Before Jade Nelson got her start in the environmental, health, and safety (EHS) field, she always thought she would work in a private practice as a doctor, creating and maintaining a forward-thinking culture. One day, however, Nelson was invited to participate in a safety committee meeting at her job – and that’s when she had a light bulb moment in her head.
“I felt super passionate and driven,” Nelson told EHS Daily Advisor. “In the span of an hour, I found my passion. I realized that I wanted to help people before they ended up in an emergency room. I then went to college for Occupational Safety and Health, and totally loved every minute of it!”
Nelson went on to “fall in love” in with safety and began actively pursuing a career in the industry. Today, she is currently the Dangerous Goods Operations Manager for GXO Logistics, a leading global organization that creates supply chain management solutions for unique clients.
In our latest Faces of EHS profile, meet Jade Nelson. Read on to find out what she enjoys most about working in the industry, why she allows her passion for safety to drive her, and more.
Who is/was your biggest influence in the industry?
I have so many talented safety professionals in my circle that it’s hard to really say that I have one biggest influence. I am thankful for all of them as they assist me in becoming this well-rounded safety professional that I dream of. I would say that my biggest influence is feeling the intense need/want to be proactive and stop injuries before they happen.
What’s your best mistake and what did you learn from it?
I consider everything a learning lesson. I don’t believe people make mistakes. I do believe that each unfavorable result is a step closer to the desired outcome.
What’s your favorite part about working in the industry? What’s your least favorite part, and how would you change it?
My favorite part of working in the industry is the creativity that takes over when I am problem solving. Near misses and safety concerns turn into captivating projects as my team and I race to uncover a solid preventative measure. I don’t have a least favorite part!
It sounds like through your experience you really care about people, and you want to help them feel safe and comfortable, which is important in the industry.
I love humanity. This love drives me to create working environments that are free of safety and health risks. I do believe zero accidents and injuries is an attainable goal. If we can make it to the moon, we can do anything.
Where do you see the industry heading in five years? Or are you seeing any current trends?
I see the use of augmented reality, virtual reality, robotics, and other technology assisting in creating a safer environment throughout the world.
What are you most proud of?
I am most proud of serving in my community and being able to provide awesome safety solutions to my fellow safety professionals. I have connected with hundreds of safety professionals in the U.S and other countries. Because of being in different time zones, I am often up late at night discussing employee engagement ideas and ongoing safety projects.
Do you have any advice for people entering the profession?
Know why you are entering the profession. Be yourself. I remember going into the profession and being so excited about safety that the more seasoned professionals were looking at me like I was nuts. I got many comments about working too hard and suggestions to slow down a bit. My advice? Let your passion drive you to make the world a better place to live!