Student Profile

Sean Smith - Occupational Health and Safety

Sean Smith - Occupational Health and Safety

“I’ve had a career path change because of an accident. I was working as a machine operator in forestry for seven years before I had the accident which wasn’t work related. It’s been a long and frustrating recovery journey but as a result I’m now on a career path that I didn’t know existed. An occupational therapist along the way could see that I had transferable skills from forestry that could be applied to the massively growing health and safety industry.”

“I’m amazed at how much there is to know in health and safety. I feel a lot less limited in my capabilities and there is the bonus of the tutors’ contact networks. We all come here from different industries as part-time students so we learn a lot bouncing ideas off each other.”

“We do practical exercises in managing heights, first aid, fire safety and confined spaces and it really helps our learning. I still have a couple of physical restrictions but my determination gets me through.”

“I now have the qualifications to open up different work options plus I can do next level training, then get my Diploma in Occupational Health and Safety plus some international qualifications. I want to be working in Dubai in Health and Safety in two years. Already I have two work options as Safety Observer to consider. One is as part of the 2018 oil refinery shut down and the other is on an oil rig in Taranaki.” 

“New Zealand’s culture for Health and Safety is quite poor and I want to be part of the change for the better within that. I want to encourage people to become curious about health and safety and to ask questions about how it relates to their day to day work. My recovery journey has fuelled my motivation to help people take really good care of themselves on every level in their life and work.”


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