Thought Leadership


A dying profession?

October 21, 2009
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One of the most striking findings that I saw in your “State of the EHS Nation” reader survey 2010 (to be published in ISHN’s January 2010 issue) presentation (and by ABIH and other safety organizations) is the age distribution of safety respondents.

Somewhere around 90% of responders and (by generalized extension) current practitioners are over 40 (!!) years old (present company included).

I have to wonder what other profession sees similar age distributions like maybe Mood Ring manufacturing, but I still see this as a cause for concern. Unless national organizations begin stepping up high school and college age recruitment efforts, the entire landscape of the safety professional will change and soon. In 20 years, either safety pros will be able to name their salary, or industry will have left them behind… and evolved itself to do without a professional safety person on staff because they can’t find any because they’ve all retired. I’m in support of the “name their salary” one.

I thing it would be a great idea for ISHN to either do an article on the aging of the profession (benefits and drawbacks and recommendations), or somehow editorialize an open letter to national safety organizations calling for the new blood to help lead us into the 2020s and beyond.
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