In the coming decade, the certified safety professional (CSP) will be in high demand because companies can no longer afford for accidents and disasters to increase insurance rates, scar their reputations and sink their stock prices. In response to the rise in safety compliance positions, we decided to explore what skills employers want in the safety professionals. Here are some of our findings .
- The ability to create and implement safety programs across cultures: One of my clients recently said,“What works in Peoria, IL may not work in Pune, India. I need a safety manager who understands that concept.” In the global workplace, there is no such thing as a “cookie cutter” safety program. Safety professionals have to be sensitive to the cultures, communication styles and languages of the people across their companies because miscommunication can lead to accidents or disasters. Companies will be looking for safety professionals who understand how to deliver and manage multicultural programs.
- The ability to communicate in financial terms: Safety professionals must be able to communicate the benefits of their safety programs in financial terms such as Return on Investment (ROI), Triple Bottom Line (3BL) and Internal Rate of Return (IRR). Communicating in these terms will help assure corporate managers that investments in safety equipment and programs are not only protecting the lives of their workers but averting the chance of large disaster related insurance payouts as well.
- Crisis Management & Situational Leadership: “When it comes to emergency response, safety managers have to have nerves of steel and the mind of a battlefield commander.” The Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident and the BP oil spill have brought crisis management and situational leadership to the forefront in the corporate board room, the media and the general public. Successful safety professionals will need training and experience in these areas to handle complex emergencies and intense media scrutiny.
- Advanced knowledge of Long Term Assessments: Companies want their customers, shareholders and stakeholders to know they are responsible in their operations. Safety professionals may be called upon to do long term assessments to help companies understand the long term health & safety impacts of their operations on workers and suggest changes which will reduce repetitive work-related injuries, chemical exposures and other medical related issues. The goal of these assessments will be to improve immediate worker health & safety and reduce long term medical costs.
A Point to Remember
The job market of the next decade will favor those who deliver strong results, embrace continuing education and build lasting professional relationships through networking. As a CSP, you are in a unique position to accomplish these objectives. The question is: Are you doing these things?