Health and Safety Management: The Aha! Moment

Are you interested in helping others live a healthier life?
Maybe you’d like to learn more about the health and safety field?
Or perhaps you are looking to advance in your current health and safety career?

If you answered yes to of any of these questions I strongly encourage you to read on!

My name is Steven Bain, and I am a currently in the 7th week of completing the post-degree diploma in Occupational Health and Safety Management (OHSM) offered by the Continuing Studies Department. I am also the student ambassador representing my class of 2012-2013. I will be writing blog posts on the Continuing Studies blog periodically about my experience as I progress through the OHSM program. If you are interested in learning more about what its like to be an OHSM student, you can follow me on my journey!

This is my first blog post and it will highlight what led me to my decision to pursue the Occupational Health and Safety Management post-degree diploma program.

I completed my undergraduate degree in Health Sciences at Western University in 2011 and I honestly wasn’t sure what direction I wanted to take with my degree. What I did know, was that I wanted to an agent of change and help people live healthier lives.

I had been working a landscaping job throughout my summers during undergrad, and it was at that job I quickly realized the importance of following safe work procedures to stay out of harms way. It wasn’t until my 4th year into undergraduate studies I discovered Western University offered classes that discussed the principles, legislation and controls used to keep workers healthy and safe. I begun to think to myself – a job in the health and safety field might be interesting. It was in the last year of my undergraduate studies I enrolled in Linda Clarke’s occupational health and safety & advanced occupational health and safety classes. It was during one of the advanced occupational health and safety planning assignments, that I had an Aha! moment. I realized that a job in the health and safety field is how I can help people live healthier lives!

After finishing my undergraduate degree, I went back to working labour jobs while I applied for various health and safety jobs. From looking at the qualifications employers were looking for in their job postings, I quickly realized why I wasn’t getting any calls back. Almost every entry-level position was seeking a person who is a Canadian Registered Safety Professional (CRSP), or is actively pursuing the designation and has some work experience. At that point, I realized that my undergraduate degree probably wasn’t going to be enough to land me an entry-level position in the health and safety field.

After taking the year off from school to save money, I decided it was time to pursue further education. By this point, I had already known about the post-degree diploma in Occupational Health and Safety Management offered by the Continuing Studies Department. I had read about the program offerings that included career specific training, which would allow me to translate theory into practical job skills during the practicum phase of the program.  I also noted that Occupational Health and Safety diploma program qualifies for points towards pursuing the CRSP designation, which I realized is going to be an important designation to get if I want to advance in a health and safety career. This got me energized! It was all too perfect! These were exactly the things my future employers are looking for! So I applied well before the March 1st application deadline and I am now in my 7th week of studies. I haven’t regretted a moment of it!

The program has been a perfect continuation from my undergraduate studies. The Professors teaching us are all professionals in the field themselves. Each is extremely knowledgeable in their field, and accessible both inside and outside the classroom. I don’t know where I’d be without their guidance.

If you’ve had your Aha! moment or would like to hear more about my experience in the program, stay tuned!

Feel free to send any questions you have about the program itself to sbain4@uwo.ca and I will address them either in my next post or through personal email.

My next blog post will be about: The professors, Courses and a Short Q&A

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2 Comments on “Health and Safety Management: The Aha! Moment”

  1. Mira Lajunen says:

    To be honest i really love to learn the healthy and safety field,it is because of what i seen in Finland country.It is common to see that in a worker they have a healthy and safety stuff.In part of Helsinki all worker are priority specially their safety and health which is i am amaze that is some part of the world those things is not really valuable which is really sad to see.Glad you share it.

  2. Nice post Steven. I recommend you to keep it up. Thanks for sharing personal experience.


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