How do you get in to safety? I got you!
Safety Consultant with Sheldon Primus
How do you get in to safety? I got you!
March 30, 2023
In this episode, Sheldon gives guidance as to how to get into the safety and health field. Also, he introduces some of the audience to the International Framework for safety and health.
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Keywords: Environment, Sustainability, Workplace safety, Hazardous materials, Industrial hygiene, Occupational health, Safety regulations, Hazard prevention, Risk assessment, Chemical safety, Ergonomics, Health and safety, standards, Environmental policy, Workplace health promotion, Environmental health, Air quality, Water quality, Climate change, Green initiatives, Sustainable development, Government news, Public policy, Politics, Government services, Government programs, Public administration, Political analysis, Government leadership, Federal government, State government, Local government, Government accountability, Government transparency, Government efficiency, Government reform, Legislative updates, Government decision-making, Government technology, Government innovation, Public service, Workplace safety, Occupational safety, Safety training, Health and safety compliance, Safety management systems, Risk assessment, Safety audits, Safety culture, Incident investigation, Ergonomics, Hazard identification, Industrial hygiene, Safety inspections, Behavior-based safety, Safety program development, OSHA compliance, Safety policies and procedures, Job hazard analysis, Safety performance metrics, Safety certifications, Sheldon, Primus, Sheldon Primus, Safety FM, Jay Allen, Dr. Todd Conklin, Dr. Sydney Dekker, Safety Differently, HOP, BBS, COSS, COSM, Oil and Gas, Chemical Manufacturing, Medical Compliance, Human Resources, HR, Podcast

[00:00:07] Announcer: This episode is powered by Safety FM.  
[00:00:14] Sheldon Primus: Welcome to the Safety Consultant Podcast. I am your host, Sheldon Primus. In this podcast I teach you the business of being a safety consultant. We'll talk about safety and health stuff, talk about OSHA compliance from time to time. So we do a little bit of everything, right? So I am your guide for now, Sheldon Primus, yay! So I just wanted to let you guys know that I appreciate you listening. If you have not subscribed to the podcast, please do, uh whatever station you're listening to, or channel, or whatever they're calling it now, pretty much is gonna be an app, right? So whatever app you're listening to me on, go ahead and hit  subscribe so you could hear it again or you could listen to me when I release new episodes. And I've, as I told everybody, I'm a working safety consultant right now, so therefore my episodes aren't gonna always be every week. I try and generally it's gonna be Wednesday, uh but there is sometimes I'm traveling, because I'm an active traveler as well. So we'll get it when we need to, right? But I got plenty of backup episodes, so I believe we're actually gonna-- not backup episodes, I shouldn't say that, that means that you haven't heard it before, but I do have other stuff. So that's what I mean. That's what I mean. And you're gonna end up, uh, let's see, I'm gonna look them up to see how much I have because I actually started doing this a little while ago, which was, uh, looking at the listeners and where they're located, but then I could also see, in the background of who do I actually have, as far as my analytics and then also how many episodes do I have? So, I've got 225 of them, so far. So it's been a bunch, so if you uh want to go ahead and binge do that too, that'd be awesome. Let me know what you think. Reach out to me at sheldon@sheldonprimus.com, or you can go to safetyconsultantpodcast.com and look for the microphone icon. When you see the microphone icon, then select that and you can leave a message for the show. It's awesome, I actually haven't done that one yet. Are you gonna be the first? See if I could see anything that's coming in yet? No, nothing yet, not now. Uh Nope, not now. No, I'm kidding.  
So let's uh show you guys, or at least let you know, where are you uh listening from? So we get a bunch of different locations, um and I'm gonna start with a chartable.com. They have um they tell me locations and ranking too. So here is where people are listening to me. So by order, uh meaning people who are listening the most, uh I've got a pretty good amount, oh the first uh country is Saudi Arabia. Uh Second country is the US, third is Chile, Australia, Canada, Germany, Singapore. And literally those people in Singapore, I just did a Singapore Accord uh blast to someone telling me they were trying to figure out is there a framework for safety and health? And I said, yep, there is. It came from a Singapore Accord back in 2017, or 2016 one of the two, and I actually literally just sent some people to uh the information that's coming from the International Network of Safety and Health Professional Organizations, INSHPO, uh they have the, they house where that accord came from. So if you are the person who uh you're trying to get into the safety and health and you don't know what your competency should be or you don't know the pathway, uh then that Singapore Accord is what you need. Uh inshpo.org is where you see it, I-N-S-H-P-O dot org. So back to, you see? My mind went all crazy, went somewhere else when I mentioned Singapore, right? So after Singapore, UK, your next. Bahamas, South Africa, Pakistan, Ireland, Spain, Bangladesh. Thank you guys for all listening. Uh Russian Federation, Sweden, Netherlands, Senegal, France, Philippines, Oman, Colombia, Nigeria, Italy, and India. Thank you all for listening to the Safety Consultant Podcast. Hopefully, I'm helping you with everything that you need to be a consultant or play the role of a consultant. So you actually can be listening to this and you're not a consultant yet, that's ok. It's not frowned upon to listen to this. You're doing just fine, just listen to this, get some information that you need and then you know, when you're ready, branch off a little and then go full time later on.  
