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ShaunBaker91  
#1 Posted : 04 October 2017 13:35:39(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
ShaunBaker91

I was Previously in a duel role as a chemical operator and safety advisor I left to go into a predominant Health and Safety role as I am now studying my Degree equivalent.

My current role, I started as a health and safety assistant, this was due to be junior H&S advisor and I have had major arguments with management and the directors over my role and title I have always presumed that an assistant is to assist.

my current duties are:

- Review and conduct Risk Assessments.

- Job hazard analysis.

- Produce Safe Systems of Work.

- Organise Training and Conduct toolbox talks.

- New employee training, training records and training matrix's.

- Develop induction handbooks for new employees and visitors and deliver these as necessary.

- Develop and maintain a safety management system inline with ISO18001.

- Identify legal requirements.

- Write Policies and Procedures.

- Conduct internal system audits on safety management system.

- test fire alarm and document, produce fire evacuation plans and ensure best practise is maintained.

- conduct daily workplace inspections.

- conduct a monthly hazard report and action plan.

- lead accident/incident investigation and conduct root cause analysis.

- set targets and objectives to reduce accidents, incidents, near misses and workplace hazards.

- develop graphs to monitor performance.

would I be right in thinking that I am working above an assistant as my director is arguing that due to my title change i will be wanting more money, this is not the case i want to be accredited for what i currently do and to highlight that my manager (who is in a duel role) is not performing his duties i am performing them.

what title/level would you consider this role to be?

please the more responses the better as this is my argument that i conduct a lot more than assistant.

WatsonD  
#2 Posted : 04 October 2017 15:58:35(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
WatsonD

Hi Shaun,

I can see your employers point if there is a hierarchy in place which puts you on a par with other job roles/ levels within your pay scale. Is the battle worth fighting, and what do you want to gain from a job title?

There are few protected job titles so in relaity it is down to the boss how he/she sees the company structured.

However, you could go with Health & Safety Coordinator

ShaunBaker91  
#3 Posted : 04 October 2017 16:10:59(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
ShaunBaker91

thank you, although it was more a point of doing alot more than an assistant does.

to call someone an assistant when they have developed the entire system is a major insult.

pete48  
#4 Posted : 04 October 2017 21:01:49(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
pete48

Hi Shaun. 

Assistant is a term also used to denote someone who simply ranks beneath a senior person; especially so in organisations that are/have to be structured hierarchically. It is not just about defining someone as a 'helper' type of assistant. There are plenty of examples in all sectors that show the term applied to jobs requiring strong quals, skill sets and experience. 

Thus is it possible that your comment about being insulted is a matter of personal perception? Are you perhaps too fixed on the 'helper' type of description. Personally I have always gone with salary levels as the area to challenge with bosses rather than job titles.

hth

thanks 1 user thanked pete48 for this useful post.
WatsonD on 05/10/2017(UTC)
ShaunBaker91  
#5 Posted : 05 October 2017 09:18:19(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
ShaunBaker91

Originally Posted by: pete48 Go to Quoted Post

Hi Shaun. 

Assistant is a term also used to denote someone who simply ranks beneath a senior person; especially so in organisations that are/have to be structured hierarchically. It is not just about defining someone as a 'helper' type of assistant. There are plenty of examples in all sectors that show the term applied to jobs requiring strong quals, skill sets and experience. 

Thus is it possible that your comment about being insulted is a matter of personal perception? Are you perhaps too fixed on the 'helper' type of description. Personally I have always gone with salary levels as the area to challenge with bosses rather than job titles.

hth


Hi Pete,

I feel insulted as when I came to this role and responsibilities where decided, it was decided that I would assist the manager in controlling hazards, etc. My manager works in planning and HSE and since i have started he has focused soley on Planning so as you can see my issue is more that I am not assisting I have developed the companies policies and procedures, set health and safety objectives and conduct performance measuring.

When I first started at the company I ask to review the risk assessments to be told they had only managed to do 2 in 4 years and had no system in place so I have now developed an internal Safety Management System in line with OHSAS 18001 and am taking the through the transition to ISO45001 to gain accreditation, for which my manager has taken 100% credit as though these where tasks set by him (I wrote my own Plan on a Page)

Hopefully you can see my frustration and not feel this is a petty issue.

Thank you.

