Spotlight on CSSE Members
It was a simple question that drew Jean Littlewood, CSSE member since 2017, to pursue a career in health and safety, a question she could never satisfactorily answer: “Why does everyone hate the safety person?”
“There was really no other concrete factor I can think of that got me excited about this field, but the more I got into it, the more I started learning, the more interesting it got for me,” says Littlewood. “I could see that many companies didn’t like the health and safety process because nobody had spent enough time with them to understand how to do their paperwork, for instance. So I sold myself to a company, my first client, as someone who could help them with their first audit.”
Littlewood Safety Auditing opened its doors in 2014, after Jean began working with her first client, Max Oilfield Services, in Bonnyville, Alberta. The company offers program development, hazard identification and assessment processes, site inspections, health and safety program development, certified health and safety audits, and gap analysis services. “I do a lot of work on formal hazard assessments with companies and legislation. Those are my favourite things.” Before founding the company, Jean operated Jean’s Safety Consulting from 2010 to 2014.
Jean has more than 30 years of experience working in the construction, energy, and transportation sectors. Her first health and safety certification, the National Construction Safety Officer (NSCO), was earned through the Alberta Construction Safety Association (ACSA). “And then I got my COHSES [Certificate in Occupational Health, Safety and Environmental Systems] certificate with the University of Fredericton.”
“After that, about two years ago, I worked on my CHSC [Certified Health and Safety Consultant] certification with CSSE. And I’m still working on getting my CRSP [Canadian Registered Safety Professionals] designation.” Jean also received a SHEM (Safety, Health and Environmental Management) diploma from the University of Fredericton, earned her Gold Seal certification from ACSA in 2008, and is an approved Certificate of Recognition (COR) Consultant Auditor for ACSA and Energy Safety Canada.
Although Jean appreciates the importance of all her certifications, she is particularly enthusiastic about the value of CHSC designation. “Sitting in a room for a couple of days, learning with others and guided by an instructor, is a whole lot better than trying to study a binder that’s four inches thick on your own. And it’s clear that you’re marked on your performance and your ability to understand the course.”
She’s also clear about the value that CSSE brings to her and to other health and safety professionals across the country. “The conferences, the networking, the many committees that members can participate in—no one else seems to offer these opportunities to bring members together. It’s wonderful, and something I really missed during the pandemic.”
Going forward, Jean would also love to see CSSE offer more professional development and continuing education opportunities. “Those would be great just for general learning opportunities and again, a way for members to connect with each other.”