How many of us determined at a young age that when we grew up, we wanted to be a safety professional. Other than the child of a safety professional, I would say that there is a strong argument that the answer is zero.
I know that I found the profession by chance and most of the safety professionals I know are no different. In a way, I think that this is a very good thing.
I feel that by finding the profession by chance, there is a strong likelihood that something about it called to us. Whether the idea of keeping people safe appealed to us or working on a construction site without having to put in the hard labor. Either way, there was just something about it. I know that many degreed safety professionals discovered the major at the college they attended, again, by chance.
However, you got here, you are here and signed up to perform a very important job. There is little gratitude for what we do, and we can never measure the number of injuries or deaths that we have prevented, but we know that we make a difference.
Many found the profession by working in the field. Some were injured on the job and others noticed it as being better than the job that they had at the time. There are many ways that we accidentally fell into this profession, but one thing is for sure, we have a duty and obligation to continually improve it.
As safety professionals, we need to give back. This may mean volunteering for committees or speaking to children about safety. Either way, it is important that we give back. Another critical way that we can give back is by being a life learner and disciple of our profession. Taking classes, attending conferences and webinars, signing up for online training are all great examples of continuous improvement. We owe it to ourselves, and we owe it to those we serve.
Like any industry or profession, we have takers who do not give back, but as they say, 20% of us do 80% of the work, so be part of that 20% who make a difference. After all, you found this job by chance and it has rewarded you in ways that you never could have imagined.