safety professionalMore than 40% of the environmental health and safety pros we surveyed this past September for ISHN’s 27th annual White Paper Reader Survey expect to work longer hours and take on more job-related distress in 2012.

The good news: Only 4% of pros say the level of their effectiveness as an EHS professional will decline next year.

Apparently EHS pros have a large capacity for challenge and change.

Speaking of change:

  • 39% of pros will increase their involvement in company sustainability initiatives next year
  • 33% will increase involvement in corporate social responsibility efforts
  • 56% expect personal EHS responsibilities to increase

Despite the lousy economy, only 8% of EHS pros say the level of their job satisfaction will decline in 2012.

For many pros, their work is something of a calling, a passion not easily doused by gloomy economic stats. Their performance drive is often organic, part of their nature.

The high job satisfaction is all the more impressive given that a scant 12% of pros say their resource support for EHS (budget and staff) will increase in 2012. Nineteen percent expect cuts in resources; the majority (69%) expect no change in support.

Use of consultants is growing, perhaps in place of staff hiring. Twenty percent of pros surveyed say their use of consultants will increase in 2012; 11 percent say it will decline; and 69% say it will remain the same.

Here are specific steps EHS pros will take in 2012 to improve their company’s safety culture:

  • 76% will engage employees more in safety activities
  • 63% will get leadership more involved in safety initiatives
  • 47% will develop or improve metrics of safety performance
  • 42% will implement or continue a behavior-based safety program
  • 34% will benchmark their program against peer companies
  • 27% will conduct an employee perception survey
  • 23% will implement or continue work on a formal occupational safety and health management system (OHSAS 18001, VPP, ANSI Z10, or a customized system)

The online survey was emailed to 7,647 ISHN subscribers, with 216 usable returns for a 3% response rate.