So, uh let's give you guys the ranking. So from Apple Podcast, I am number sixty, uh 167 in Saudi Arabia under the government, uh category. And in South Africa, I'm 166. Thank you guys, help me get on that chart. Uh The charts usually start at 200 which is awesome. Uh And it's not just for me, it's for you guys are sharing this information with people because it is truly helping you. So I appreciate it. Uh In Singapore, I am number 67 in your government category. Uh Chile, I'm 26. Nigeria, I'm 64 and in Senegal, I am now 34 in the podcasting, and that's on the Apple Podcast. I think you guys listening to Apple. Uh You got me on the chart. Excellent, thank you and uh let's give you guys another one. There's a bug in this one so I can't really give you all the info, but I just want at least to let you guys know. Thank you.  
[00:06:17] So what am I gonna talk about today? Oh, hold on. Thank you, and not only thank you, but this. Yeah, you deserve it, man. So today, I do want to talk about something that, uh it is coming from what I just shared with you guys, the Singapore Accord and, and uh pathways to becoming a safety, just a professional right now, uh not even a consultant. And the reason I thought about this as a, a topic is because I was in the US Safety Professional Group, uh on Facebook and someone wrote this in the group that says, “does anyone have a structured plan for onboarding brand new people to a safety job?” And then they go on and they talk a little bit about that and mostly everyone that responded to this one had no idea that there is actually safety and health competencies out there. Uh So I did um just pointed people to the OH & S professional capacity, or capability framework case. So that's the full name of it, The OH & S Professional Capability Framework. And this one is coming from the INSHPO, where I told you guys about it already. It's kind of hard to say, isn't it? Yeah, that one I just have to, you know, it doesn't roll off the tongue, if you would. Uh It's, but either way you guys are gonna get that information by going to I-N-S-H-P-O dot org. So that is going to be the framework I'm gonna talk about real quick, not much. Just wanna at least let you guys know that there is a pathway. You could use that, that's gonna tell you what uh you should be capable of if you're gonna call yourself a safety consultant or even a safety professional. And then also, uh there's a self assessment tool on the website too. So go ahead and check that one out.  
So here's my take on it though. I'm not gonna go through the full framework because I already just gave you guys where to find it, so you don't have to have me go over that, but I'm gonna tell you practical stuff that will go with this. So now you know, the framework is located someplace and uh now I'm gonna tell you what is practical. So let's say someone decides they're going to either start on safety or they're gonna switch from one position to the next. So the first thing I'm gonna tell them is uh first, what is your specialty? And if you have no specialty, which is probably the new person, right? You're gonna be a generalist. So the next thing is, what area interests you? Is it construction, is it maritime, is it agriculture? Uh what is gonna be a position or industry that interests you? So start with that first, right? So once you're thinking about the industry that interests you, then you could even do a little bit of research to see what is the criteria being used to be hired by companies in that industry. So now you could start with the end in mind. So whatever job service you have in your country, uh you could look for that to see what are the open jobs, and what are the requirements for the open occupational health and safety jobs. And if there's a requirement that gives you a certification, boom. Now, you know, how do I get the certification? So then you're gonna go to that certification board. I'm gonna give you guys an example of the, the organization I teach for. Everybody knows, I, I'm a certified occupational safety specialist and if you don't know, there you go. You got it right now. So if you don't know, now you know, thank you Biggie. Oh man, Notorious B.I.G. That was an awesome one. So I just dropped a bomb on you guys.  
[00:10:25] So, now you got the end in mind because you know that there's someone hiring for this and then you know the requirements. So you're gonna have to try to get your resume, or your uh when you do your application, to match those requirements. So with the end in mind, then you're gonna end up looking at those organizations that are providing in the training and then try to see their, uh requirements for you to sit into the class. And that's going to usually be something where, uh if it is a certificate of occupational safety specialist, COSS, uh or certificate of occupational safety manager, COSM, those are the two that I teach for with the Allied Safety Council. Uh you can actually get this right out of high school. That's it. That's all you need is a high school degree, uh and, or the equivalent. There's some actual designations out there that you're gonna need more than that and there's some that won't even have that requirement. So it really depends on what you have as far as your education, uh and that then, could tell you, well, maybe I don't have this right now, this certificate or this degree or whatever it is, but it'll show you how to work towards it. So now you can build your, your own um plan, if you would, to get to that goal. Uh Usually it's gonna take a couple of years, so you want to plan this early uh because you want to get the um experience, if you would, or no, information. You won't get experience, you're gonna get information from uh taking the classes, the experience is gonna come in the field.  