Shaun.

Waz  
#6 Posted : 05 October 2017 13:53:02(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
Waz

Lets look at football club management.  I don't know what your club is (if indeed you like football), but lets say its Manchester United - they had a Manager - Sir Alex Ferguson; then they had an Assistant Manager - Brian Kidd, Steve McClaren, Carlos Quiroz to name but few.  They didn't manage the club, they assisted, e.g. did things the Manager didn't e.g. coaching. 

The title of the role is irrelevant to a degree, its whats in your job description that counts and the role, responsbilities and remuneration attributable.

Kind regards

Waz

jcollins17  
#7 Posted : 05 October 2017 15:16:13(UTC)
Rank: New forum user
jcollins17

I agree with you ShaunBaker91. I have been a H&S coordinator for 3 years in two different jobs, but I have been doing much more than a coordinators job - in my current role I am the only H&S person, as my manager has recently left and there is no sign of a replacement, but even before he left I was near enough managing the H&S in 2 sites (he was based at another site). 

I find the job title holds back my career progression as I feel the title is the first thing looked at when applying for Advisory roles in other organisations (a recruitment company informed me of this). My previous two managers have commented that I should at least be in an advisory role but the powers above them are not willing to change the title (probably due to possible salary changed) - I am happy with my current salary and money does not really come into it (although it would be nice to be paid more), but I think to have Health and Safety Advisor on my CV looks miles better than Health and Safety Coordinator and further down the line when I’m possibly ready for the next step after that which would be a manager - it is very unlikely to go from coordinator to manager.

In terms of changing my job title I have been looking elsewhere to get the recognition I think I deserve, this could be something that you might have to do, although I am finding it difficult to get my foot into the interview room door.

ShaunBaker91  
#8 Posted : 05 October 2017 15:53:15(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
ShaunBaker91

Originally Posted by: jcollins17 Go to Quoted Post

I agree with you ShaunBaker91. I have been a H&S coordinator for 3 years in two different jobs, but I have been doing much more than a coordinators job - in my current role I am the only H&S person, as my manager has recently left and there is no sign of a replacement, but even before he left I was near enough managing the H&S in 2 sites (he was based at another site). 

I find the job title holds back my career progression as I feel the title is the first thing looked at when applying for Advisory roles in other organisations (a recruitment company informed me of this). My previous two managers have commented that I should at least be in an advisory role but the powers above them are not willing to change the title (probably due to possible salary changed) - I am happy with my current salary and money does not really come into it (although it would be nice to be paid more), but I think to have Health and Safety Advisor on my CV looks miles better than Health and Safety Coordinator and further down the line when I’m possibly ready for the next step after that which would be a manager - it is very unlikely to go from coordinator to manager.

In terms of changing my job title I have been looking elsewhere to get the recognition I think I deserve, this could be something that you might have to do, although I am finding it difficult to get my foot into the interview room door.


Yes This is exactly my case I am the only person under the manager and he focuses entirely on planning of production.

I have all of my roles and responsibilities on my CV but the fact it is down as assistant means you don't get a chance, firms look at the roles and unless its advisor/ officer they don't even bother with the jobs/ tasks you currently do.

I also am looking elsewhere and due to my title I am having to look at stepping into trainee advisor positions or assistant positions that offer progression it is a horrible feeling.

Waz, Jcollins has hit the nail on the head with what I was aiming to say.

I do get where you are coming from though Waz it is JUST a title and doesn't denounce your role, but it does stop you leaving the company as you do not get the chance to be interviewed as you're only an assistant, you must just assist it's okay saying it's just a title but it is the situation behind it the fact I am down on paper as a assistant I cannot progress the career I want (even though I conduct the role of Advisor and have done in 2 different roles with 2 years experience and manage and developed the safety management system) so yes it is just a title but when you are at a higher level experience wise and qualification wise than assistant roles require and many other roles may I add it makes you feel like rubbish to be stuck in the same position not able to grow and develop or progress further.

Edited by user 05 October 2017 15:57:10(UTC)  | Reason: missed word

Andrew W Walker  
#9 Posted : 05 October 2017 16:03:19(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Andrew W Walker

Why not change your CV to the title you want. Its not exactly fraudulent changing a word, as long as you don't lie about quals & experience, I don't see an issue.

