My Story: Joshua Franklin
“I thought you liked me?” This was my stunned inquiry to my supervisor, Danny Green, who had just suggested that I get into the safety and health field. He looked back at me and laughed. But I could see he was quite serious.
This conversation came after I was injured during routine aircraft maintenance in the U.S. Air Force. Eventually, I would need back surgery, and the doctor told me to find a new line of work. Then came the advice to get into EHS from my supervisor. He explained that if he’d ever had the opportunity to get into safety and health, he would have jumped at the chance. Graciously, he let me shadow an EHS professional at a nearby military base and I was hooked.
My first couple of years in safety were rough. The job was never “done,” there was always more to do tomorrow and I don’t think anyone said “thank you” a single time. But slowly, I began to see real results: better training, better programs and better behaviors. These all added up to people going home safe and healthy to their families. My work made a difference.
The next decade flew by. Ensuring the safety and health of military personnel and civilians during deployments to Afghanistan, Kyrgyzstan and Qatar impressed upon me the near-infinite value of well-trained and experienced EHS professionals. I’d go on to earn the CSP and seek out mentors at both the National Safety Council and American Society of Safety Professionals. From these experiences, I dedicated my last five years in the military to advancing the training, education and certification of military and federal civilian safety professionals. It’s a mission I hope to continue far into the future.
EHS began as a (seeming) joke. Since that time, my fellow EHS professionals have taught me the power of purpose in a life’s work and have shown me the strength and resilience of a profession in which members dedicate their careers in service of others.
Joshua Franklin, MBA, CSP, SMS, CET, STS, CPCU, ARM
Business Growth and Partnership Director