Safety in Aviation and Beyond

KingAirIn the Fall of each year the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) publishes a pair of reports on accident trends and safety in aviation.  The reports are published though AOPA’s Air Safety Institute.  The reports are the Joseph T. Null Report and the GA Accident Score Card.  I was reviewing both today and glad to see that the aviation industry continues to the safest levels of operations in history.

AOPA Chart

Source: AOPA 2016-2017 GA Accident Scorecard

I have previously considered how these results are being achieved.  Obviously the success of the aviation and aerospace community is important for pilots and flying public.  The actions I believe are driving these results are:

  • Equipment Design Safety and Approval
  • Rigorous regulator Oversight
  • Extensive Training Programs (including currency)
  • Aviation Risk Management
  • A Focus on Human Error Avoidance
  • Safety Culture of Aviation

My experience as an OSH Professional, and a private pilot, allow me to have a unique and wide view of the potential impact of safety producing methods in aviation.  I believe that these methods can be applied to other settings such as manufacturing.  How can this be done?  Leaders at sites and businesses outside of aviation that are committed to improving are encouraged to:

  • Demand a higher standard of performance
  • Be preoccupied with failure and preventing it
  • Frequently train in the classroom, require
    demonstration and conduct refresher training
  • Maximize pre-job planning
  • Engineer in extra reliability
  • Focus on human performance/human error
  • Maximize organizational discipline

Take a look at this presentation for more detail: Lessons Learned from Aviation’s Safety Record: What can We Apply to the Occupational Setting?  I used these slides for a presentation to the Central Indiana Chapter of the ASSP in the Spring.  The Chapter met at my home airport of Indianapolis Executive (KTYQ).  It was pretty fun to do it in the hanger with all those fast birds sitting around!

Presentation at Indy Exec

Even with all this success there is more work to be done for sure!  Take the recent loss of a state of the art Boeing 737 flown by Lion Air (Flight 610) as an example of the challenges in safely operating in the aerospace environment.  But, each year important gains are made, and these to will help raise the state of the art in safety of other industries.

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Successful Job Transitions for HSE Pros

Author’s Note:  A version of this post originally appeared on my LinkedIn account as an announcement for the BLR webinar I lead on this topic.  I wanted to capture the knowledge here for my blog readers.  I have posted a summary of the slides I created for the webinar below.

shutterstock_78224647 compressedI have transitioned to new roles 6 times in my nearly 30 year career. For younger professionals, that number will increase. The risk of failure becomes greater with each new organizational level you transition to.



Hope is not a plan…

Do you know how to make a successful transition? Unless you have been through it a few times, and perhaps had a mentor to guide you, you probably are going to wing it and hope for the best! Hope is not a plan…

Article in Professional Safety

Seasoned professionals know that there is a method to the madness of a transition into a new role. Young professionals however are frequently not aware of the tried and true principles that their more experienced colleagues are utilizing to generate success and stability. I have recently had the honor of sharing my view on many of these techniques in an article for the American Society of Safety Professionals in their Professional Safety journal The title of the article is: Essential Mistakes for OSH Managers to Avoid, and it appeared in the July 2018 edition. I hope you find the article helpful.

Seasoned professionals know there is a method to the madness of transitioning into a new role.

Deep Dive in BLR Webinar

If you are interested in learning more about successful transition strategies for HSE Professionals, I have again teamed up with BLR to present these concepts in a 90 minute webinar: New Safety Managers: Essential Mistakes to Avoid Concerning Training, Investigations, Recordkeeping, and More. The webinar was recorded and is available at the link above.  I have posted a summary of my slides here.

Brief Overview of the Methods

I wanted to give the reader of this post a quick view of the methods I have found useful in transitions.  I have based much of this method on the ideas in the book The First 90 Days by Michael Watkins.  The article and presentation summary above provides more detail but below is an overview.

Start by understanding your situation.  Pilots call this situational awareness and it involves quickly comprehending information to assemble an accurate mental picture of the situation.

Methods of collecting information:

  • Conversation
  • Observation
  • Documentation

Next you must take action in a timely and decisive manner to maximize your success early.  The typical window to start showing strong progress is within 90 days.  After that, you are fighting and uphill battle with the odds slipping out of your favor more each day.  Successful leaders start strong with a plan and execute it!

