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Career Spotlight - Environmental, Health & Safety (EHS)

17 Jun 2015 9:25 PM | Anonymous member

Cindy Xiao - our Career Development Manager, is excited to officially launch the 'Career Spotlight' series. These blog posts will feature interviews with established professionals who will share their various career paths and insights into how to kick start your career.  


The first 'Career Spotlight' features the environmental, health & safety profession which is one the most fast-growing occupations in North America. With tighter government regulations and increasing public concern over health and safety issues, this profession is trending hot on the job market now and in the future.


An Environmental, health & safety professional, or EHS for short, typically protects the well-being of the public by ensuring environmental regulations and workplace safety standards are met. These types of professions, ranging from Public Health Inspectors in provincial government agencies to Process Safety Engineers in food processing facilities, work in a variety of environments both in  the public and private sector.  According to Eco Canada’s labour market research, conducted in 2012,  there were an estimated 79,400 Canadians working  in core EHS occupations with a primary focus on the field of EHS and 1.8 million who used some EHS skills and knowledge in their day-to-day work.  


A typical EHS career path starts with entry-level positions such as EHS specialists or coordinators. Paul Thomas, former senior safety, security, environmental manager at Kraft Canada, told CEP Toronto  that these entry-level positions typically look after the applications of environmental and safety programs and collect information for reporting.  Strong technical knowledge, as well as excellent verbal & written communication skills, and strong problem solving skills are key to the success of these positions. As individuals advance to more senior EHS positions, the ability to quickly build trust and engage in collaboration are important skills, as more senior individuals tend to rely  on direct reports from the field most of the time.


Nowadays, more and more employers are looking for professional designations when making hiring decisions. The most well known designation in Canada is the Canadian Registered Safety Professionals, which evaluates applicants with formal education, professional development, and hands-on experience. Other coveted ones include Registered Occupational Hygienist . In the US, Certified Safety Professionals and Occupational Health & Safety Technologist are the most valuable ones. In terms of which designation to pursue, Paul suggests that fellow young professionals look at where they want to go in their career and select the designation that best aligns with their interests.    


Check out this page regularly for updated blog posts.


Links:

2012 Eco Canada Labour Market Research

http://www.eco.ca/wp-content/uploads/2014-Careers-in-Environmental-Health-and-Safety-ECO-Canada.pdf

Canadian Registered Safety Professionals Eligibility

https://www.bcrsp.ca/prospective-certificants/why-become-crsp/are-you-eligible-crsp%C2%AEpsac%C2%AE-designation

Registered Occupational Hygienist Eligibility

http://media.wix.com/ugd/fecfc3_76ab441f69444c679738470058ea19cc.pdf

Certified Safety Professional Website

http://www.bcsp.org/CSP

Occupational Health & Safety Technologist

http://www.bcsp.org/OHST


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