Becoming a jack of all trades

Creeping into discussions at many health and safety conferences is the concept of lifelong learning. Although not new, this idea is centred around continuously improving or growing a skill set or knowledge base through studying, short courses or workshops. In essence, lifelong learning is about staying current.

The importance of remaining current for occupational health and safety (OHS) professionals can’t be stressed enough. From new technologies and updated standards to employment trends and legislation, the world of OHS is always changing. It requires more than just knowing about these changes for OHS officers to remain current. It requires being able to respond to them effectively.

A great example of this is the decriminalisation of cannabis. One simple ruling which allows people to consume cannabis in private has created a minefield for OHS officers. It has meant changing how companies test for cannabis and discipline employees (see page 42 for more information).

To further complicate their challenges, OHS professionals are often the Jack of all trades in their workplaces. They collaborate with human resources, security, managers and employees to ensure the safety of everyone. They need to understand how every cog in the company works to prevent and manage accidents.

Fortunately, mastering this diverse role can be as simple as engaging in lifelong learning at every possible opportunity. It could mean taking a short course on fire safety, attending a workshop on safety at heights, registering with Saiosh, or simply picking up a copy of SHEQ MANAGEMENT to read what the experts have to say.

It is about grabbing every opportunity to learn more about the industry and then using that knowledge to improve health and safety in the workplace. SHEQ MANAGEMENT aims to provide the most current expert insights and advice to assist OHS officers in their quest for lifelong learning.

The 2020 SHEQ MANAGEMENT Handbook is the ideal guide to navigate some of the pressing issues in safety. Read about the new ISO 45003 standard on mental health on page 78; learn the value of praise in the workplace on page 40; and understand why people behave the way they do on page 14.

While the 2020 SHEQ MANAGEMENT Handbook is divided into industry categories to provide sector-specific insights, there is value in reading through the entire publication. It also includes company listings with contact details of top industry experts.

Take every possible advantage of opportunities to expand your knowledge and improve your skills in order to become the ultimate master of this Jack-of-all-trades profession.

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