Methods to assemble and act on your mental picture:

  • Promote yourself to the job
  • Accelerate your learning
  • Match Strategy to situation
  • Secure early wins
  • Negotiate success
  • Achieve alignment
  • Build your team
  • Create coalitions
  • Keep your balance
  • Expedite every one


I enjoy sharing what I have learned in my many years of professional practice with young EHS professionals.  I hope you found this post and related materials useful in furthering your career.

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The Coming of Organizational Transparency: This is the Moment for OSH

Sust ProfitsI was recently asked to provide my thoughts on the future of occupational safety and health.  I have been considering this topic for some time and came up with 5 major themes that I think will be of significant impact to our field in the future.  Those will be published in an upcoming addition of a popular safety periodical.  More to follow on that…

One trend I identified is that of the coming increase in organizational transparency enabled by the internet and the use of artificial intelligence to crunch big data into never before seen levels of useful information for all.  Since writing that article a few days ago, I received the latest addition of Fortune Magazine with the theme of: how to profit while fixing the planet.  One article really caught my eye. It is titled: Good Behavior, Heavenly Returns and it closely describes the dramatic increase in the transparency of organizations and it enables investors and other stakeholders to significantly increase their focus on environmental, social and governance factors (ESG).  From the article:

“Today there’s a growing body of evidence showing that companies that put social responsibility first can also finish first in the market. The question is no longer whether you can do well while doing good, but how best to distinguish the do-gooders from the also-rans.”

What started as a movement of sustainable investing has already matured into a global investing force. The addition of ESG as a data analysis tool for sustainability adds fuel to the fire.  According to a recent Morgan Stanley Institute for Sustainable Investing white paper titled Sustainable Signals: Asset Owners Embrace Sustainability, 1 in 4 dollars ($22.8 trillion!) invested globally under professional management are now in sustainable funds and organizations.  They go on to identify that:  “…among institutional asset owners, sustainable investing is increasingly pursued for its potential to manage risk and drive returns”.  Currently there are over 250 mutual funds focusing on ESG factors with more being added every quarter (Schwab, 2018).

“OSH Professionals can’t miss the boat here.  Our profession is in a unique position to drive future value for our organizations, their investors and the world by being leaders in managing the performance of matters that create sustainable organizations!”

So, why am I hitting you with these econ geek factoids? 

Because our profession is in a unique position to drive value for our organizations, their investors and the world by being leaders in managing the performance of matters that create sustainable organizations!  We can’t miss this boat if we want our profession to be relevant in the 21st century and beyond.  Our methods and tools can contribute greatly to all 3 of the major focus areas of ESG.  We just have to understand how our methods impact the relevant ESG performance measures and then effectively communicate that to the c-suite.

But how are organizations measured on ESG performance? 

From the Fortune article mentioned above, let’s focus on the ESG Asset Management startup Arabesque (  Again from the article: “Arabesque manages a database that covers 7,000 companies, with information drawn from 50,000 news sources and 8,000 NGOs, among other resources.”  Arabesque and other “ESG Quant” companies take big data from thousands of internet sources and use artificial intelligence along with other algorithmic methods to score organizations on their ESG performance. The purpose is to quantitatively identify high performing organizations for ESG and Sustainability minded investors.  As the field grows, it continues to build the case that profitability in general is more connected to sustainability than many other previously utilized investment evaluation measures.  ESG Quants aggregate and analyze data from such sources as:

I don’t have the space to delve deeply into these on this post.  Take a look at the links to learn more and read below about where to start.

So what do we as the OSH profession do this this opportunity?

First we have to recognize that the society is changing and that is changing the environment our organizations are doing business in.  We have to see this as an opportunity.  OSH’s exiting tools, concepts and methods are a great fit for the transparent world of the future (it’s already here!).  Those tools and methods firmly touch each piece of ESG activities in an organization. We need to apply them and build more to maximize our impact on ESG and Sustainability measures.

