I believe one of the benefits of being a safety professional that’s most overlooked is the opportunity to volunteer our technical skills for local, regional, or national nonprofit organizations. There are many opportunities to give back to our communities. The groups may be local organizations or national outreach chapters. But these groups aren’t the only ones who benefit. Volunteering helps safety professionals learn new skill sets, as well as network both professionally and personally.
Before volunteering, I suggest you determine what nonprofit organizations you’re personally connected to, which ones motivate you to serve. Perhaps its a local environmental cause, a community impacted by a weather-related crisis, or a fundraising cause for a local family. Regardless of the cause, you should evaluate the purpose of the nonprofit and how you feel about that particular cause.
Then evaluate the skill sets you possess that can be helpful to the organization. Maybe you have great leadership skills and can lead and delegate within a working committee or subcommittee. You may have had experience using technical safety standard information and communicating in laymen’s terms so it can be applied and easily understood by other volunteers. Take a look at your job description and determine how those qualifications could align with the needs of the nonprofit organization. Here are some possibilities to consider:
- Accident investigation policies, guidelines, and reports;
- Safety inspections and audit form development;
- Safety training with volunteer groups;
- Personal protective equipment assessment;
- Asset protection or security guidelines for events; and
- Weather related emergencies and response procedures.
Safety professionals can bring many valuable skills to nonprofit organizations. At the same time, volunteering provides opportunities for safety professionals to “rub elbows” with local and regional nonprofit board members and other safety professionals. This will allow safety professionals to broaden their networks, both professionally and socially, which, in turn, can be a benefit to your career and to your employer. The initial investment is your time, but the greater return is making nonprofit organizations safer for their members, clients, and the volunteers who serve.
Senior Loss Prevention Rep
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