Certified Professional Ergonomist
Beginning with 20 years at the National Research Council of Canada, and now in the 49th year of international experience in research, codes/standards development, public health advocacy and consulting, Jake Pauls currently serves on about 15 national committees in the USA and Canada involved with standards and model codes for building design and use. For eight committees he represents the American Public Health Association (APHA).
Educated in physics, engineering plus architecture, and certified in ergonomics, he is well known for bridging among ergonomics, public health and development of codes and standards for building use and safety. A focus for much of this work is stairway safety and usability including stairway use in major evacuations such as with the World Trade Center for which he co-directed an international initiative on evacuation research and serves on NFPA's High-Rise Building Safety Advisory Committee. Behavior of individuals and crowds in emergencies, including egress from assembly facilities of all sizes, has also been a long-term interest and focus of research, consulting, media attention and standards/codes development, adoption and enforcement. Beyond the work in relatively large buildings, a growing area of work is in public health generally, with a focus on falls suffered by individuals on all kinds of pedestrian facilities. Built environment issues in public health are of special interest, especially as they are impacted by design and regulation—plus regulatory politics—including those related to residential dwellings. He has authored well over 100 publications and has given many more presentations worldwide.
He was the Co-chair of the International Conference on Stairway Usability and Safety, Toronto in June 2011 and has given half-day and one-day workshops on this topic in Canada, the US, and elsewhere. During 2012, in collaboration with colleagues around the world, he co-organized, and/or presented at, several international conferences and workshops with participation by a wide range of safety professionals in Canada, Britain, New Zealand, and the USA. This included organizing and chairing two international workshops of experts in London, UK, and Wellington, NZ, in the autumn of 2012 before world conferences where he also presented papers, in one case the opening keynote. This pattern of international work continued in 2013 with presentation of three papers and organizing a half-day session, all on stairway safety, at the International Conference on Fall Prevention and Protection in Tokyo as well as a one-day session for public health professionals in Canada. It continued through 2014 with international meeting activity in Canada and the UK, including an international conference opening keynote in London, on tall building safety in June 2014. In addition, a state-of-the-art meeting was organized for Toronto on emerging stairway usability and safety issues, in May 2014, and a two-hour webinar on home stair step dimensions was held September 15, 2014, hosted by Parachute, Canada's national injury prevention organization.
During 2015, aside from continuing public health advocacy in relation to building codes in Canada and the USA, attention was on similar scientific/ergonomics and public health advocacy efforts in Australia and New Zealand, in connection with the Triennial Congress of the International Ergonomics Association, and shortly thereafter the annual conference of the Association of Canadian Ergonomists in Canada, plus in the UK with the International Symposium on Human Behaviour in Fire, a field where Jake has participated very actively in every international meeting on the topic since 1975.
For 2016, as part of activity in several public health and safety conferences, he is coordinating North American participation, as well as presenting a two-hour workshop on stairways, in an international meeting on falls, to be held in London. Bath/shower safety will also be addressed at that conference.