Why Mentoring and Being Mentored is so Important in HSE

Working as an HSE professional can be such a fantastic role within an organisation.

I have the opportunity to find myself within all sorts of organisations and all sorts of environments. Last week alone I found myself in the countryside, a disused quarry in a forest, a heritage centre and an office (quite different environments I’m sure you will agree).

No one knows it all and it’s important to have other trusted individuals to whom you can talk with over various topics and lean on for help and support. We are not alone on our individual journeys. It’s very true indeed that people come into our lives for seasons and we cross paths with individuals for specific reasons in life. Mentoring others and being mentored is without doubt a critical element for HSE practitioners. It’s good to have another person who is outside of our sphere to view us and our journeys with their viewpoint and help us to mould and shape our craft. There have been times when I wanted to give up, but my mentors have encouraged me to keep going. There have been times when I have doubted what I am doing and my mentees have said something about me inspiring them, which has reset my focus.

The career of an HSE practitioner can be a challenge, you will find yourself in all sorts of environments and likely where your skills and abilities are stretched and it is in these moments it is critically important to have a mentor to support and direct you.

‘Why mentor’

As a parent my number one goal in life is that my children do better in life than I, whether that’s go more places, reach higher academic achievements, earn more money, make more of a social impact on our world than I, whatever it is, I want my children to be better at it than my wife and I.

How will they achieve this, by our constant encouragement, mentoring and support which will allow them to widen their opportunities, try new things and fly. In a world where it’s easy to criticise or put others down, we need HSE practitioners to make a difference and be seen by others as being positive role models who encourage and support others to be better than them.

I love to see those that I mentor succeed and achieve their own aspirations, there is no better feeling than watching someone else celebrating their success. Mentoring is so important for the future generations  of HSE practitioners as the world is very much different to how it was even just 10 years ago. Future generations will need new skills and awareness of areas that today’s practitioner hasn’t experienced. But they will still need today’s practitioner to champion them and support them on their journeys.

Why should you mentor?

You are unique and have unique skills, abilities, talents that you can play a part in shaping someone else’s journey. Go mentor, it’s so rewarding. I think it is John Maxwell’s mentoring compass, which is a good way to view mentoring. It is good to find yourself a mentor (someone North or ahead of you in your journey). It is good to have your peers that are East and West of you who you can bounce off. And it’s important to have mentees (South or behind you in your journey who you can help raise up). Good mentoring works throughout this compass. You can find yourself mentoring your mentor on a particular subject area, you can find yourself being mentored by your mentee.

Mentoring is great, it helps us to shape who we are, what we do and why we do it.


Scott is a Principal Health and Safety Consultant with Worknest, a Chartered Member and mentor of IOSH and a Full Member of IIRSM.

Scott is particularly passionate about sharing his experience and knowledge as a mentor, giving back to the industry and helping to shape it’s future. You can check out Scott’s LinkedIn profile here.