Christina Passfield - Elevator and Amusement Device Inspector

Christina Passfield

Elevator and Amusement Device Inspector, Technical Standards and Safety Authority, (TSSA)

I was born/grew up in: Oshawa, Ontario, Canada

I now live in: Oshawa, Ontario, Canada.

I completed my training/education at: Durham College – Mechanical Engineering Technology; While working in the Elevating Devices Branch of the Ontario Ministry of Consumer and Commercial Relations, I completed a 2-year training program (continuing education)

Describe what you do at work.

I inspect elevators, various amusement park rides, ski lifts, construction hoists to make sure they are safe for the public. I do this by performing inspections and tests. I also make sure these companies are following the proper regulations and codes. I use a lot of STEM skills and knowledge in my work. For example I use math and technology in the tests I do on equipment. I engage in problem solving as I read blueprints and confirm that the devices are built to the specifications. I have to calculate the loads that the different devices and rides can carry safely.

In my daily work I use pressure gauges, tachometers, and a variety of measuring equipment. Where there are differences between the codes and what equipment performs I have to write reports. I also have to communicate the problems to the tradespeople working on site. I have to make decisions about whether or not to license elevators or rides for the public to use. To do this I follow a set process that is based on the tests I conduct and the codes and regulations that are in place. My STEM knowledge gives me the knowledge and confidence to apply the technology to business decisions and to determine if the equipment meets the code requirements.

When I was a student I enjoyed:

How does your job affect peoples lives?

My job has a direct effect on people’s lives in that I make sure the elevators, escalators, rides, etc. are all safe for them to use. It is also fulfilling to share my knowledge with tradespeople who call with “how to” questions. I like to build relationships and promote public safety in the industry that I’m responsible for.

What motivates you in your career?

I find it personally rewarding when I can help others make devices safe for the public by sharing my knowledge. I find my career interesting because there is always new information to learn as new equipment are developed or as the codes change.

When I was a student, I would have described myself as someone who:

Describe your career path to this career.

This is not the type of career that I thought I’d be in when I graduated high school. I did think that I would be in a career where I worked with my hands. When I was growing up my father was a tradesperson. He was a mentor to me as I spent countless hours with him in his fabrication shop building and maintaining motorcycles, trucks, cars, etc.

When I graduated high school I entered Durham College and completed a Mechanical Engineering Technology program. Later I started doing inspections on lift and ride equipment. I continued to learn and completed additional courses over a two year period that were offered by the Ontario government to qualify me to certify equipment as safe for public use.

After I graduated Durham College, I accepted employment with Goodyear Canada. I was responsible for developing their preventative maintenance system for their conveyor belt manufacturing plant located in Bowmanville. Soon after I accepted employment with Ontario Hydro as a Field Technician. I was responsible for inspection both nuclear and conventional piping. Part of my job was to observe pressure tests and confirm the piping was built to the blueprints designed by the Engineering Department. As the Darlington construction site was winding down, I accepted the position as Elevator Inspector In training with the Government of Ontario’s Elevating Devices Branch. This branch eventually became TSSA and this is where I am still employed today.

During my initial years I did experience some challenges due to being a female in a traditionally male career. However, as my skill and confidence grew, these challenges became less and less. Today I am a leader in my field and I share my knowledge with both men and women in the workplace.

What activities do you like to do outside of work?

I like to paddle board, cycle and spend time at the cottage. I volunteer with groups like Skills Canada Ontario speaking with youth about careers in the trades.

What advice or encouragement would you give others seeking a similar career?

Do something daily that scares you! It might be something simple like introducing yourself to a stranger or pushing yourself to do something new, and don’t be afraid to ask questions. This is how I gained valuable experiences and knowledge.

Lets Talk Science is grateful to Skills Canada Ontario for connecting us with this individual.

CurioCity Careers

We hope you enjoyed learning about this great STEM career! The information in this career profile was provided by this individual especially for CurioCity. We hope it helped give you a sense of what this type of job is really like.

Let’s Talk Science is pleased to provide you with this information as you explore future career options. Many careers require a background in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). Even jobs that don’t use specific STEM concepts on a day-to-day basis benefit from the skills gained through a study of STEM. People with a STEM background are very much in demand by employers across all career sectors. If you would like to learn about more careers that have a STEM connection, visit

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