Traits of an EHS Professional

Alex Pollock
October 20, 2020
Traits of an EHS Professional
Being deep into the professional recertification cycle for my ROH and CIH credentials, I'm finding myself being reflective on what being an EHS professional really means to me. Maybe the same thought passes through your mind from time to time. Some challenging questions surfaced as I thought about the range of stakeholders I could have (employers, employees, clients, colleagues, professional organizations...) all expecting me to represent them with excellence. Humbling? Scary? What then are some trademarks of a true EHS professional?

I found that answers to these questions fit into two hoppers: Technical Competency and Professional Behavior.

Technical Competency

  • a personal commitment to remain current in all aspects of EHS in which I practice
  • an appetite to continuously expand my technical knowledge
  • the establishment of a network of colleagues whom I call upon when their expertise transcends mine
  • being credentialed in the EHS disciplines that best support my EHS competencies; for example, Personal Safety, Industrial Hygiene
  • supporting EHS organizations that facilitate my technical growth and allow me to serve and develop other EHS professionals; for example, NAEM, AIHA

Professional Behavior

  • demonstrate integrity, honesty, fairness, truthfulness in all my relationships
  • comply with all laws, regulations, policies and standards governing my professional practice
  • advocate for what's right and just
May we all get fully equipped for the challenge of making our workplaces healthier and safer...and rally to the summons of protecting our environment for those that come behind us.

About the Author

Alex Pollock
Alex Pollock has been studying leadership effectiveness for more than 30 years. A former leader in environment, health and safety, and public affairs at The Dow Chemical Co., he learned that we all have leadership roles to play. He enjoys discussing new ideas and sharing practical ways we can all become better leaders.

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