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#1 Posted : 13 November 2019 15:38:26(UTC)
Rank: New forum user

Afternoon all, 

A ways off but just considering career options and feesability with working abroard.

Currently a UK safety professional with a construction / process safety / nuclear background mainly providing client assurance - only tech iosh currently and undergoing my NCRQ diploma so a ways to go to chartered but its good to consider options. 

Has nyone got any experience of working aborad doing safety coming from the UK?

if so where and how did you find delivering "safety" in whatever country you operated in and from a feesability POV how far did your UK qualifications carry you? ... aware more "developed" countires (AUZ NZ USA) have their own regs and competancy reqs for safety guys/gals so how acheivable is it for a UK professional to get out and about abroad? 

Welcome the discussion and thanks inadvance all. 

Edited by user 13 November 2019 15:39:24(UTC)  | Reason: sign off the post/thanks in advance for replies

#2 Posted : 17 November 2019 01:29:20(UTC)
Rank: Forum user

Hi there, 

I have done the opposite, coming from abroad to work in the UK.

The big differences that you might find in Europe, are more the cultural ones, however, bear in mind that in someone countries the access to the HS practice is regulated, meaning, that you need to register with the local authority before. The best option is to use your IOSH membership to require the local authority access to the market as a practitioner https://ec.europa.eu/growth/tools-databases/regprof/index.cfm?action=homepage.

Regarding the regulations, they are very similar across Europe.

#3 Posted : 19 November 2019 11:03:15(UTC)
Rank: New forum user


I can only speak of my experiences in the Middle East.   I did about 29 years in the UK and went to work in Saudi Arabia abot 6 years ago.   

In terms of how my qiualifications helped, they were a pre-requisite to being considered for the job at the management level.   What really helped in doing the job was the experience.

I went to work in a very large company so there was some regard to health and safety, though it became clear to me that my predecessor had actually been unqualified.  That leads me to one of the big issues around here - competence, or rather the lack of it.  If you come to work in the Middle East, be prepared to meet  many who think they understand the subject and few who actually do.  Clearly this will not apply in some countries, or at least not to the same extent.

In this region you are also likely to find very different ideas on what what levels of risk are acceptable.  Of course, those are way higher than you or I would accept.

These kinds of issues present challenges but they also present opportunities to make a real diffferences.  I have set UK standards for our contractors to abide by and my team enforces them.  I have even managed to convince/cajole/force contractors to use safety nets for roof installation - in Saudi Arabia.    

You'll also be aware that the climate can be very different to the UK.  If you burn easily, perhaps a place like the Middle East may be a less attractive choice than somewhere cooler.

I've enjoyed working in the GCC (my patch), made a difference, not had to drive in -4C temepratures and not had topay income tax.

I hope you find a job abroad that suits you.

#4 Posted : 19 November 2019 13:53:03(UTC)
Rank: New forum user


I have currently HSE experience from Australia in to the Middle East (5 years now) Qualifications to match, both UK & Australian, so as mentioned generally a pre- requisite for the job. As Abrar in the post has pointed out there are many people aborad who can obtain a certifcate but not have any idea what they are talking about. Then there are thse who come from the "Church of Safety" I like to call it. Preach it but dont understand it and no idea how to work wth the construction management and teams, that part is about acceptance. 

So how do you deliver HSE, well the culture and language can be a problem but it is easy, through a hands on delivery process and a few local key words, I find works where I am. When you have a work force of 10000 + its  essential that you have a local manager (qualified) working along side you, it helps.

Secondly Law of land is essential and is often misunderstood https://www.osha.gov/ This is based on countries adopting as their HSE reference and then, do not forget local law decrees which has safety bedded in them.  

Finally Joint Ventures with european partners, is a big problem because I have heard so many times "its the standard" and again it goes to law of land. While we can say best practise we have to get the basics right. So unless the standards are laid out upfornt it goes to the company procedures if they have them. Now through in the IFC guidelines from banks if a funded project, the fun starts.

It is rewarding, if you enjoy a challenge I have worked on 3 fast track Mega project as the Senior HSE manager and I am commencing the preperation for 3 more. It is very feasible to get work aborad just ensure you have your research done first.

My last bit of advice is resilience it takes special kinds of people to work in often harsh conditions.

I hope the information helps you and look for the right recruitment agency. Good luck 

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