'No harm' to people and the environment - everyone, everywhere,
every time, and all the time! This is the Health and Safety
Professional's mantra. It means training employees about hazardous
materials, first aid, proper procedures and equipment so that
accidents can be avoided. It means implementing well-organised
responses at lightning speed during emergencies.
Health and safety is one of the top priorities for oil and gas
companies. They invest time and money to establish best practices,
effective prevention measures, and rapid response processes. You
will be providing valuable expertise in remote bush locations,
offshore platforms, on service rigs, in highly technical plants or
Keeping a cool head in emergencies and being able to influence
others are two hallmarks for success in this profession. If you are
interested in maintaining a healthy and safe environment - at home
and elsewhere - your career niche may be right here in the oil and
What does a Health and Safety Professional do?
Health and Safety Professionals provide healthy
and safe environments for employees, contractors, and communities
near company operations. Specializations include:
- Emergency Response
Planners: Design and implement emergency response plans,
training and exercises.
- Health, Safety and
Environment (HSE) Advisors/Coordinators -
Field/Offshore:Conduct inspections, implement controls on
industry projects, recommend procedures and provide
- Rig Medics/Occupation Health
Nurses: Design and implement programs to improve the
health and well being of workers. They provide routine health
services and first aid to staff and respond to emergency situations
such as workplace accidents.
- Occupational Health and
Safety Officers: Conduct workplace inspections to detect
unsafe or unhealthy working conditions, and ensure compliance with
applicable laws and regulations.
- Process Safety
Engineers: Develop safety strategies, programs, processes
and plans that ensure safe working conditions within company
How do I become a Health and Safety Professional?
Education and experience requirements vary widely, but common
prerequisites include knowledge of the petroleum business, and
health and safety expertise. Consider the following options:
- A specialized program in health,
safety and the environment from a university or post-secondary
- A technical diploma or degree in a
discipline such as engineering.
- Business experience in a particular
- A designation such as the
Canadian Registered Safety Professional (CRSP),
Certified Safety Professional (CSP) or the Certified
Health and Safety Consultant (CHSC).
What are the working conditions like?
Whether they are office or field-based, Health and Safety
Professionals are expected to travel. A valid driver's license
along with a safe driving record is required. Typically,
office-based professionals work normal office hours, but they must
be available to respond to emergencies around the clock. In the
field, Health and Safety Professionals work 12 to 14 hours a day,
seven days a week. Appropriate time off is given depending on the
rotation. You may be exposed to inclement weather and potentially
hazardous conditions. Most roles require that you be physically
Do I fit the bill?
Do you think you have what it takes to become a Health
and Safety Professional?
- Health, safety and the environment are important to me.
- I can react quickly and stay focused
when unexpected events occur.
- I am able to positively influence
others and take charge, especially during emergencies.
- I am comfortable making decisions
even when I don't have specific procedures or guidelines to
- I have strong organizational
- I enjoy doing presentations and
- I have the flexibility to work
- I can work in fast-paced
environments, manage changing priorities and meet tight
- I can work in potentially harsh
conditions, remote locations and other challenging
- I think a career as a Health and
Safety Professional is exciting, and I'm up for the
Quick tips and next steps!
- Check out the websites of
organizations that specialize in safety training such as www.enform.ca.
- Research the emergency preparedness
information published by Public Safety Canada at www.publicsafety.gc.ca.
- Review the Health and Safety in the
Offshore Oil and Gas Industry in Atlantic Canada brochure produced
by the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers at www.capp.ca.
- Read magazines such as Canadian
Occupational Safety at www.cos-mag.com and
Occupational Health and Safety at www.ohscanada.com.
- Browse through regulatory agency
websites and check out the regulations, bulletins and other
information regarding industry health and safety
- Apply for summer jobs with oil and
gas companies to get some field experience.
Want more info?
For information on other industry occupations check out