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  1. #1

    Assistance required please

    Good morning all,

    This is my first thread in my whole entire life and it has come at a pivotal point in time. I would like to make it clear that i have no formal qualifications in safety however i do have a sincere and burning desire to become professionally sound in the field of Safety.

    Previous work experience: 7 years in a Senior Sales Management role (FMCG, retail)
    Previous studies: Certificate 4 and Diploma in Business Management
    Exposure to OHS: limited, but some, due to working in senior managerial roles

    I am making the transition from a sales role to the safety industry for two reasons only.
    1 - I am over selling products/services to people who don't need them yet they get themselves in debt to appear 'up to date' for society
    2 - I want to make a difference by contributing to the overall well being of people busting their hump to make a living and aiding companies in becoming as self sustainable as possible.

    I believe this is the ideal forum to express my situation as well as humbly request advice from existing sound professionals. I am at the start of a very long journey no doubt, however relying on professionals who have 'been there done that and learnt he hard way' my questions are these..

    - What questions do i need to ask myself, coming into a new industry at the age of 30, that would give me greater clarity on investing the next 30 years in?
    - What career paths have you professionals found to be the ideal way to go? (longevity, networking, financial)
    - The new Cert 4 in WHS is my starting point, what type of roles/companies will accept a newbie undertaking this course whilst wanting to work full time?

    There are a load more questions i have, but again being new to threads I am not even sure if the above is appropriate.

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

  2. #2
    Hi SaFt1sT,

    I have been in this situation myself and asking people who have done something similar is a great start!

    Firstly. I think you are making the career change for fantastic reasons! OHS/WHS is full of passionate people and I'm sure you'll fit right in.

    Your experience in senior management is great, as OHS/WHS matters tend to come up a lot for managers of all levels. There are probably plenty of times you dealt with OHS/WHS matters without even realising it. After all, what is OHS/WHS but an specialised form of management!

    Obviously the Cert IV is the starting point for you, but with no formal experience in OHS you may need to take on a few more courses of study, such as:
    Cert IV TAE
    Diploma + AdvDip OHS/WHS
    Cert III Surface Ventilation
    Worker's Compensation and Injury Management
    Internal Auditor/External Auditor and Lead Auditor
    Incident Investigation (ICAM)

    I would say that with just the Cert IV OHS/WHS the type of role you might get would be OHS/WHS administrator, which is a great start to your health & safety career!!

    Given that the majority of OHS/WHS roles have a focus on blue collar and/or heavy industry that kind of work experience is invaluable. So if you are committed to the career change, gaining high risk work licences for Forklift,EWP,Dogging and Rigging might be worth a look.

    This is exactly how I changed careers from Front Line Health care to OHS training.

    Hope that helps!


  3. #3
    Having more than 25 years experience both in the US and Europe, and having sat on an ANSI TCC (one member sits on the ISO Board for safety stds); I would suggest you consider a university degree program. OH&S IV is too basic to be meaningful. Moving towards safety engineering, occupational medicine, and environmental management is where the future is going. bear in mind, I recently too a degree in Business Mgt to prepare myself for a Corp. Safety Role as they won't look at just a safety person speaking tech talk... you have to able to the COO too. If I had to do it all over again, I probably would have went to Harvard's PON school for negotiators. (You can find me on LinkedIn and VisualCV.)

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