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Health and Safety Professional Spotlight
Here to advocate, educate and keep workers safe and healthy, Health and Safety Professionals uphold the oil and gas industry’s commitment to a safe workplace. They encourage workers to recognize and eliminate hazards, protect lives through work environment evaluation and analysis and advocate for better safety policies, procedures and training.
What a typical day looks like:
Health and Safety Professionals make sure everyone goes home safe every day. They work collaboratively with many others in the company (safety is everyone’s job after all) to inspect worksites with safety in mind. They make sure the equipment and materials being used are safe, that processes are being followed and that everyone on site knows the proper procedures to follow for each task.
After conducting an inspection, Health and Safety Professionals prepare incident reports and maintain confidential records to highlight what is working well and what isn’t. If a hazard is spotted or unsafe behaviour is found, they will lead an incident investigation and provide emergency response expertise when required.
There are a broad variety of health and safety roles that support the oil and gas industry’s commitment to the wellbeing of people and the environment, including Health, Safety and Environment (HSE) Advisors/Coordinators, Occupational Health and Safety (OH&S) Officers and Process Safety Engineers. HSE Advisors often work in the field, conducting inspections, implementing controls, recommending procedures and providing training. OH&S Officers conduct workplace audits and investigations to detect unsafe or unhealthy working conditions, ensuring compliance with applicable laws and regulations. They have the ability to shut down unsafe practices or operations. Process Safety Engineers are experienced in the engineering discipline and apply technical expertise to develop safety plans and systems as well as controls (e.g., pressure release valves) that ensure safe working conditions within company facilities.
Typically employed in the exploration and production (E&P), oil sands, oil and gas services, and pipeline sectors of the oil and gas industry, their work environment may include working around active heavy machinery, traveling to and from remote locations and dealing with cold weather.
The kinds of problems Health and Safety Professionals solve at work:
These professionals are always looking for a better way to do things. They want their place of work to be safe for everyone. After looking at historical data or recent incidents, Health and Safety Professionals provide guidance to others to make sure that all regulatory standards, company policies and procedures are adhered to. And, if a policy needs to be revised, they will identify it, research it, and find a better solution.
Skills used most on the job:
Health and Safety Professionals are adaptable, innovative and have a tolerance for stress. They motivate others to focus on health and safety in the workplace. They also are excellent at gathering information and evaluating systems to determine if changes need to be made.
Health and Safety Professionals work closely with others to develop policies, procedures, systems and controls to eliminate risks. This requires significant accountability and competency. Some who enter the field may be surprised to learn the responsibility that comes with the role.
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