Occupational health and safety professionals – Are we irrelevant?

Earlier today I was searching on Google Trends.  For those of you that are less nerdy than I, Google Trends provides data on what people are searching for on a trending basis.   Most people understand that if someone is searching for a particular topic, they’re interested in that topic.  As an occupational health and safety professional, it was interesting to search multiple trends – mainly in the area of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).  The results were quite un-nerving.  When I searched EPA vs. OSHA here’s the chart I came up with:

health and safety

Based on the trend on the left, both are declining.  While we could perceive this as a negative trend, it actually could be a good trend. This means that catastrophic events aren’t happening that require people to search for them and find more detailed information and lost lives are being prevented.

I then searched, OSHA vs. EPA vs. Facebook….well, sorry to tell everyone, but Facebook is well off the chart compared to OSHA and the EPA.  Here’s the results:

health and safety osha facebook

As you can see from the chart, OSHA and EPA were invisible when compared to Facebook.  What I also noticed was that at the end of each year, searches for OSHA and EPA dropped off significantly – does this mean that all the occupational health and safety professionals go on vacation during the holidays?  I’m not sure, but personally I find that it is almost impossible to contact environmental, health and safety professionals during the period of time between Christmas and New Years. #justsaying

Occupational health and safety professionals – what can we do?

First off, I know you care, and I know you have been beat downed as a profession during the downturn in the economy.  So, here’s what we need to do:

First, be honest with your manager. Most EH&S professionals are scared to death to tell their manager what resources they need to perform.

Second, start being cool and understanding technology.  Don’t be galvanized in your old ways!  Hipsters can be EHS professionals. occupational health and safety hipstersI once heard an EHS Manager say that he has two apps on his phone, “he makes phone calls and receives phone calls.”  Forget about that!  In the near future, that is not going to be useful.  Every person in a corporation will need to understand the latest is technology. At Affygility Solutions we can help.  We attend the latest technology events that we won’t even begin to announce.  We are environmental, occupational health and safety, occupational toxicology, and technology professionals.  Our compliance management software solution can make your job so much easier, because the current methods of managing environmental, health and safety are not effective. Contact us now.


About Dean Calhoun

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Dean is the President and CEO of Affygility Solutions. Affygility Solutions provides environmental, health and safety software, potent compound safety, industrial hygiene, containment validation services to the pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and medical device industry. "Dean's Google+ Profile"

Affygility Solutions - provider of potent compound safety, webinars, and compliance management software