EHS Career Trends/Certification

A strong finish to the year

There’s just one month left in 2014. How has it gone, health- and safetywise? Have you accomplished any significant goals? Encountered any significant roadblocks? Experienced significant personal or professional growth? Here are some things you can do to finish the year strong and go into 2015 with a running start.  

Today, we’ll look back at this year and try to finish well. Tomorrow, we’ll get a jump on the coming year.

Wrap Up Projects

What projects did you start this year that you didn’t finish? Did you lay out a plan for increasing employee involvement, but never get it off the ground? Did you make some contacts about getting that fire-extinguisher training or health screening fair, but never set a date? Did you do the research for purchasing new safety equipment, but never get around to filling out the purchase order? Did you start updating your written programs, but get distracted in June and never finish?

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The end of the year makes a fantastic hard deadline. Decide what you need to do to wrap up one or two of those outstanding projects you set for yourself in January, and get it done this month. Here are some suggestions you can use to bring your year to a strong close.

Make a “Done” List

Don’t just pore over the projects you didn’t get done: Make yourself a list of what you did accomplish. This can help you feel better about a rough year, but it can also be an important record to hang onto for other reasons:

  • Is management looking at your budget and asking whether it could be trimmed? Your list of accomplishments might convince them otherwise. Show off what you did with the resources you had available—and what you might be able to do with more.
  • Is management looking at your position and asking if it could be outsourced or contracted? With your list, you can point out how everything you accomplished would be far more difficult for someone who’s not at the worksite every day. Make a special point of recording the little things—the small, on-the-spot corrections, the little fixes you made before they became “big fixes”—or worse, “big problems”—the things that a consultant or off-site person might not even have noticed, let alone taken care of. Your “done list” shows the value of your presence

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  • Are you looking to make a career move? You’ll need to know what you’ve done well and what your strengths are. Your list will give you that information, making your resume stronger and bringing your career goals into focus.
  • Is OSHA coming to see you? In the event of an inspection, those records could be what you need to demonstrate that you’re on top of training and enforcement; that your workers are aware of work rules; and that your employer is not negligent. Well-documented safety efforts can be key to preventing citations, minimizing penalties, and forestalling “willful” classifications.

Make sure you have a year-in-review record of your safety accomplishments!

Tomorrow, in order to start you off with your best foot forward, we’ll look at some things you can do at the end of this year as you look ahead to next year.

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