Doing the work to impact the activities of focus for ESG  & Sustainability is only half the battle though.  Next we have to learn how to ensure the success our firms have in these areas are picked up and included in the analysis and scoring of our companies in systems used by investors to make investing decisions.  Take a look at Arabesque’s analysis rating tool S-Ray (Sustainability-Ray –cool name!) as an example.  Below is distribution plot of thousands of companies.  Those scoring to the upper left are most attractive to 1 in 4 investors globally.  Those in the bottom left quadrant are going to starve for resources.

S-Ray Pic

Homepage for Arabesque’s S-Ray ESG Reporting and Scoring Tool

A great place to start is with the Global Reporting Initiative mentioned above.  Their reporting framework represents a comprehensive collection of measures used for ESG & Sustainability reporting.  By Learning how to maximize your firm’s score in the GRI report, you are gaining important insight into how your firm’s activities and reporting are turned into high ESG scores.  In the process, you and your firm are literally changing the world!  The key is to get started today influencing your organization’s leaders, determining where you are on the scoring results and what you can have an impact on in the short and longterm to maximize your firm’s score.

Another useful resource to get started is the Center for Safety and Health Sustainability (  The purpose of this organization is to provide occupational safety and health professionals around the world with a stronger voice in shaping sustainability policies.  It offers many additional resources specifically for the implementation and execution of sustainability principles in organizations.

The time is here for occupational safety and health professionals to take our seat at the table of corporate governance and transparency is our path.

The evidence is clear that “Virtuous stocks win over time” (Fortune, 2018).  Our OSH profession is in the driver’s seat to help our firm’s live up to the commitment of a sustainable future for our children and financial success today for their stakeholders.  The time is here for us to take our seat at the table of corporate governance and this is our path.


Fortune (2018).  Good Behavior, Heavenly Returns.  Retrieved on 9/3/2018 at:

Schwab (2018).  Socially Conscious Funds List.  Retrieved on 9/3/2018 at:

Photo credit: Shutter Stock, used with permission.

Posted in Career Skills, ESG Investing, Ethics, Sustainability Leadership, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Technology Designers Must Begin the Journey to Safety

shutterstock_340437857Uber self driving car accidents and the facebook data scraping scandal are the most recent indications of a significant risk in the technology industry: the lack of mature safety processes.  The icons of the “hot industry” of the 21 century have yet to learn how to make safety.  They still don’t get that they, like all leaders of human endeavors, are responsible for the safety of the work they do.

“Safety and ethics are still elective, rather than foundational, to software design”.

I have found Quartz News Outlet to be a source for thought provoking articles about current themes such as technology.  This morning I read an editorial piece in Quartz’s Weekend Edition commenting on the lack of oversight in software design.  The timing is good because of the events mentioned above, I have been contemplating the march of technology into the realm of autonomous equipment in general society.  The recent fatality in Phoenix involving and Uber self driving vehicle and a pedestrian (NY Times: Self-Driving Uber Car Kills Pedestrian in Arizona, 3/17/2018) has returned my thoughts to the issue of safety in tech innovations and why it is so lacking.

I have extensive professional experience ensuring safety of automated industrial systems, which gives me unique insight into the challenges such efforts create.  I  have watched with interest as software and hardware designers have begun to introduce autonomous designs into the public space– a space with much less certainty that the industrial environment.  Yet the safety processes around technological innovation are far more rigorous in the industrial enviroment.  Even with these controls, accidents are not uncommon.  So, the relative lack of safety processes around the public space is sure to create increased risk and accidents.

The Quartz editorial (provided below) sums up well the fact that software design is still an immature field without adequate controls for avoiding harm to society.  Other fields have had to go through similar maturation processes that usually include an “A-Bomb Moment” (see below) that crystallizes the resolve to establish controls.  I think we are yet to have this moment in the tech sector but we (society) can see it coming.  Let’s hope it is not an extinction level event like the real A-Bomb…

“The stakes couldn’t be higher. Technology mediates almost every aspect of our lives”.

