What makes you the best health and safety specialist?

We all know that an occupational health and safety specialist is a person with knowledge and experience in the field of occupational health and safety, whose task is to organize the occupational health and safety processes prescribed by law. But as in any position, there are always so-called superstars who are more successful than others and who produce better results. Better results also mean better opportunities – better salary, better position, better company, more freedom, and so on.

How could you become a superstar in health and safety?

3. The only source of your knowledge is not the legislation. This is also important, but you, as an occupational safety and health professional, should look a little more broadly and especially at what others are doing. Join different social media groups, where there are other health and safety specialists. If the language capability allows, then join foreign groups as well, because you will get more information about what is being done outside of your country. Sign up for newsletters offering occupational health and safety services and products. Many of them may be promoters of their own products and services, but many also publish among their own things general valuable materials, like reports, surveys, summaries of researches and so one. In time, you can keep those newsletters that are valuable and unsubscribe from those where you can’t find value.

2. You understand that occupational health and safety is not an isolated field. It crosses all other fields, such as human resource management, production management, inventory planning, general corporate management and culture, and so on. Poorly managed occupational health and safety is a cost to the company, which manifests in various areas in the company. 

3. The only source of your knowledge is not the legislation. This is also important, but you, as an occupational safety and health professional, should look a little more broadly and especially at what others are doing. Join different social media groups, where there are other health and safety specialists. If the language capability allows, then join foreign groups as well, because you will get more information about what is being done outside of your country. Sign up for newsletters offering occupational health and safety services and products. Many of them may be promoters of their own products and services, but many also publish among their own things general valuable materials, like reports, surveys, summaries of researches and so one. In time, you can keep those newsletters that are valuable and unsubscribe from those where you can’t find value.

4. Be up to date with different technologies. If necessary, you can directly recommend suitable solutions to the management. Occupational health and safety is also advancing with the digital revolution and innovative technologies. It’s incredible what has been invented to assess the ergonomics of workers, the amount of dust in the air, the dangerous behavior of workers, and so on. Being in different social media groups and newsletters again helps to be updated with such solutions.

5. Self-development is very important. Take at least 2 hours every week where you are educating yourself in the field of occupational health and safety. This is the time to read exciting articles, listen to podcasts or watch webinars.

6. Management is waiting for solutions from you. The best value you can show to the management is when you can offer new and innovative solutions. Once the management has understood an occupational health and safety problem and is ready to deal with it, then it is your job to bring several options to the table and explain how this can solve the problem. 

7. Be proactive. If you find that something could benefit your company, let your management know, but be prepared. This means knowing how much it will cost to buy or implement this solution and what benefits it could bring to the company. Also point out some other similar organizations that use it and what benefits they have gained.

In short, every health and safety specialist can become a superstar if you have a deeper interest in this field and be updated with the latest trends; you are always solution-oriented and proactive in improving the occupational health and safety situation of the company.

headshot of Dan Wheatley, Straight Talk Consulting founder

By Jaanika Jelistratov, Founder