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November 11, 2022United StatesBlog

5 Skills every Effective Safety Professional needs to develop.

5 Skills every Effective Safety Professional needs to develop. EHS and risk management are no laughing matters. In fact, they’re among the most important aspects of any business. There’s risks in every business, but a well-run operation is a safe operation. This is especially true in manufacturing settings. This often requires the experience of a highly skilled and effective safety professional. But what exactly are the skills that effective safety professionals need to possess? Here are five of the most important ones: 1. Risk Assessment and Hazard Identification Skills One of the most important skills for any safety professional is the ability to assess risk and identify hazards. This involves evaluating potential hazards and determining the likelihood of an accident or incident occurring. It's also important to be able to identify who could be harmed and the severity of harm that could occur. Only by thoroughly assessing all the variables can effective controls be put in place to mitigate them without adverse operational impacts. Safety professionals need to be able to identify any underlying causes so that steps can be taken to prevent a similar incident from happening in the future. 2. Interviewing and Investigation Skills When an accident or incident does occur, it's crucial to be able to investigate it thoroughly. This means being able to gather evidence, interview witnesses, and reconstruct what happened. There is a certain minimum level of empathy needed to comfort someone during a crisis or who is experiencing pain. This ability to connect, combined with objectivity, allows for unbiased questions that prevent an interview from being reduced to an interrogation. 3. Training and Public Speaking Skills Another important skill for safety professionals is the ability to develop and deliver training programs. This includes being able to identify training needs, develop appropriate materials, and deliver the training in an engaging and effective manner. Public speaking skills are on full display here. It's also important to be able to evaluate the impact of the training so that it can be continuously improved or adjusted based on business changes. 4. Reading and Writing Safety professionals need to be able to communicate effectively on paper. This includes being able to write clear and concise reports, as well as developing policies and procedures. It's also important to be able to update existing documents as changes occur within the organization. On the other hand, quickly reading regulations and standards are equally important. Effective Safety professionals must determine the applicability of these requirements to the business they defend to help maintain its compliance. 5. Presentation and Selling Skills Presentation abilities are critical for today’s safety professionals dealing with upper management or clients outside their organization on a regular basis; whether presenting results of an investigation or delivering training virtually or in-person. Safety is often a money-saver, not a money-maker. Many times in order to show its value, it has to be sold. It’s important to be able to explain the outcome of initiatives and programs launched, clarify what’s needed to correct problems identified, as well as highlight the relevant key points that upper management may need to make better business decisions long term. No matter what industry you're in, success leaves clues as to how to become truly effective in your craft. That's especially true for safety professionals. There are no shortcuts to success, but building the right skills sooner may very well be the path of least resistance.

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