I propose several areas that the tech industry should put in the forefront of efforts to improve.  these are:

I don’t want to make this a longer post by expanding on these topics but I have included some highly relevant links above.  I would like to point out a particularly important industry group with a great history regarding safety in technology.  The organization is the IEEE.  Every tech company should be involved with this group and be informed of their work.  I also direct the Tech Leaders to the Robotics Industries Association’s robotic equipment safety standard (ANSI/RIA R15.06-2012) as a rare example of strong safety processes in technology.

I hope that leaders in the Tech Industry will take heed of the suggestions above and initiate efforts to improve the processes that create and ensure safety in their operations and products.

From Quartz News Outlet:

“As Robert Oppenheimer watched a mushroom cloud from the first nuclear detonation bloom over a New Mexico test site, he repeated a line from the Hindu epic Bhagavad-Gita: “Now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds.” The scientist who helped build the world’s most lethal weapon saw how physicists would forever confront the consequences of their discoveries.

Today, computer scientists are contemplating their own “A-bomb moment.” Facebook’s carelessness with user data, and the attacks the company has enabled against western democracies, are on software engineers’ consciences.

“Computer science is a field which hasn’t yet encountered consequences,” writes Yonatan Zunger, a former security and privacy engineer at Google, who has compared the power in the hands of software engineers to “kids in a toy shop full of loaded AK-47’s.” Safety and ethics are still elective, rather than foundational, to software design.

Other fields have already had to reckon with such ethics. Chemistry’s discovery of dynamite and chemical weapons, and biology’s rationale for eugenics, prompted the creation of institutional review boards, mid-career certification, and professional codes of conduct. But software engineering is different. Coders are neither a profession nor a society in the traditional sense. Many are self-taught, and many have a healthy skepticism of any effort to corral the profession toward consensus.

The stakes couldn’t be higher. Technology mediates almost every aspect of our lives. Machines recognize speech and written text. Algorithms can recognize your face, as well as infer from data (with increasing accuracy) your gender, income, creditworthiness, mental health, and personality.

Tech companies already obsess over reliability—gaming out the “what-ifs” to prevent computer systems from crashing. Zunger says they need to apply the same planning to human consequences. “If you can do it without wanting to hide under a table, you’re not thinking hard enough,” he writes. “There are worse failure modes, and they’re coming for you.”—Michael J. Coren”

Image credit: Shutterstock.  Used with permission.
Posted in Design for Safety, Ethics, Innovation | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Job Satisfaction, the Secret Ingredient for Exceptional Employee Involvement

NOLA BoothThe Voluntary Protection Program Participants Association’s Safety+ Conference last week in New Orleans was another fine EHS event put on by the organization. I love this conference because the attendees are “all in” when it comes to safety. I spoke with folks from some of America’s finest industrial organizations about their passion for safety and OSHA’s Voluntary Protection Program.

I was also privileged to speak at the conference. My topic was: Job Satisfaction, the Secret Ingredient for Exceptional Employee Involvement. In it I integrated some excellent historical academic work on the subject into the modern context of achieving safety excellent through employee involved methods. I was fortunate to have a large audience of interactive safety professionals who added to the discussion of the subject. Thanks to all who attended! For others with interest, you can download a PDF of my presentation here.

Job satisfaction is a key ingredient in safe workplaces, and we have forgotten that in our rush to more efficient jobs.

Louise Escola is a reporter from Business Insurance Magazine who was in the audience. Below is her article on my topic. She does a great job of identifying my main point: job satisfaction is a key ingredient in safe workplaces, and we have forgotten that in our rush to more efficient jobs.

BI Tweet

I also urge you to take a look at the seminal research I drew the concepts from: Hackman, J. R., & Oldham, G. R. (1975). Development of the job diagnostic survey. Journal of Applied psychology, 60(2), 159. This is still one of the most authoritative works on the subject.

I hope you find this line of thought as interesting as I do. I submit that this is an important area of study to be included in NIOSH’s groundbreaking Total Worker Health initiative. Let’s put the human back in our workplaces!

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OSHA’s Top Citation: Fall Protection: New Gear, New Regulations and New Standards – What Every EHS Pro Should Know!

