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Article Dans Une Revue Safety Science Année : 2016

Preparing graduate students to be HSE professionals


The work of HSE (Health, Safety, Environment) professionals in industrial companies is a complex mix of reactive tasks requiring a fast response and more analytical tasks needing analyses. Moreover, doing this job means being able to dialog with different stakeholders, including operators in the field, top managers in headquarters and authorities, and to drive in parallel many different tasks at strategic, tactical and operational levels.To face these challenges, companies are in the urgent need to hire competent people to manage health, safety and environment protection, cope with restrictive legal frameworks and preserve their image in the public that is increasingly more concerned about industrial risks. This opens opportunities for the new generations of postgraduate students:. "An academic qualification is regarded essential since those specialists must be capable to address new problems by applying knowledge and skills to situations not previously encountered" Arezes and Swuste (2012) In this paper, we present an analysis of missions, tasks and experience of HSE professionals, from which we identified the present and future roles, missions and required skills of a safety officer. This analysis was then used to define a postgraduate program aiming at providing students with the required knowledge, know-how and attitudes needed to succeed as HSE professionals in industrial, consultancy and insurance companies.This program covers six complementary domains: legal and normative framework, risk analysis methods and tools, safety management systems, human and organizational aspects, leadership, emergency and crisis management. It is composed of lectures provided equally by faculty members and professionals, case studies and a set of field projects during which the group of students has to fulfill real missions provided by companies. The program also includes a 6-month internship in a company, during which the student is playing the role of junior HSE professional, under the supervision of a manager in the company and a member of the faculty.Nowadays, most companies operate at a global scale in different countries. HSE professionals, like other managers need to work in an international context, with colleagues from different backgrounds and cultures. To prepare our students to this challenging environment, we select candidates from different countries and backgrounds and we balance these differences in relatively small cohorts of 15-20 students. This intercultural group gives each student opportunities to work with different skills and cultures in teams varying from one project to the next.
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Dates et versions

hal-01148075 , version 1 (04-05-2015)



Jean-Luc Wybo, Wim van Wassenhove. Preparing graduate students to be HSE professionals. Safety Science, 2016, 81, pp.25-34. ⟨10.1016/j.ssci.2015.04.006⟩. ⟨hal-01148075⟩
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