In an informal online poll conducted in February/March 2012, most participating Safety+Health readers confessed they did not intend to end up in occupational safety and health.
Comments from respondents answering “Yes”
This was my 1st choice because it is what I was doing while in the Navy and enjoyed making the work place a safer enviorment for my fellow troops. Now I do the same for fellow employees.
Because I had children to always watch out for either in the house, car, yard or other places
Occupational safety and health is very diverse and the opportunities are vast.
Because I care about each and every employee and take safety seriously at all times. It's not an easy job, but at the end of the day when everyone goes home safely, it is a satisfying job.
I want to teach employees how and why to put Safety first at work and home.
Comments from respondents answering “No”
I was a heavy equipment operator when this job came open, I applied and was excepted. That was 16 years ago, I'm now a CSHM and love every minute of my job.
You are hated by the linemen for making them perform safely. You are hated by management because you want to spend money on safety and pull the workers away from their jobs to do training. Only when an accident happens, are you noticed
Studied human resources in college
I have been involved in the brewing industry for years with safety being part of my responsibilities especially on night shifts. It has only been the past three years that safety is my only responsibility.
It was HR, but soon reasonalized I was not a people-person.
Originally I was in education, but it was too "political". I changed my career to management & organizational development and ended up managing a safety consulting office. Loved the ES&H work and went back to school for that.
I was not aware that Safety could be a career choice when I started out 35 years ago.
I was a supervisor on a rotating shift and a position that was full time days so I took the safety position. My schooling back ground was construction management that had given me the training required.
Never thought about Safety beyond not getting hurt myself
I started my undergrad career in Hospitality and Tourism, switched to Business Administration. Took an OSHA class as undergrad that got me thinking about my future. I continued with school to receive my Master's Degree in Risk Control from UW-Stout.
Started out for a degree in education. Worked in the energy business after Vietnam and 15 years ago began working to the point of a safety professional. I don't plan on retiring, as a continuing search for knowledge makes us wise.
What a long, strange trip it's been. -The Greatful Dead
I went into production management and throughout the years I found myself always going back to EHS again and again.
During my first years of being a frontline employee who had to sit through the 'safety training- I was not impressed with the 'safety director' and his ability to teach and promote safety. so my 'first impression' was-"safety career-not for me-boring"
Transortation, Logistics & Distribution. However these areas required a great deal of attention to safety. This aided me in my transition to EHS.
Wanted to be a r&D chemist
I started out in the transportation field as a long haul driver and then progressed into management as a dispatcher. Along the way i got involved in training from my background in the military which eventually led me to being involved in HSE field.
Started out as a production supervisor and as safety grew in our facility I got more involved and ended up with the health and safety specialist position
i was working as an underground miner and was introduced to safety methods and was encouraged to persue safety mangement as a career option by my safety department head
Never thought of it as a career. I was more focused on the management/administrative side of business.
Worked in Operations
I wanted to be involved with people on a larger base
Meat Cutter for 12 years, the business changed and I was offered a position in Training and Development. I have been in the safety field since 1985.
I had always wanted to get into accounting and then a work related injury to a family member changed my mind and I started to pursue the safety and health field. The wisest career choice that I ever made.
My career started in the military where I supervised up to 276 people. The first lesson you learn is to take care of your people, our most valuable resource. It is still about making sure that everyone goes home to the ones who count on them the same way they left for work and eliminating workplace hazards.
I was promoted to Personnel Supv and I saw safety as a good career move to get to HR Mgr. In the above position for 2 years I was promoted to Safety Manager and fell in love with the job. I am now an HR Mgr with Safety responsibilities at a small company.
I was an environmental studies major in college. I couldn't find a job in my field so I became a lab tech for a biotech company. Eventually I just happened into the safety field and found it was the perfect combination of my education and experience.
My U.S. Coast Guard career was in maritime safety and environmental protection, and focused largely on commercial vessel inspection and accident investigation. The work was rewarding, and it was an easy shift to occupational safety.
It was unheard of at the time in my area. Just as Personnel or as it is now called Human Resources. That was my original choice.
I ran a one man service business and never thought I would be doing anything like this.
My education and background were quality and business/operations
I didn't know anything about it at the time. There was no manufacturing in the town I grew up in.
I grew up on a farm and have worked in Agri-business most of my life until a few years ago I was asked to start working into the Safety management role of our business after being on the Safety Committee for several years, working on this "career" since.
Didn't even know what the job existed many long years ago.
30 years ago my interest was in agriculture production. Safety was not something that was talked about as a career.
I was forced into Safety by a Corporate Safety Director who observed my people skills & ability to effectively make changes. Consequently the facility went from AIR of 10 to >1. Over the yrs I have been very good at this field.
If there are 500 people in a factory, one one is the safety guy so the odds of getting that job are worse than getting any other job in the same factory.
Did not realize how important it was until my coworker loss his life
I worked in Distribution and then moved into a supervisory position. The safety role as offered to me as a career development move.
It was not until I became a Supervisor and the people were my responsibility did I understand the real meaning of Safety
I wanted to work in a pharmacy.
I had many other ideas of what I wanted to be, until I started interacting with the safety manager at work, I weasled my way into her department and years later, I am a CSP and a corporate safety manager.
In the U.S. Air Force I became the Flight and Ground Safety Officer as an air crew member and just continued the field after retirement from the Air Force.
I never knew about this option in college.
I began in manufacturing and was later recruited by management to run their health and safety program.
I noticed too many ineffective/ lazy/ uninformed safety representatives throughout my career as a tradesman. I studied safety regs on my own time to learn the things we WEREN'T required to do. The unintended result was becoming safety manager.
Didn't consider it at the time. went into teaching
Upon graduating, my first job was as a chemical process control technician in a large plating operation. After moving into a supervisory role, a position to manage the environmental concerns of the operation and it grew to include occupational safety.
It was not something I was aware of as a career when I first got into private industry.
it was not my choice then , but is now. After receiving my OSHA 500 trainer certification I really got into safety. My four year certificate runs out in October of this year. I would love to persue a position with DOL/OSHA Compliance Officer. Help Help
I'm a writer by training and talent. I was a tech writer who was put in this job because the company needs a safety manual and safety procedures written to comply with OSHA requirements.
I want to teach employees how and why to put Safety first at work and home.