Employees working in the nuclear industry take pride in promoting and working in a safe environment. Not only are there highly trained teams of security officers around every corner, behind the scenes there are teams of industrial health and safety professionals who help to ensure employees work safely, avoid injuries and that all work taking place is carried out in the safest manner possible.
Industrial health and safety employees are not only responsible for their own individual safe work standards, but they develop and implement safety programs to foster an environment where employees watch out for each other and practice peer coaching every day. Many of these programs encourage employees to be focused while performing work, identify hazards in immediate and surrounding areas and to keep their “Eyes on Path” when walking on site.
We talked to three safety professionals from Duke Energy’s Brunswick Nuclear Plant to gain some insight about how they became industrial health and safety professionals and what they do in their day-to-day jobs.
Ted Smith, Mike Johnson and Donald Dixon have been with Duke Energy for a combined total of over 90 years. When asked why they entered the health and safety profession, they each reflected on a deep feeling of wanting to help people, keeping them safe and saving as many individuals as possible from harm. The beginning of their health and safety careers ranges from working as a summer intern with Duke Energy in health and safety, to working for OSHA for four years and serving as a safety professional for a fossil plant.
A career in industrial health and safety has a strong outlook for the future. Nearly every manufacturing, construction, or corporate organization has a need for health and safety professionals that are well trained in safety job standards, workplace potential dangers and OSHA incidents. Ted, Mike and Donald reinforced the importance of a strong education in industrial health and safety. Many colleges and universities offer majors in Industrial Safety, Industrial Hygiene, Health and Safety and Safety Engineering. With organizations and businesses increasing their focus on industrial safety, it is more important than ever to have a safety-related degree or advanced training to start your career path.
Be sure to visit our blog next week to read the rest of the story about Duke Energy’s commitment to safety and the type of work performed by health and safety professionals at nuclear plants.