University appoints new WorkSafe New Zealand Chair in Health and Safety

Dr Joanne Crawford has been appointed as the inaugural WorkSafe New Zealand Chair in Health and Safety at Victoria University of Wellington.

A portrait of Joanne Crawford
Dr Joanne Crawford will join the School of Health as the WorkSafe New Zealand Chair in Health and Safety.

This new academic Chair will sit within the School of Health. The role is designed to lift New Zealand’s health and safety performance through high quality research and teaching.

WorkSafe New Zealand, who are responsible for the regulation of workplace health and safety in New Zealand, will contribute funding to the Chair position for five years from the commencement of the first Chair appointment.

Professor Antonia Lyons, head of the School of Health, says the Chair is an important new role which follows the introduction of new, internationally-benchmarked Workplace Health and Safety postgraduate qualifications at the University.

“We are excited for Dr Crawford to join our growing team. She will provide health and safety academic leadership through research, teaching, and engagement and advance New Zealand’s health and safety at work performance through the promotion of greater knowledge and internationally recognised research and innovation.”

Dr Crawford has an extensive background in occupational health, most recently as Head of Ergonomics and Human Factors at the Institute of Occupational Medicine in Edinburgh and previously as Senior Lecturer in Ergonomics at the University of Birmingham and Programme Director for the MSc in Occupational Health. Her research and work have focused on the occurrence and management of musculoskeletal disorders, as well as knowledge management, ageing at work, and return to work after cancer.

“We are delighted that an appointment has been made and wish Dr Crawford every success,” says Jude Ulrich, WorkSafe General Manager of Strategy and Performance.

“We expect Dr Crawford will make a significant difference in health and safety through strong relationships with health and safety professionals, unions, businesses and other government agencies.”