By Guest Blogger: Allyson Clark

Photo Credit: Western Area Power

Plan, Provide and Trainis OSHA’s slogan for fall protection – sounds easy enough, Right? Well except that for the last 10 years, fall protection has been the number one issued citation by OSHA for construction and general industry. In fact, falls rank as the number one cause of work related injury and deaths.   So what regulation, product performance standards and gear should EHS Professional be in the know of? – Well Keep Reading!

New Regulation for General Industry:

On Jan 17th, 2017, OSHA’s 29 CFR 1910.21-.30 Walking-Working Surfaces (WWS) Rule specific to slip, trip, and fall hazards  became enforceable. Slips trips and falls are proportionally high for general industry accidents and for the construction industry.  This final rule adds training, inspections, as well as updates for general industry standards and adds requirements for personal fall protection standards. While this rule affects a wide range of workers, from painters to warehouse workers, it will not change construction or agricultural standards.

OSHA estimates that 345 fatalities occur annually among workers directly affected by this standard.

The new standard for General Industry requires that employers must protect workers from fall hazards along unprotected sides or edges that are at least 4 feet above a lower level. The rule also provides direction on when to use fall protection for runways, areas above dangerous equipment, wall openings, repair pits, stairways, scaffolds, slaughtering platforms and hoisting areas. Additionally, the rule gives direction on when to inspect, use and maintenance of personal fall protection systems. The rule also includes new provisions for fixed ladders, un-caged ladders and rope position systems.

Now a quick Reg Refresher: OSHA requires that fall protection be provided at elevations of four feet in general industry workplaces, five feet in shipyards, six feet in the construction industry and eight feet in long-shoring operations. Refer to OSHA’s fall protection page for more information.

The Walking Working Surface rule also includes new training requirements that directs an employer to train any employee who uses a personal fall protection system to be trained by a qualified trainer for ensuring that correct procedures for installing, inspecting, operating and maintaining of the fall protection equipment. By OSHA’s definition, found within 29 CFR 1926.32(m), “Qualified” means one who, by possession of a recognized degree, certificate, or professional standing, or who by extensive knowledge, training, and experience, has successfully demonstrated his ability to solve or resolve problems relating to the subject matter, the work, or the project. Training should address the importance of inspections prior to each use. The deadline for meeting these training requirement is also rapidly approaching May 17, 2017.  Read the full discussion of the new rule in the Federal Register Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 223, pages 82494-83006.

If you haven’t found a trainer to meet the May 17th Deadline here are some vendors providing Fall Prevention and Protection Training:

*Just an FYI, Allyson Clark and are not officially endorsing these trainers, nor can we assume any responsibility for these vendors, we are simply providing them as a resource.

For a behavioral based approach for fall protection safety, a great resource is This is a website dedicated to an innovative approach to fall prevention and it has a nice collection of encouraging pictures, videos, posters, and reminders about why falls are commonly associated with human errors, along with how to mitigate this risk.

Updated ANSI Standard:

Additionally, ANSI/ASSE Z359.1 -2016, has been recently updated.  While it’s not the law, it complements OSHA and other regulatory requirements for meeting a consensus among industry professionals for Fall Protection Systems. Since the nature of OSHA is to not provide direct guidance on specific fall protection equipment but provide regulation, the updated ANSI Fall Protection Standard provides practical guidence for maintaining fall protection systems standards, this includes fall restraint systems, work positioning systems, rope access systems, fall arrest systems, and rescue systems. If you haven’t heard, by August 14, 2017, this consensus standard will require equipment manufactures to comply with new design parameters.

The ANSI standard focuses on performance, design, marking, qualifications, instruction, training, inspection, use maintenance, so it’s important to remember that when your company is looking for a full body harnesses, connectors, lanyards, self-retracting devices, energy absorbers, fall arresters or anchorage connections – look to see if they meet Z359.1 Standard.

New Advancements in Fall Protection:

I couldn’t help but notice that there is a lot of great equipment that is quite innovative in design regarding safety and ease of use.  While this list is not comprehensive, it does provide some of the most advanced equipment in the fall protection industry. Now none of these products were tested by the author or by and nor can we assume responsibility for the validity of product claims, but they are some of newest products being used in the industry.