See if that helps with the job interviews.

thanks 1 user thanked Andrew W Walker for this useful post.
lorna on 06/10/2017(UTC)
SNS  
#10 Posted : 05 October 2017 23:12:42(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
SNS

If you don't like where you are, move.

Change management bottom line - if you can't change the people, change the people.

Elfin Davy 09  
#11 Posted : 06 October 2017 11:23:14(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
Elfin Davy 09

Hi Shaun

You may not like (or agree) with what I’m about to say, but please take it in the manner intended, which is meant to be constructive.

Firstly, it isn’t clear exactly what H&S qualifications you currently hold, other than saying that you’re studying for a “degree equivalent”.  Whilst I fully accept that qualifications aren’t necessarily the “be all and end all” of a position, they often place you within a certain bracket, and you can only move upwards when your qualifications and experience show that you’ve reached (or bettered) a certain standard.

Next, you say that you feel “insulted” by your job title because you believe that you’re doing more than should be expected of an assistant, and that you’re not actually assisting your manager.  Having looked at the tasks you’re undertaking, I have to say that a) most of these I would expect a competent assistant of mine to be able to do, and b) that you ARE assisting your manager by freeing up his time to allow him to do other things.  I’m not au fait with your organisation so I don’t know how they work (or what they expect of people), but it’s not unusual for people to have dual roles these days unfortunately, and maybe your manager is having to rely upon you to help him fulfil the role that your Company expects of him ?

Another way of looking at your current role is that you’re learning and gaining experience whilst being shielded to a degree.  By that I mean that your current job title of “assistant” protects you up to a point as your manager (and those above him) are the ones who are ultimately responsible for supervising someone in your position, and for your actions – especially if one day you get it wrong !  Many people would be grateful for that.

You’ve stated that you’ve had “major arguments with managers and directors over your role”.  I have to say that I’ve personally risen to quite a high management level within Health and Safety, and I didn’t get there by arguing over my job title.  You learn that you only have that sort of conversation when something really serious demands it, and maybe your attitude has something to do with the fact that you’re not where you want to be ? (sorry if that offends, but I did say you might not like some of things I had to say).

Having said all of the above, I DO have some sympathy with your predicament, and I think many of us have been in your shoes at some point during our careers.  However, the way to go about it is to make things happen rather than moaning about it.  If you REALLY don’t think you’re valued where you’re at, move on (as SNS has suggested).  If you’re as good as you say you are, your actual job title won’t hold you back – believe me.  The vast majority of us who hold senior positions now used to be assistants at some point, and most of us obviously managed to convince other Companies that we were “worthy of greater things” to make the step up.  Yes, it can be challenging at times, but it’s far from impossible.  Don’t forget however that with the higher title come greater responsibilities, and I would suggest that you only make the move when you’re fully ready to do so.

If you honestly feel that you’re ready now, then may I wish you all the best in obtaining your objectives.

thanks 1 user thanked Elfin Davy 09 for this useful post.
ShaunBaker91 on 06/10/2017(UTC)
ShaunBaker91  
#12 Posted : 06 October 2017 12:12:56(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
ShaunBaker91

Hi, Elfin Davy, I do agree to a point, my issue is not with what I am doing it is what I was initailly expected to do, I have tripled my workload to free up my managers time, I have reduced the amount of personal time I have (which is used to revise for my Level 6 Diploma) and I am killing myself day in and day out to go beyond my origanally agreed role to better the company.

my real Issue is after all this I have not received a thank you, I have not received a pay raise and to top it all I was pulled into a meeting to thank my Manager for increasing the level of health and safety on site and thank the Quality manager for taking us to ts16949 (who I helped a great deal with gaining accreditation).

I am in the process now of apply for other jobs but most opportunities are missed by recruitment agencies as they see the title of assistant but cannot grasp the concept of the responsibilities we provide and so great chances are missed due to people underestimating assistants and presuming they only assist on others duties.

I can honestly say my ambition is to grow within Health and Safety and when I do I will not Underestimate an assistant.

Thank you all for the replies and coping with my post of frustation.

