Are You an Unsung Hero of Safety, Quality and the Environment?

They’re inspired and inspiring.

Those who choose a career in Environmental, Health & Safety and Quality (EHSQ) practices in organizations around the world are people often called to that task. They do the work because of a genuine compassion and empathy for others, and often because a life circumstance or life-changing influence may have inspired them to the cause.

It’s not a job for fame-seekers. Service as an EHSQ professional usually goes largely unnoticed and is far from a high-profile existence. It’s certainly no aspirational path to monetary success. EHSQ professionals aren’t often lauded or applauded for the work they do. Instead, they exist in anonymity, only to be noticed when there’s bad behavior or imminent danger. They’re the people who enforce the rules for the good of us all, but might be mistakenly regarded as annoying do-gooders.

When you get to really know an EHSQ professional, you realize that the men and women who are protecting the welfare of people and the planet, and helping organizations create better than ever products and services, were driven to their passion.

Case in point: Meet Michel Tetreault. He’s a soon-to-be retiring health and safety administrator, who has worked with Canadian mining company Agnico Eagle since 2006. His mining career began in 1975 in a mechanic’s role to repair and maintain all sorts of heavy machinery and equipment.

Leading up to the holiday season in 1980 while working with Noranda Inc. in Quebec, Canada, Michel accepted a Sunday overtime shift, thinking he might earn a bit of money towards providing an extra-special Christmas for his family. But on that day, cruel disaster struck deep underground, as a 20,000-lb. mining rail car under which he was working accidently fell and nearly crushed him to death. Fortunately, help arrived in time and Michel was saved. But the harrowing experience forever changed his life. Every day since has been precious. The incident also spawned a desire to pay forward his good fortune and sparked a passion for workplace safety – a cause to which he has dedicated the rest of his professional career.

Intelex highlighted Michel’s story in this video.

His story has further inspired Intelex to consider the tens of thousands of other EHSQ professionals around the world and what might be their personal stories that could inspire their peers. We hope to seek out other stirring tales and to take up the cause of advocacy for this most special community. So, we want to hear your story and share it – not just within our own profession, but with the entire world.

My hope is you’ll watch Michel’s story and then feel inclined to comment. And if you, too, were similarly inspired and want to share what drove your passion for EHSQ then I’d ask you to reach out to Intelex’s Mike Thompson (mike.thompson@intelex.com) – the man who created this great video.

It’s been said that great passion brings great purpose. No question that it did for Michel Tetreault and has for so many more of you, too. We want to know what ignited the spark for you?

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