Two industries that focus extensively on safety, and for good reason, are the mining, and the oil and gas industry. Because of the nature of these industries, candidates can expect to get a grilling during the interviewing process, not only in terms of their knowledge around the various safety aspects related to these industries, but also in terms of their attitude towards safety.

The golden rule is to never have a blasé attitude around safety. Safety is probably the most important aspect on any site, and in order to feel comfortable with having you on site, the company or recruiter will want to know that they can trust you to look out for the safety of not only yourself but also those around you. So never ever downplay the importance of safety, as it is a sure way to blow the interview. Companies take a very firm stance when it comes to issues around safety.

Before going into the interview, think carefully about your work history, and examples of where you may be able to draw on previous experience, to show your commitment to safety. Even if you do not come from a mining or oil and gas background, and come from a different industry such as construction, you need to think about aspects regarding safety which may be similar, and on your attitude towards safety in these positions.

You can expect be asked questions such as the below:

  • Tell me about a time when you were faced with a particularly negligent team member, who did not adhere to safety regulations? And what in your opinion was this individual doing wrong? And how you handled the situation?
  • Has there been a time where you have seen somebody on site doing something unsafe? And what did you do about it?

When asked any questions such as the above, or any others around safety, take them very seriously. How you answer these questions, could be the difference between your getting the job, and not getting it.

There are various approaches that an interviewer will use, to assess your safety knowledge and your attitude towards safety. They may ask you whether you have had any specific safety training or whether you have ever served on workplace safety committees. Should this happen, you will be required to provide details around any training that you may have had and what you learnt from this training. They may also ask you how you follow safety rules at work. This will give you the perfect opportunity to show your knowledge of safety principles and your attitude towards safety.

You should always show an interest in workplace safety, by asking a couple of safety related questions. Keep in mind when doing so, that it is just as important for you to work in a safe environment for your own safety, as it is for the company to employ workers who are safety orientated. Another option is to ask the interviewer if you will receive safety training or if there are any workplace hazards you should be aware of before you are hired, also if there are any safety responsibilities that go along with the job. If you are taken on a tour of the facility, ask about the rules and regulations around safety, and where first aid kids and fire extinguishers are kept. This will show your commitment to workplace safety and that safety is of utmost importance to you.

Always keep in mind that when it comes to safety, the biggest losers and those impacted the most by accidents, can be found amongst the victims and the family members that get left behind. Companies also suffer production losses after fatalities, due to routine shutdowns for investigations etc. So when safety rules and regulations are not adhered to, nobody wins. For this reason, safety has and always will be of utmost importance, and your attitude towards safety is going to be under scrutiny during the interview.

Regardless of whether you are working in the kitchen on a site, or underground, to be vigilant around safety is paramount, and if you are not, and this is picked up in the interview, the chances are, you are not going to be employed.

2 Responses to “The importance of focusing on safety issues during the interview process”

  1. Ramakrishnan Karthikeyan

    Very important issue. The companies especially in Australia expect persons to have experienced in workplace having well laid safety procedures and culture. The environment and culture in which people work will bring in them an attitude to have safety as the prime concern.
    Now about answering the questions which have been given as samples, If one answers that he had been always delaing with persons who are negligent towards safety then the it will not leave a good impression for the fact that it will give a lead that you are from a company which doesn’t have a safety culture. The answer shall also to be mend in a way to expose the possitiveness about the environment in which one has gained his experience.

  2. Walter Insch

    Safety in the work place is paramount. Being aware of your working environment and the posibilities of unsafe installations, equipment and possible hazardouse work procedures because of the task in hand, requires the attention and focus on the job. Question anything that doesn’t seem right, unfortunately some team members look at this as not necessary and arrogant, which in itself is unsafe. What can go wrong!!~ What can cause it to go wrong. What can we do to prevent it to go wrong.


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