My Story: Elis Enano
Having been born and raised in Chicago, I’ve spent almost all my life here. I graduated from Chicago State University with a bachelor’s in business administration. While most of my classmates pursued careers in human resources management and finance, I had a very different passion: ensuring the safety of others in high-risk environments. With this in mind, I embarked on a journey to become a professional safety officer.
With unwavering determination, I began researching and exploring opportunities in the field of occupational safety. After numerous applications, I was fortunate to land an entry-level safety officer position at a reputable construction company. Although the firm had strict hiring criteria that typically required a specialized degree in occupational safety, it recognized my potential and was willing to provide on-the-job training.
I embraced this opportunity with enthusiasm. Each day, I eagerly learned the intricacies of construction safety protocols, regulations and best practices. I observed the experienced safety officers, soaking in their expertise like a sponge. The firm’s senior safety officer took me under her wing and became a mentor to me, sharing valuable insights and guidance.
As I gained experience, my thirst for knowledge grew stronger upon realizing that obtaining formal training in safety regulations would enhance skills and open doors to new opportunities. I enrolled in an OSHA 30-hour training course. The intensive program covered various aspects of workplace safety, including hazard recognition, incident investigation and OSHA regulations.
With newfound knowledge and an OSHA 30 card, my career trajectory turned upward. Recognizing my commitment to safety, management promoted me to the role of safety supervisor.
In this new role, I was responsible for overseeing the implementation of safety protocols on construction sites. I conducted regular safety inspections, ensuring all workers adhered to the highest standards. Whenever a potential hazard was identified, I promptly implemented corrective measures and educated the team on safer practices.
My reputation as a reliable and knowledgeable safety supervisor quickly spread beyond the firm. As time passed, contractors and subcontractors began to seek my guidance and expertise, knowing they could trust my commitment to their well-being. I was frequently invited to deliver safety workshops and seminars.
With each passing day, my passion for occupational safety grew stronger. I continued to broaden my knowledge and skills, pursuing advanced certifications in specialized areas such as fall protection and hazardous material handling. My dedication to continuous improvement boosted personal growth and raised the firm’s safety standards.
In time, my achievements and expertise reached the ears of the firm’s upper management, who offered me a prestigious role as the firm’s chief safety officer. With this promotion, my journey as a professional safety officer came full circle.
Through determination, a commitment to learning and a relentless pursuit of safety excellence, I transformed from an aspiring college graduate into a highly respected chief safety officer.
My story serves as a testament to the power of passion, resilience and the pursuit of knowledge in achieving one’s dreams in the world of occupational safety.
After working as a safety officer for quite some time, I joined an online business – an e-learning training website that offers OSHA-approved training courses – as a project manager, showcasing my management skills and expertise. Later, I became the co-owner of OSHA Outreach Courses.