Elfin Davy 09  
#13 Posted : 06 October 2017 12:53:01(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
Elfin Davy 09

Hi Shaun

Thank you for taking my comments in the way they were intended, and - as I said in my original post - I DO have some sympathy for your position.  Nobody likes to feel that they're not appreciated, and it certainly looks like you're being wound up (intentionally or otherwise) by your current employers.  If it's really as bad as you suggest (and you don't think it's likely that things will ever change), I would strongly advise you to move on and stop wasting your time and energies there.

In terms of job hunting, I would further suggest that you avoid agencies if at all possible (they tend to work on strict criteria provided by their client rather than for the applicant, so if their client states that they need someone with a Diploma, you won't get a look in - however good you are - unless you hold a Diploma unfortunately).

I would advise therefore that you target employers who advertise their vacancies themselves rather than via agencies.  If you feel you match their requirements, tailor your CV accordingly and point out that you're currently studying for Level 6.  You might have to persevere and send out a few applications (it's a tough world at the moment unfortunately), but I can pretty much guarantee that someone will at least give you an interview, and it's up to you to convince them at that time.

Stick with it and don't give up (but while you're still with your present employer, use your time wisely to gain experience rather than going into work frustrated every day and becoming more and more demoralised - your time will come).

Good luck

 Elfin

Edited by user 06 October 2017 12:54:40(UTC)  | Reason: Spelling error

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ShaunBaker91 on 06/10/2017(UTC)
ShaunBaker91  
#14 Posted : 06 October 2017 13:00:54(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
ShaunBaker91

Originally Posted by: Elfin Davy 09 Go to Quoted Post

Hi Shaun

Thank you for taking my comments in the way they were intended, and - as I said in my original post - I DO have some sympathy for your position.  Nobody likes to feel that they're not appreciated, and it certainly looks like you're being wound up (intentionally or otherwise) by your current employers.  If it's really as bad as you suggest (and you don't think it's likely that things will ever change), I would strongly advise you to move on and stop wasting your time and energies there.

In terms of job hunting, I would further suggest that you avoid agencies if at all possible (they tend to work on strict criteria provided by their client rather than for the applicant, so if their client states that they need someone with a Diploma, you won't get a look in - however good you are - unless you hold a Diploma unfortunately).

I would advise therefore that you target employers who advertise their vacancies themselves rather than via agencies.  If you feel you match their requirements, tailor your CV accordingly and point out that you're currently studying for Level 6.  You might have to persevere and send out a few applications (it's a tough world at the moment unfortunately), but I can pretty much guarantee that someone will at least give you an interview, and it's up to you to convince them at that time.

Stick with it and don't give up (but while you're still with your present employer, use your time wisely to gain experience rather than going into work frustrated every day and becoming more and more demoralised - your time will come).

Good luck

 Elfin


Hi Elfin,

Yes it unfortunately is a tough world at the moment, the only issue is the only people who seem to be advertising at the moment are the agencies unfortunately.

I have tailored my CV as my Qualifications have been acheived and do add the Qualifications I am working towards, I am in the interview process with 3 Potential opportunities so hopefully the hard work will pay off.

Thank you again for comments.

Edited by user 06 October 2017 13:02:05(UTC)  | Reason: Spelling error

Mr.Flibble2.0  
#15 Posted : 09 October 2017 14:46:50(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
Mr.Flibble2.0

I went from:

Health and Safety Advisor to,

HSEQ Co-Ordinator to,

HSEQ Assitant to,

Health and Safety Manager to,

Health and Safety Consltant to,

Health, Safety, Environmental and Building Services Manager to,

Safety, Health and Environmental Manager.

I really wouldn't get to hung up on job titles and neither will recruiters. Its your CV and you that gets the job whatever you called in your Job Role. They can call me whatever they like as long as they pay me for it.

thanks 1 user thanked Mr.Flibble2.0 for this useful post.
ShaunBaker91 on 11/10/2017(UTC)
ShaunBaker91  
#16 Posted : 11 October 2017 13:36:16(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
ShaunBaker91

thanks mr flibble that made me chuckle yes aslong as they pay the wage too

Oxford  
#17 Posted : 11 October 2017 14:20:07(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
Oxford

I think more companies are following the lead of HR departments and calling their staff either H&S Business Advisors, or H&S Business Partners...maybe that could be a suggesion to put to your boss so it doesn't appear to be threatening...all the while of course working out how to replace him in his job, lol

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ShaunBaker91 on 12/10/2017(UTC)
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