Summary of Manufacturer’s Description: One of the most progressive items I have found recently is this new self-rescue zip line pack. It launched in April and is built right here in US. While most harnesses are designed to where you have to wait for an emergency crew, this system is designed to get you down by yourself within seconds. For a stuck window washer, crane operator, telephone pole worker or maintence worker who might be working alone, this device has a pull release cord that allows you to slowly zip line to safety.

Summary of Manufacturer’s Description: MSA Safety has launched the Latchways 10-foot Cable Personal Fall Limiter (PFL).  is said to be the most compact and lightweight self-retracting lanyard (SRL) in its class using multiple spring radial energy-absorbing technology. What I like a lot about this product is the clear casing that you can visually inspect the components.  Additionally, it accompanies both a 360-degree and a 180-degree attachment point.  The company says the new design eliminates the need for an external energy absorber outside of the housing, making it the smallest self-retracting lanyard in its class. MSA Safety also recommends these PFL devices for use in multiple work applications for contractors working in industries such as general industry, utilities, construction, and oil and gas.

Summary of Manufacturer’s Description: KNIPEX Tools has introduced 24 tools with tether attachment mounts for its Tethered Tool Pliers Program. Tools with tether attachments and lanyard connections provide effective protection against injuries caused by falling tools. The tether attachment point is a plastic bracket with a closed wire clamp that is securely welded to the multi-component handle of the tool.

Summary of Manufacturer’s Description:  FallTech’s has a new Journeyman Flex harness that features lightweight aluminum hardware, and breathable stitched-down pad sets. It has forged aluminum alloy D-rings, torso adjusters and belt buckles, premium breathable padded air mesh shoulder yoke with integral non-slip dorsal D-ring adjustment, and 18″ contoured stitched-down leg pads. Fall Tech boast that it products are designed to be durable, comfortable and affordable.

Summary of Manufacturer’s Description:  The FreeTech has a harness that is a figure-8 style fall protection harness that integrates a patent-pending SwitchPoint™ System for improving the comfort and mobility of a suspended worker in a post-fall scenario. This unique release mechanism provides a means for the user to safely and easily transfer their body weight from the dorsal connector on the upper back to the front waist location of the harness to reorient into a seated position. This repositioning aids the wearer by allowing increased freedom and mobility, which may help delay the onset of orthostatic intolerance, also referred to as suspension trauma. The FreeTech design and function provide a more comfortable position and allow additional freedom of movement to a fallen and suspended worker while awaiting rescue.

Final Notes to EHS Professionals:

Lastly, as regulations, standards and equipment change it important to remember the value of updating your knowledge and keeping up with industry trends. For the EHS Professional, OSHA provides free educational wallet cards, posters, guidance, publications and facts sheets to promote prevention of slip, trips and falls.  Additionally, a free consultation can be provided by OSHA as well for further guidance.


About Allyson Clark

A Clark HeadshotI am an energetic, dedicated Environmental Health and Safety Professional that thrives on being exceptional. I enjoy promoting worker’s safety, developing common sense solutions to environmental compliance, and finding out of the box solutions for meeting complex EHS compliance. I recently attained my Associate Safety Professional certification and I am looking forward to attaining additional EHS certifications.

Guest Bloggers on

From time to time I find other professionals whom I believe have something important to say. I like to offer them a forum to make their point and hopefully spark some healthy debate. It also offers my readers some variety of style and opinion. I don’t have any formal criteria for selecting Guest Bloggers. The selection is usually made during a scintillating conversation between me and another person that leads me to think: that would be a great blog post!   -Chet

Posted in OSHA Compliance, Technical Skills | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Guest Blogger: 10 in Demand Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) Certificates

Guest Blog Author: Allyson Clark ASP

Female Pro CertFor starters, I want to say that this list encompasses 10 career wise EHS certificates that are in demand by a wide range of employers. If you are looking for advancement in your EHS career pathway and you are seeking to be more diverse in choosing your industry, certificates are often a go-to mechanism for HR recruiters.  It allows them to distinguish high performance candidates from the competitive crowd so, pursuing one can be beneficial to your career. Certificates also promote an idea that you are an individual that is growing professionally and that you want to be leader in your industry.

