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Top Skills for Success as an Occupational Health and Safety Professional

By February 17, 2023No Comments
occupational health and safety (OHS) professional

To thrive in a career as an occupational health and safety (OHS) professional, there are identifiable markers that can pave the way. With the surge in recognition and understanding of the value of OHS in the workplace since COVID-19, you have career opportunities to truly make a difference in the health and wellbeing of company leaders and employees. Now is the time to hone your skills to get the competitive edge after graduation.

First and foremost, selecting an occupational health and safety course/ workplace health and safety course that provides a segway to certification, is a must. According to OHS Canada, “Education programs must align to a standard set of competencies to ensure that new practitioners have the skills they need to be effective.”

At Anderson College, upon successful completion of our program you will be eligible to write the Canadian Registered Safety Technician (CRST) certification exam, and after gaining four years of industry experience, you will also be eligible to write the Canadian Registered Safety Professional (CRSP) certification exam. These certifications are precisely what OHS Canada is referring to, and are widely recognized and highly regarded by companies across Canada in need of safety professionals.

Beyond occupational health and safety training courses or online safety training courses, you will need a skillset that is second to none, and this is where our overview comes in.

Here are the Top 5 Skills Required to Succeed in an OHS Career.


1. Problem-Solving

You must be able to thrive in the midst of challenges, be able to quickly assess, recognize the risks that are not always self-evident, and be able to think creatively and constructively to solve the issues. You need to be able to identify and comprehensively control hazards, and those problems can range from dealing with physical hazards and equipment to disgruntled or resistant employees and employers.

2. Communication

If you’re to solve issues and get teams back on track for their safety, health, and wellbeing, then you’ll need to have exceptional communication skills to back up your ideas and directions. As your communications will span public speaking, report writing, team addresses and training, being able to communicate clearly, concisely, professionally and directly, always with respect, will go a long way to reaching your professional goals and gaining buy-in for your suggestions and directives.

3. Technological

Being able to understand, access, and utilize the latest technology will put you on the leading edge of efficiency as you guide your team and organizations. You will use tech for procedures and to examine equipment and to test chemical, biological, physical and/or radiological samples.

4. Analytical

You not only see the big picture, but with a keen eye for detail you are able to navigate complex safety regulations and standards, collect and examine data and offer reports and direction that succinctly express what is required for the wellbeing of all. Your ability to be analytical and then to couple that with skills 1 through 4, will empower you to build trust with those you lead.

5. Accountability

You are a professional your colleagues and the organizations and employees you serve can count on. Your passion for helping others, comes across in how you observe and deliver the education and direction required, and when there is physical work to be done, you are not afraid to roll up your sleeves and assist. You address the physical, mental, emotional needs of others and people turn to you for guidance, knowing you will be there to do what needs to be done with professionalism and care.

In honing these top 5 skills, training and obtaining certifications that reflect the requirements of the board of Canadian registered safety professionals, your success as an OHS professional is indeed within reach.

If you’re still determining if this industry and career are for you, take our “Medical Professional Career Discovery Quiz”. But if this has piqued your interest to study occupational health and safety, and you’re ready to launch your Occupational Health & Safety careerbook a virtual appointment with our Admissions team today. Let’s determine together if you’re ready to begin the next class. We’re here to help you every step along the way.

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