Present and future

Two articles in this month’s issue of Safety+Health – both written by Associate Editor Ashley Johnson – look at the present and future of safety. In her feature on nanotechnology, Ashley talks to scientists and safety professionals who are observing what employers are doing to protect workers from the unknowns of this rapidly evolving field.

Ashley’s second feature is the Safety+Health 2011 Job Outlook. In it, she examines the changing U.S. employment landscape – notably the shift from a manufacturing-based economy to one based on service industries – and presents the results of S+H’s most recent survey on current employment and future prospects.

The Safety+Health staff is in charge of the informal poll that appears on the S+H website and in Membership News Alert, an e-newsletter sent to National Safety Council members each week. When Ashley was working on the Job Outlook feature (with help on data collection and analysis from Associate Editor Deidre Bello), I posted the poll question, “Would you recommend a career in occupational safety and health?” 

When the results first started coming in, the majority of respondents said “no,” citing reasons such as work overload and lack of respect from management. However, the “yes” responses began to take over, and by the time the poll closed, 72 percent of respondents said they’d recommend a career in safety. A frequent response was the satisfaction derived from helping workers stay safe. One respondent who spoke of the rewards of making a difference in people’s lives said he or she has been involved in safety and health for 40 years.

It is heartening to see that so many of you, even those who have been doing this job for decades, still view it as a job worth doing, and are ready and willing to take on future safety and health challenges – whatever they may be.

The opinions expressed in "Editor's Note" do not necessarily reflect those of the National Safety Council or affiliated local Chapters.

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