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hardworkingdude  
#1 Posted : 10 February 2018 22:54:58(UTC)
Rank: New forum user
hardworkingdude

So here I am after doing a level 6 diploma in Applied Health and Safety, it's been ages and I can't seem to find that first job, I've gone as far as to volunteer to get experience as a safety practitioner but to no avail. I currently work as an engineer but desperately want to move into a health and safety career, I've had 2 interviews both for trainee health and safety jobs and both times I've been rejected due to not having experience! Does any one have any tips, any further courses I can take to make me stand out as I feel like giving up! :(
Kate  
#2 Posted : 11 February 2018 08:10:09(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Kate

If lack of experience is the blocker then more courses are unlikely to help, what you need is experience and just as importantly to show that you have experience.  

A good way to get experience is within your engineer role.  If you tell your employer you are interested there may be things you can do, for example, joining the health and safety committee and taking part in any relevant tasks such as risk assessments and inspections.  Also, you need to make sure that your CV and interview answers reflect the experience that you have already got.  You don't say what kind of engineering work you do but engineering roles often do have a significant element of health and safety which you can use to your advantage.

Don't give up.  Good luck!

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hardworkingdude on 12/02/2018(UTC)
peter gotch  
#3 Posted : 11 February 2018 14:35:24(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
peter gotch

I'm with Kate. Review what your current role includes re H&S and sell this in CV, applications and interviews.

Consider what else you could volunteer for as regards H&S elements for your current job.

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hardworkingdude on 12/02/2018(UTC)
Ian Bell2  
#4 Posted : 11 February 2018 20:36:22(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Ian Bell2

Safety is a sub set of engineering.

What sort of engineering do you do?

Things to take a look at - are your company machines guarded properly? If not, what needs to be done. Become the company expert on machinery safety.

What about electrical safety?

Chemicals used in production and engineering. Can engineering improvements be made to improve chemical safety? Follow the risk hierarchy. Can hazardous chemicals be removed and less hazardous chemicals used instead?

Safe systems of work - what meainenance procedures do you have? Power isolation when working? Permits to work required?

Lots to look at, then start including this sort of experience on your cv.

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hardworkingdude on 12/02/2018(UTC)
Clark34486  
#5 Posted : 12 February 2018 07:27:55(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
Clark34486

I was originally working in heavy industry as a tradesperson, when I eventually made it into the office I was 'voluntold' to be the company H&S advisor. IOSH MS...NEBOSH GC and suddenly 'hmmmm this is ok, I fancy a bit of this'

In my expereince very few people choose H&S it chooses them. When I decided to pursue this full-time I wrote a covering letter (begging letter more like) accompanied by a CV looking for a H&S position with sponsorship through the NEBOSH Dip. I chose the larger 'players' within my sector (M&E contracting/ construction) and wrote, and wrote and wrote, it took months but eventually I got a taker. The junior Regional SHE Advisor position I was givenh was perfect, site visits carrying out compliance/ inspections etc. I only stuck around for 16 months but it was absolutely perfect.

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hardworkingdude on 12/02/2018(UTC)
Martin Brogan  
#6 Posted : 12 February 2018 08:27:49(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
Martin Brogan

Hi I have just moved into my first full time health and safety role (Jan 18) having worked in manufacturing (Printer/manager) and progressed through management levels to production manager in varies different comapnies. I however was lucky or unlucky depends how you look at it to have the the chance to use my health and safey skills and training in all my roles giving me experience and confidience. My new role is a total different industry but what the employer liked was my duel skills and how my management approach and communication skills to staff would be key. Key is have a look at what you can do, how you can use your health and safety in your current job and gain that experience. If you have a safety manager, ask him to mentor you. Update your c.v and put in all your safety knowledge coupled with your current duties. Some companies will relate to that more than certificates and no work expierience. I am 50 this year and never gave up my dream of changing career - go for it and good luck.

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hardworkingdude on 12/02/2018(UTC)
biker1  
#7 Posted : 12 February 2018 10:22:10(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
biker1

It sounds like you are caught in the no experience, can't get a job because of lack of experience, can't get experience because you can't get a job, can't get a job because of lack of experience.....trap. Applies to a lot of jobs unfortunately, and the last major recession changed the job market so that breaking into a new industry became near impossible, rather than the former positon that valued a fresh pair of eyes..

Lot of good advice given, just garner whatever experience you can. Often, this can lead to getting into health and safety through the back door, so to speak.

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hardworkingdude on 12/02/2018(UTC)
biker1  
#8 Posted : 12 February 2018 10:37:31(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
biker1

I could add, and the following may sound cynical, but you could drop lucky and find an employer who doesn't know much about health and safety professionals and/or doesn't value them, but is just going through the motions of appointing one, so you stand a good chance in that scenario. The downside of this, of course, is that their ignorance or lack of commitment to health and safety will quickly become apparent in the way you are treated. You then have a choice. You can either try and change things and get their commitment, or get as much useful experience as possible and then find another job where you will be valued.

Sounds somewhat cynical, I know, but I've been there and done that, and tried both options. At the very least, it gave me an entry into the health and safety profession.

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hardworkingdude on 12/02/2018(UTC)
Stephenl1985  
#9 Posted : 14 February 2018 20:33:45(UTC)
Rank: New forum user
Stephenl1985

I too suffer from a lack of experience.  I currently work as a machine operative in a pharmaceutical packaging factory.  I have asked my current employer were there any H&S positions becoming available, no luck there.  In process of applying for H&S jobs but the lack of experience is holding me back.  I have decided I am going to offer my knowledge to local small businesses in return for a written reference that I will attach to my CV.  

watcher  
#10 Posted : 15 February 2018 10:31:28(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
watcher

Originally Posted by: Stephenl1985 Go to Quoted Post

I too suffer from a lack of experience.  I currently work as a machine operative in a pharmaceutical packaging factory.  I have asked my current employer were there any H&S positions becoming available, no luck there.  In process of applying for H&S jobs but the lack of experience is holding me back.  I have decided I am going to offer my knowledge to local small businesses in return for a written reference that I will attach to my CV.  

Stephen, I'm not sure if I'm understanding.  Are you offering H & S advice to small businesses?

Johndoh1976  
#11 Posted : 15 February 2018 21:17:44(UTC)
Rank: New forum user
Johndoh1976

I too fall foul of the experience situation having completed Nebosh Certs. I've found voluntary work and am enrolling on the NVQ5 to gain experience and proof of doing work based tasks. I'll tackle Nebosh Diploma once I'm in the profession full time.
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