Future of the health and safety professional


Future of the health and safety professional

Posted on 23 May 2022

​ Future of the health and safety professional


What will the health, safety & risk professional look like in the future? Great question which was posed by Grant Thomson, the Global Health and Safety Manager at FTSE 100 manufacturing company Spirax-Sarco. He covered this in his wider talk on the importance of mentoring in health and safety at the Health and Safety Expo at the Excel. (He was due to speak with health and safety leader Hugh Maxwell who unfortunately could not make the event)

It was great to be back ‘face to face’ again and see so many familiar faces at the event. Indeed there has never been a better time to come together, reset and discus the future of the profession. 

Grant focused on 5 key trends which he believes will be seen more prevalently moving forward -

The first is Crisis Management and Business Continuity Planning. Given the past two years this topic is of course highly relevant and as Grant put it “Covid taught us to expect the unexpected”

The second emerging trend is that of Environment and Social Governance. Certainly as a recruitment business, Irwin and Colton have seen a major demand from clients for skills in this area.

“Covid taught us to expect the unexpected”

Psychological risks and the mental health agenda will also continue to be a major trend. Grant underlines the importance the health and safety profession can play in this agenda “It is really important we are the driving force behind managing this risk”

Finally the drive toward digitization, AI and Automation will be a major element of the health and safety practitioners role. Harnessing this is critical and presents many opportunities.

A lot of change on the horizon, how does a health and safety professional cope in a time of so much change? Grant suggests the best method is to adopt a growth mindset. “This will improve the way you respond to challenges”. This is a piece of advice he received from his mentor Hugh Maxwell.

This feels like a great strategy, as we move forward the only certainty seems to be change! 



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