Thu, 16 April, 2020
Malaysian born, Miami based Piriyatasni Sellapan had been planning to attend the NEBOSH IGC course for a year and, when her friend informed her that TWI conducts the training, she went ahead and booked her seat on the course. She mentions that NEBOSH and IOSH are the two most well-known certification bodies for the occupational health and safety industry around the world and, for entry to a lot of big international companies, holding these certificates can be very helpful.
Priya said that, “I am someone who does things as I want to.” While she was completing her master’s degree in biomedical science, she was working with a property development company as a manager and that job gave her the exposure to a few people who were HSE experts. She found herself interested in occupational health and safety and, after discussing the available opportunities in this field with the experts she met, she became intrigued to explore this industry. Priya went ahead by completing her training in National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) and, after completing her training, she became a HSE consultant for IOI properties. Ever since, her career in the HSE field has taken her into a few industries and currently she is working in a ship line in the cruise industry.
She decided to change the industry she was working in as she believes working in different environments can give you a different perspective and helps you get exposed to new things, new people and new cultures, and the exposure to different cultures and opinions and backgrounds can widen your perspective, as well as giving you the possibility of learning new things.
At her current job as a public health and safety specialist for the Royal Caribbean cruise line, she works with people from eighty different nationalities on a daily basis. She travels the world on the cruise and her role involves checking out the compliances at each point of stop of the cruise in various countries with different HSE standards. She elaborated, “The company has its own standards and compliance, which set the baseline for the operations. However, there are some cases in some countries whereby the cruise needs to comply with a certain set of rules set by that country which are critical and actions need to be taken upon them.”
Priya mentions that the nature of her job requires her to work mostly with male colleagues from various parts of the world. As a woman this can cause some challenges for her as different cultures have different reactions when it comes to working with a woman in a ship filled with men. However, Priya says that, “I’m always pretty strict when it comes to my work. Regardless of your gender, in any jobs and at any positions, you have to know what you are doing well and have proper knowledge to back up your decisions and statements. And this would gain your team’s trust as well as their respect for you.”
Comparing NEBOSH with the NIOSH course, Priya finds the NEBOSH syllabus to be laid out in a more professional manner with more emphasis on comprehension of the concepts and practicalities instead of focusing on theories and memorising various checklists.
She is enthusiastic to try new opportunities in an organisation that can give her a platform to get exposure to new things so that she can expand her knowledge and skills.