Of course this list is not all encompassing and there are additional certificates that may be geared toward a specialty area of an EHS field, or are regionally focused, however this list is short guide to choosing a certificate that is in demand for a wide variety of industries. Also I just want to say that I did not rank these in any order, only because I find that industries and regions had specific preferences for one certificate or another.

“If you are looking for advancement in your EHS career, certificates are the go-to mechanism for distinguishing yourself as a  professional ready to grow.”

In the paragraphs that follow I will review the applicability and attributes of some of the most recognizable EHS certifications available to qualified professionals in our field.

  1. Certified Safety Professional (CSP), and its precursor the Associate Safety Professional (ASP)

– administered by Board of Certified Safety Professionals (BCSP)

Obtaining the CSP is not as easy as just taking an exam, however it may lead you to a 6 figure income. Four years of professional safety experience is required, a bachelor’s degree, or an Associate’s in Safety related field, and you must have professional level of safety duties and one of the following credentials: ASP, CIH, CMIOSH, CRSP, GSP, SISO, MISPN – and then you allowed to sit for an exam that covers an expansive compliance of industrial hygiene, physics, sociology of safety, toxicology, chemical management, ergonomics and safety engineering.

The ASP is one of the many precursors required to sit for the CSP, considered more math intensive than the CSP. To sit for the ASP, you must a hold at least a bachelor’s degree, or an Associate’s in Safety related field, and have completed at least 1-year of safety experience where safety is at least 50%, preventative, professional level of safety duties.

This certification is becoming more popular with environmental health and safety consultants, chemical manufactures, textile distributors, construction, energy and utility sectors – any field where OSHA compliance can be a significant duty. Typically geared toward the professional that may file OSHA 300 logs for reporting workers’ injuries, provide safety training, conduct auditing and investigations, and implement industrial hygiene programs. It is also a certification that focuses on maintaining environmental management systems – like ISO 14001.

  1. Certified Hazardous Materials Manager (CHMM)

– administered by the Institute of Hazardous Materials Management (IHMM)

If your company is a small quantity generator or a large one, meaning materials are being disposed or transported, a CHMM can be an ideal certificate.  The CHMM is professional designation for handling hazardous materials identification, planning and preparing for and responding to hazmat emergencies and incidents, sampling of air, water, soil and waste for potential contaminants, site investigations and remediation and hazmat program and project management.

Becoming a CHMM is not easy though, but your career may be financially rewarded by becoming one. A CHMM certification requires a bachelor’s degree, and a minimum of four years of relevant experience in the field of hazardous material management or a related field. Out of the 10 EHS certificate examples in this list, this certificate I would rank as the most versatile to a variety of business sectors.

  1. Certified Industrial Hygienist (CIH)

– administered by the American Board of Industrial Hygiene (ABiH)

Definitely more of a timelier endeavor, CIH – requires a four-year degree within a science discipline, specific industrial hygiene course work and professional industrial hygiene course work. However, according ABIH website, a median salary for a CIH is $105,000. Industrial Hygienists generally evaluate a wide variety of health and safety stressors that can effect employees. They work in a variety of industries and many are contracted out to investigate, recognize anticipate, evaluate risks and control for hazards within the workplace or with processes.

  1. Registered Environmental Health Specialist/ Registered Sanitation (REHS/RS)

 –  administered by the National Environmental Health Association

The REHS/RS certificate is generally geared toward career pathway in public health and has more of a concentration in the food safety and manufacturing sector. This certification is generally  applicable to food protection, wastewater, solid and hazardous waste, potable water, vectors and pests, institutions and swimming pool inspections. Although one of down-side with this certificate is that some states require an REHS certification that is curtailed to that state’s program, so thoroughly pursue looking into whether this certificate can be utilized in your state or if  licensing is required.

  1. Certified Safety Health Manager (CSHM)

– administered by the Institute of Safety and Health Management

Though the requirements are similar to an ASP, the CSHM actually can carry more weight depending on your industry. Generally, the CSHM requires bachelor’s degree with an environmental health and safety background and at least 1 year of full time professional safety and health management experience, or 2 years of at least 50% of your duties being safety and health management related activities.