So for the COSS program, that's an easy one, you get your uh, you fill in the information and register for the class and then. Oh man, I sneezed, you guys weren't supposed to hear that because I put down my sneeze button. I actually um hit the button and it didn't stop my mute and that's because I pushed the wrong mic button. Oops.  
So when you're gonna, um just in the long run, you're gonna end up thinking about where do you want to be? First, where do you wanna be, what's gonna make you the happiest? And then, what is the requirement for me to get this job? So literally look at your job boards, find that requirement, and if the requirement is specifically for uh a certain type of designation, then you're gonna go to that uh crediting body, or wherever that designation is, and you're gonna follow whatever you need to do to get, uh on there. Uh If you are looking for um scholarships, they are scholarships available for, for actual classes that you want to take. Uh One of the organizations is American Society of Safety Professionals. Uh They do have a foundation that will give actual, um scholarship money for training. So you would go to foundation.assp, American Society of Safety Professionals, uh dot org. and look through the requirements for that and then see if you could get some money to help you with your schooling. So foundations, I'm actually doing that now, ASSP.org on my computer. So, look at that, look for some scholarship, um, availability and that can help you too.  
So, here's another thought. I'm not gonna go hog wild on this, but I just want to at least let you guys know of a few things, uh, that is another consideration. Uh, in some cases you, if you do have the availability, especially if you're younger, going through school, uh, and you don't have to worry about uh having to supply or support your family in any way, and you're not working full time, then, or don't need to. Then at that point, you could volunteer to help someone in the safety field in a local company that you're in, that you're, uh whatever country you're in. So go ahead and knock on some doors, say, “hey, I'm trying to get into the safety field and I'm very interested in learning about manufacturing. That excites me, manufacturing or construction, agriculture”, or whatever it is. So as you're presenting yourself to this, uh potential employer, possibly, but at least to get yourself in the door, uh you could say, I could offer X-amount of hours a week so that I could get my foot in the door. And at that point, you just show up, do the best job, listen, and then respond. Whenever there's something that they ask you to do, or take on more responsibility, if it's in your power to do it, then do it. If not, then that's ok. Uh, just let them know you may not be able to do that because you're only doing something part-time and you're gonna need to, uh, focus on whatever your full-time career is. That's ok too. But honestly, uh, getting your foot in the door, especially if you want to become a safety coordinator or even a safety specialist, that might be one way to do it.  
So, don’t wanna go hog wild with this conversation, but there is many different tracks. Um if you have the means and the availability, if I'm gonna order, give a hierarchy of order, uh order for uh safety professionals, I would say first is college degree, if you have the ability, availability to do it. Uh secondly, it's gonna be a safety designation, and that's gonna be a designation with some sort of specialty. Uh so you, that's gonna give you the best chance at a specialized job. So if you could say that, you know oil and gas, you might look for something that tells you oil and gas, uh that could train you in oil and gas, or look for something that'll train you in construction or manufacturing.  
And um one other small tip. And I mean, this is gonna be our last small tip, so much so that I'm even gonna start right now, our “I'm ending” music right here. So as you're listening to the “I’m ending” music, here's the one more tip. Talk to someone in the field, if you know someone and see if you could help them. So start with a friend, a family member or something. And again, if you're volunteering your time, just tell them how much time you could volunteer, don't go beyond your means in volunteering what you don't have. Uh, but if you can do a few hours and you already know this person as a friend, then, or family, church member, anything like that in your network of friends. Uh Then at that point, it becomes so much easier for you to get your foot in the door, and it gives you the chance to get experience and education at the same time. And some businesses may actually pay for your education once you get your foot in the door, so you might be able to start with volunteering and then get your education paid for by this company later on. So those are just some considerations. I know it's not a hard and fast rule. That's why I started out with the INSHPO, uh document from the um Singapore Accord. With the Singapore Accord, now you have a set frame-framework, so you can look through that, but I'm just giving you guys the practical side. So that's what I do. So thank you so much for listening. Uh Again, if you have not subscribed to the podcast, please do. Go get ‘em.  
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The views and opinions expressed on this podcast or broadcast are those of the host and its guest and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the company. Examples of analysis discussed within the past hour are only examples they should not be utilized in the real world as the only solution available as they are based on very limited and dated open-source information. Assumptions made within this analysis are not reflective of the position of the company. No part of this podcast or broadcast may be reproduced, stored within a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, mechanical, electronic recording or otherwise without prior written permission of the creator of the podcast or broadcast, Sheldon Primus.