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Why do so many ex-military personnel go into health and safety?

Why do so many ex-military personnel go into health and safety?


Training for situations where risking life is the norm, is what the armed forces do. They understand danger and how to minimise the risk without compromising performance. No other employer is that upfront about the harm that could potentially impact on its workers.

Health and safety profession dull?

If you’ve worked for an employer – in this case the Ministry of Defence (MOD) – who essentially has to put their employees in danger for a living, then the requirement to keep them safe without compromising their ability or willingness to do what they have to do, becomes ingrained and instinctive. To those who knock the health and safety profession for its dullness, it probably seems a strange choice for ex-military people more used to adrenaline fuelled experiences.

Ex-military are less risk averse but more risk aware

Perhaps a good way to sum up those whose job it is, or was, to go into dangerous situations to defend others is that they are less risk averse but more risk aware than the average worker. Probably because they are exposed to such high levels of risk, and certainly because they are trained to such a high level to cope with it, members of the military are, overall, safer at work than many other professions.

ELCAS and Armed Forces Resettlement Entitlement

The MOD's Enhanced Learning Credits Scheme (ELC) promotes lifelong learning amongst serving members or those who have the service to assist in their retraining to ‘civvy’ street. The scheme provides financial support in the form of a single up-front payment for up to a maximum of three separate financial years. ELCAS (Enhanced Learning Credits Administration Service) provides administrative support and regulates service providers for the ELC scheme.

RISK Health & Safety is proud to be an approved and registered provider of ELCAS courses. (Centre No: 1879)

Why do employers like ex-military managing their health and safety?

Health and safety law places duties on organisations and employers, and directors can be personally liable when these duties are breached: members of the board have both collective and individual responsibility for health and safety. Companies that need strong enforcement of health and safety are looking for the personal qualities that ex-forces employees tend to have. Armed forces leavers are skilled, disciplined, hardworking and have the ability to make a positive contribution to any business. All of that means recruiting ex-military personnel is a cost-effective and immediate way to boost capabilities, efficiency and productivity.

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