhat subversive but it gave an enormous boost to staff morale. He was bright, talented and supportive of his colleagues.
An old colleague of Chris’s from NOHSC and NICNAS days, Alison Holland
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