Pravin Bhatnagar, Ph.D., CRSP, CHSC
I have been asked a number of times how and why I got into health and safety and left academics. I tell them, it was a combination of “the need of the hour” and “lack of job security in grant funded positions.” I was looking to change a career along the way. Nobody enters health and safety for fame and fortune, but this field provides tremendous potential for survival.
I am a Bio-Medical Scientist by training - graduated from University of Manitoba, Winnipeg with a M.Sc. (Microbiology) and I went on to complete my Ph.D. (Microbiology & Immunology) from World Health Organization (WHO) Center on Rheumatic Fever and Rheumatic Heart Diseases at Lady Hardinge Medical College, University of Delhi. I worked as a Post-Doctoral Fellow at the University of Alberta and continued to work as a Research Scientist until March 2009. Most of the research positions whether in academics or industries are grant funded and thus do not provide a job security and stability; the options are limited if funding runs out. It was in 2007 when I felt that ship was sinking - it’s time to get off and find a new boat. Having worked for so many years in science made it all the more difficult to choose another field because of the passion for science and a tunnel vision. Then, I miraculously enrolled into the Occupational Health and Safety program at the University of Alberta in 2007 while maintaining my job as a scientist. I knew that transitioning wouldn’t be easy, but this was not an option.
I graduated from the University of Alberta program in 2009 and was successful in getting a job with the Occupational Health and Safety department at Alberta Health Services. Under the tutelage of some very experienced hygienist and safety professionals, I learnt a great deal about occupational health and hygiene and obtained hands on experience. It became evident that a CRSP designation would be required if I am here for a long haul. Secondly, the CRSP designation is widely recognized across industries as the hallmark of integrity, professionalism and more often than not, it’s a required qualification. I put my heart and soul in working towards my CRSP designation and became a CRSP in 2013.This demonstrated that I had successfully transitioned my career from being a medical scientist to an Occupational Health and Safety professional. The designation speaks for itself about the competence level, ethics and professionalism, and it opens job avenues and equips you to be a potential competitor for the job. This CRSP designation provided me more security, stability and confidence in my career and became another feather in my crown.
As part of my continuous learning, I went on to achieve another designation as a Certified Health and Safety Consultant (CHSC) from Canadian Society of Safety Engineering (CSSE).
I strongly encourage everyone in a health and safety role to make this investment regardless of what it takes; you will be happy on your choice.
Napoleon Hill Quotes:
- “The ladder of success is never crowded at the top”
- “Whatever the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve.”
Pravin K. Bhatnagar, M.Sc., Ph.D., CRSP, CHSC
Workplace Health and Safety Advisor, Alberta Health Services
Ph : (780)566-1833