Safety Advisory Foundation for Education & Research

Interview with Wolfgang Zimmermann

Wolfgang Zimmermann is the President of the Pacific Coast University for Workplace Health Sciences, Canada's only statutory university ever created by private legislation and unanimous support of all members of the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia and dedicated to education and research on all aspects of the workplace health cycle. As well, Wolfgang is the Executive Director of the National Institute of Disability Management and Research (NIDMAR), established some 25 years ago by a significant group of employers, unions and government representatives with a mandate to drive innovation, thought leadership and best practice economic and social outcomes following onset of a mental or physical health impairment, creating win-win situations for disabled individuals, employers and society.

In this context, and to achieve these results consistently, they developed professional and program standards in return to work and disability management, created an ISO-style organization, the International Disability Management Standards Council, and today, the professional disability management competency standards are formally licensed in 64 countries around the world.

Wolfgang draws on his own experience from many years ago working for MacMillan Bloedel, then Canada's largest forest products company, when, on his fifth day on the job, a 50-foot alder tree barber-chaired, came down on him and broke his back. The support of both the company and the union, the IWA (now the United Steelworkers), and the B.C. workers' compensation board allowed him to continue working for the organization, first in forestry administration, a field he initially graduated from, and then, after retraining, as an accountant.

Wolfgang Discusses Best Practices for Disability Management Programs

Wolfgang Discusses How a Disability Program can Help with the COVID 19 Pandemic