Guest Blogger: Jordan Geibig, CHST, STSC, GSP
Safety is typically considered an afterthought for the average working individual—another checkbox to fill throughout the week. However, safety is more than just a formality. For safety professionals like me, it is a passion and responsibility to keep workers safe daily. We work tirelessly to plan and maintain safe work conditions, physically and psychologically, so every employee returns home every day to the people and things they love.
Safety professionals are critical in ensuring that workplaces are safe and secure for employees, customers, and visitors. From developing safety programs to conducting risk assessments to building relationships at all levels of the industry, this unique responsibility provides opportunities for young professionals looking to pursue meaningful work in an expanding career field.
The safety profession provides opportunities for health and safety engineers, occupational safety and health (OS&H) specialists, OS&H technicians, and more. Professionals in these roles directly influence the well-being of other working professionals or environments across numerous industries.
New talent in the field is also needed as more experienced individuals retire from the profession and as other industries increase their safety programs. The American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA) sounded the alarm in 2019 that the United States was already experiencing a shortage of safety professionals. With this immediate need for more safety expertise, the career field will continue growing and provide a sustainable career path for young people. Additionally, safety jobs offer great flexibility and career mobility within and across organizations.
I’ve grown professionally and personally in my four and a half years of experience in the safety profession. I began my career as an intern while attending Slippery Rock University, obtaining my B.S. in safety management. I now serve as a safety manager for M.C. Dean, implementing our “People in Mind” health and safety program on large, mission critical data center projects. This culture emphasizes M.C. Dean’s dedication to reinforcing accountability, continuous improvement, and a top-to-bottom commitment to safety. Choosing a vocation and company that aligns with your morals and values is the difference between finding a job and choosing a career.
Being a modern safety professional is a noble vocation. By taking safety beyond the standard regulatory requirements, we work to ensure the mental and physical health of coworkers, customers, and bystanders. Safety professionals work in a profession that protects people—which can sometimes be the most challenging yet rewarding responsibility in any organization.
With a pressing need for talent, promising pathways for young professionals, and a critical mission, safety is a career field that rewards those who want to own some of the most significant challenges facing employers in any industry.
For those interested in pursuing a career in the safety field, BCSP’s Career Paths in Safety page offers a good place to start your planning.