So if you know me, or are connected with me on LinkedIn, you will have heard me talk repeatedly about the power and importance of personal branding in the Safety industry.
It's a favourite subject of mine, and for good reason. As a Health and Safety recruiter I have spent the last 12 years speaking to HSE professionals from all walks of life about what they do, and as a result I know what a fascinating and important industry Safety really is. However the general perception of Safety from most people outside of the industry is still traditionally;
"Health and Safety is boring"
"Health and Safety stops people getting their jobs done"
"Health and Safety is just people with a clipboard"
Just today, Jeremy Clarkson issued an apology for his recent abhorrent article where he said he was "dreaming of the day when she [Meghan] is made to parade naked through the streets of every town in Britain while the crowds chant 'Shame!' and throw lumps of excrement at her". However during his apology, he somehow managed to throw in a dig at Health and Safety, and how it is a dull and uninteresting topic.
(Why he felt the need to include this in his apology I have no idea.)
But this just proves that most people still do not understand why H&S is important, or that it is really is the antithesis of boring!
The power of personal branding not only helps you stand out from a competitive market, and helps you recruit the best talent for your team (drop into one of my talks one time to find out why) but it can help us to change the public perception of Safety, in a big way. The more people we have in the industry shouting from the rooftops about all the good stuff we are doing (the innovation, the new initiatives, the fun) rather than only talking about fines and accidents, the more we can start to control the narrative and change the public perception.
At HSE Recruitment we decided 7 years ago to only share good news via our social media channels, to try and do our part to "make safety better". So I'd love to offer a challenge (to anyone willing to take me up on it) to try and spend the rest of January sharing some of the positive things you have been doing as a Safety professional, in person and on social media, and help us start to change the narrative.
Do you agree? Let me know your thoughts below!