Environment, health and safety is an essential cog in modern day organizational machinery that ensures safe, environmentally friendly and healthy working conditions – for its workers and overall.
The relevance of safety professionals has never been as important as it is now. In a day and age of intense media scrutiny, coverage and independent scientific bodies that are not only able to grab the attention of public but also statutory bodies placed in the governmental tiers of decision making and judiciary. Organizations would go through all the motions to avoid any such EHS related fiasco.
Another reason being that the developed nations with their long standing regulatory bodies, desire to progress further forward, while the need and interests of developing nations to improve their track records.
A career in EHS serves to become an organization’s frontline worker who evaluates for safe working conditions, advises and guides to ensure the occupational health and develops strategies for mitigating environmental impact.
The demand for EHS professionals is without a doubt rising world over and here is a list of 5 things to know before embarking on a career as an EHS professional.
Securing the right qualifications and certifications related to EHS would be the stepping stone to start the journey. Based on the region and country requirements, there are courses available that can prepare a person to meet the demands of EHS career. However, a technical or science based first degree would provide the right foundation to base EHS qualifications on. EHS is an applied domain that requires thorough and rigorous analysis of some of the dangerous, hazardous and complex working scenarios. Degrees that polish such fundamental skills would make life a lot easier for aspiring EHS professionals.
Developing the habit of applying fundamental skills over and over without losing accuracy or patience would be the next thing to target. As mentioned earlier, scenario analysis for diverse and myriad working conditions would demand the same astute and thorough behavior, each time. Add behavioural aspects of workers to this equation and the EHS job starts looking tougher. Developing and curating habit based skills with a knack for man-management would be highly useful.
Maintaining good physical fitness would allow aspiring EHS professionals to not only meet the physical challenges of the job but can also contribute to a certain degree in increasing the awareness that is required to function smoothly in a demanding domain.
Learning, contributing and networking is a perpetual theme relevant to almost all the professions. EHS career requires to update yourself with applicable laws, rules and directives mandated by the regulatory agencies or governments. Sharing and growing together with an informed network of EHS professionals therefore becomes a sure shot way of staying ahead of the curve, in a regulatory and compliance driven domain.
Staying fearless to voice your opinion is another priority due to the simple fact that EHS domain and its aspects can have far-reaching consequences. Learning to communicate your opinion and analysis effectively across hierarchy or even to a small group of individuals therefore become necessary. Displaying composure with communication and co-ordination are the most sought after tools in EHS domain.
There are several other things that one would learn at the job itself, through experiential and direct learning. But learning from these five things talked about here might serve as a great guide for individuals looking to make a career in environment, health and safety.