Advice for Getting into the Safety Profession

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Dr. Barry Spurlock shares advice on getting into the safety profession.


The advice I would give someone who’s considering getting into the safety profession would be, if you’re looking for a career that allows you to make a difference in people’s lives, and you’re at this crossroads that you’re like, “I like this discipline, but I also like this discipline. Maybe those disciplines are like a little bit of medicine. I like this aspect of law, I like this aspect of engineering.” This career provides you the opportunity to kind of fulfill all those little desires there. It’s kind of one of these professions that is very well rounded, it allows you to be involved in business. With that, though, comes the need to be flexible, and to also be able to adapt yourself to meet the different environments that you’re in, understanding a part of your role is leader, part of your role is caregiver, part of your role is business professional.

That’s some advice I would give them, because we work with a lot of different disciplines, and you’ve gotta be able to adapt, and you gotta be able to know your audience. Other advice is, be prepared to become a very good communicator. Most of what we do, anyway the folks who are movers, and shakers, the people who are really skilled in the safety profession and move up are the folks who can communicate the safety message. Anybody can develop the technical expertise of this, and anybody can be an inspector, but it’s a different thing to be a successful manager and safety leader. The advice I would give somebody is, be prepared, if you wanna make a difference and you really wanna go far in this profession, be prepared to adapt. Be prepared to be a leader, be prepared to be a really good communicator.