Have you ever, at any point in your career, seriously considered leaving the safety profession?
In December 2012 and January 2013 Safety+Health
asked readers in an informal
if they had ever seriously considered leaving the safety profession.
Comments from respondents answering "Yes"
I'm only here as a fulfillment of a requirement; I have no authority to make suggestion or changes. I cannot point out issues because it may look the boss look bad.
Some things to far out of your control.
I love what I do but my single, biggest difficulty is management buy-in.
It can be a stressful occupation; contentious and lonely especially for those with no staff to commiserate. It's a thick skin profession and if you don't have that, it can be difficult to survive. I've come close to hanging it up a number of times.
Concerned that the safety profession is not respected and taken seriously.
Past Coporate Safety Manager was in it for himself, continually quoted regulations and very rarely talked to the shop employees. Not a good fit for our business. Eventually he was given the oppertunity to seek other employement options.
Was pressured to take a different position
More related to company demands and travel than leaving safety profession, which would allow a shorter work week.
You get frustrated with management that puts money and production quotes above employee's safety, and with employees that do not value their health and safety more than some extra change at their paycheck...
Management buy in was a major road block!
Because, management was not truly committed to safety and said "that's why we hired you !"
And I did for 6 years to serve as a City Administrator. Chose to do so as a) returned our family to our home state, b) a new challenge & c) still had an EH&S component.
Felt like I didnt make a difference.
Co-operation on may tasks is hard to get. Supervisors having hard by-in versus production. Opportunity for advancement very limited
After 15 years I became burned out on trying to spoon feed safety to management. I did leave.
Salary & Using my Operation knowledge, better pay and positions in Operationws
I wanted to move into operations management where I would have supported safety, but retired instead and found consulting in safety to be very rewarding
Health and Safety program at our sector is a joke. When I requested assistance from OSHA asking that they perform an onsite inspection to substantiate my claims, they allowed a former agency supervisor (same agency) to do it for them he distorted the truth
Too many regulations that do not support employee safety.
I have an operations background and thought I might go back.
Lack of comitment from my company
The desire to do something creative, on my own. I did for a short period, but found my way back to safety. I am fortunate to be in an organization & position that allows and welcomes creativity as part of improvement.
Safety programs are oftne not supported by management. Safety always seems to run on a crisis management track, rather than pro-active. Safety is always the last to get reasonable funding for equipment and supplies--especially safety training.
frustration with workers
Other opportunities in management would have taken me away from safety but offered better future prospects.
When I got my MBA I wound up with a Finance concentration. I really enjoyed the work and found it interesting. At some point in my career I would welcome a new and different challenge.
Management's lack of commitment to improving safety
With a previous, stand alone, employer there was no oppourtunity for advancement. Considered moving to production management on the advice of others. Shortly thereafter we merged, expanding my role in Safety with responsibilities over several facilities.
The Safety profession often leaves you feeling in the middle of everything. You're seen as Management in the eyes of employees which sometimes leads to unfavorable situations, and often seen as a "necessary evil" in the eyes of management.
Burned out on trying to convince senior leadership of the value
too much stress
To move into science/physics related fields
Comments from respondents answering "No"
I love my job. Its hard and frustrating sometimes, but also incredibly rewarding. I can imagine doing different things within the field, but I can't imagine leaving the profession entirely.
Opportunity to make a difference in the lives of others. Each training session, tailgate, recognition of a safe act or prevention of a mishap by myself or someone who has been trained affirms the value of the safety profession. I made the right choice !!
I am in safety to help others,I suffered an Injury on the job years back that affect what i can do today and I dont want others doing the same.
I believe safety is one of the most important parts of any field of work.
This is only a part my essential job duties as secretary.
it is extremely hard to stop being safety-concerned once you are in that field.
the opportunity to serve, to give back, to make a difference is strong motivation. Akin to coaching with the goal of observing the student succeed. A change of employer is called for when employer goals, values deviate from this charge for profitmaking.
Education, stability, and the concern for others keeps me in the career.
I value safety and feel my job is vital to the success of the company.
Satisfaction of helping people earn a living and go home safely.