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Safety Managers: Traits And Tools

We Want Your Opinion!
We asked Heather Matthews, OHS Specialist with AWARE-NS and Carol Rhynold, RN, BScN, RN Supervisor for Guysborough County Home Support Agency their opinion on what traits make a good Safety Manager, and the best places to obtain OHS resources in Nova Scotia. Be sure to weigh in and add your opinion to the “comments” section below this article.
What are the best characteristics in a safety professional?

  1. Knowledge/experience
  2. Good communication skills
  3. Positive attitude
  4. Integrity
  5. Persistence
  6. Patience

What are the top tools/sites you would direct a new safety professional to?

  1. Department of Labour and Advanced Education
  2. Applicable Industry Association (Construction Safety Association, Safety Services NS, COSP, etc)
  3. Safety Associations (AWARE-NS)
  4. WCB
  5. Networking with as many safety professional as you can
  6. The Canadian Center for Occupational Health and Safety (resources rich)

Chris Goudge, a Canadian Registered Safety Professional in the health care sector went on to add that “the OHS pro needs to not only have a well rounded and current knowledge of safety regulations, rules and best practices but they must also have knowledge of their workplace and the process within. The connection must be made between the OHS requirements and the process. Another important skill is their ability to build and maintain relationships. OHS pros are required to interact with people at all levels of an organization, from the front line worker to the board of directors and everyone in between. Being able to establish relationships will assist in developing credibility, increase organizational knowledge and challenges and aid in obtaining buy in for safety initiatives. Communication Skills are likely the most important skill of a successful safety professional. All of the knowledge and expertise is useless unless you can effectively share this with the people that need to know. Having the ability to adjust your language and approach depending on the audience is critical and being able to connect with staff is essential in creating a safety culture”.

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