I will say that when I was looking at EHS careers nationally, the CSHM seemed to be associated with higher level senior EHS positions, such as directors or senior regional manager positions. Additionally, this is a certificate that geared toward higher earning EHS professionals. CSHM generally work on a wide variety of environmental health and safety initiatives and the certificate is private industry focused.

  1. Occupational Health and Safety Technologist (OHST)

 – administered by the  Board of Certified Safety Professionals (BCSP)

A professional OSHT designation is certificate geared toward individuals that perform occupational health and safety activities. Typically, the industries seeking these certifications are construction, aviation, large event entertainment contractors, chemical and risk consulting and process specific industries, but not limited to these areas. This designation may be seen as a loss control specialist, and they may perform job site assessments, risk determinations, incident investigations, identify hazards, evaluate risks and may maintain OSHA 300 logs. This is one of the more sought after certificates to have by many industries.

  1. Certified Health Physicist (CHP)

 – administered by American Board of Health Physics (ABHP)

A CHP certificate is definitely one of hardest certificates to earn on this list. However, a CHP certificate has its value in the EHS field because it generally a certificate that is geared toward industries that specialize in radiation, pharmaceuticals, explosives, technology and the medical sector. Although this certificate has higher earning potential, it is definitely more of a niche market for an EHS professional.

  1. OSHA Process Hazard Analysis (PHA) Leader

– administered by various training companies

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration requires manufacturing facilities that work with dangerous chemicals to perform routine process hazard analyses (PHA) and typically an OSHA PHA leader is the person that implements these programs. Typical functions include evaluating risks and hazards by performing either a What-If analyses, What-If/Checklist, HAZOP, and Failure Mode and Effects Analysis. This certification can be sought online through various training administrators as long as it conforms to OSHA’s standard 29 CFR 1910.119 and is a common certificate for refineries and chemical manufacturing.

  1. OSHA 30 certification- Construction safety, General Industry, Maritime, Disaster Site Worker

-administered by various training companies

While the OSHA 10 hour is generally intended for workers, the OSHA 30-hour certificate is considered more appropriate for supervisors who need to recognize, avoid, abate or prevent health and safety hazards in the workplace. The OSHA 30-hour certificate has specific requirements for each certificate program within the construction safety, general industry, maritime and disaster site worker fields. This certificate is typically sought after by mechanic or field crew leads within solar, telecommunication, or energy sectors.

  1. Certified Professional Environmental Auditor (CPEA)

– administered by the Institute of Internal Auditors

The CPEA is a professional certificate that is intended for professionals conducting environmental compliance and risk audits. It’s definitely a time worthy investment and will pay off if you enjoy auditing. The CPEA designation is fully accredited by the Council on Engineering and Scientific Specialty Boards (CESB) and one of the main components is product stewardship. This certification is geared toward being a lead auditor for larger facilities or distributors as within the chemical process industry, utilities, and the transportation sector.

In general, a CPEA will assess compliance with safety-related laws and regulations, and have a thorough understanding of EHS standards related to auditing procedures, processes and auditing techniques related to EHS management and technical aspects of business activities including facility operations.

Concluding Thoughts:

These days when you are applying for a job, your first manual step in getting in the door is controlled by a computer. Digitally you are more competitive to recruiters if you are meeting the certification buzz words. While the countless hours of exam preparation are a far cry from being just a buzz word, the HR recruiter who is not an industry professional is going to select based on the buzz word match of the job description – and the certification sticks out competitively.

Moreover, going after a certification can promote your own sustainability within the EHS field. While being in the EHS field I can’t help but notice how much it is constantly changing- from new regulations, to new administration, to recessions and up-swings- the EHS field is going to continue to expand. While these cycles of change re-shape our respective industries, what’s important to remember is it’s out of our control. However, your personal development and your continued commitment to expand your potential by becoming certified – is not!

About Allyson Clark

A Clark HeadshotI am an energetic, dedicated Environmental Health and Safety Professional that thrives on being exceptional. I enjoy promoting worker’s safety, developing common sense solutions to environmental compliance, and finding out of the box solutions for meeting complex EHS compliance. I recently attained my Associate Safety Professional certification and I am looking forward to attaining additional EHS certifications.

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