In honor of Black History Month, an annual observance of Black and African Americans’ accomplishments through adversity, YellowBird is celebrating Black EHS Professionals from across the country. We chatted with Bradford Holman, CSP, ASP, OHST, CHST, CSHO, SSH, LSP, CSM, COSS, CSD, ASC.
How can we encourage more diversity within the EHS community?
Begin to promote Safety programs (OSHA 10 classes) more at the high school level, especially in under privileged urban communities and less economically advanced schools. A great example of such programs are the initiatives out there that promote STEM careers for women and other minorities. These programs not only bring awareness to those who never knew that such careers were an option for them, but also increases enrollment in these programs at universities. At a collegiate level, do the same, and work with universities to create EHS curriculums. People cannot apply to programs that do not exist.
Who is your most influential mentor?
John Bell CMC, CIH Owner of Marine Inspection Services in Houston TX. John endorsed me as Certified Marine Chemist trainee 22 years ago. I eventually passed my exam in 1998 to become a Certified Marine Chemist (CMC). Their are only 100 CMCs in the USA and only 3% are CMC of color. CMC follow NFPA 306 – Control of Gas Hazard on Vessels. John tool a chance on me and mentors me to this day on how to be an effective Safety Professional.
What obstacles have you had to overcome to reach this point in your career?
I can’t say that I have not had some setbacks along the to years but I look at them as set ups. I tend not to focus on the negative but look to a positive future. We all have obstacles in our lives, but I have learned that life is 10% what happens to you and 90% of how you react to it.
What does Black History Month mean to you?
I attended Martin Luther King HS in Philadelphia. In 77′ – 81′. msK HS was the flag ship HS in Philly when it came to Black History Month. However, we did not celebrate it only monthly. We were mentored to celebrate it daily to represent M.L. Kings legacy al the time. I carry this badge of honor to this day to be the best Safety Professional I can be. Since then, I attended Indiana University of PA (IUP) and graduated with a BS degree in Industrial Safety Sciences. As a Safety Professional have acquired numerous professional certifications (CSP, ASP, OHST, CHST, MSP, CMC, CSHO, COSS, ASC) to name a few. I say all of this to say that putting God first, working hard, staying persistence, and maintaining consistency is what has overcome obstacles. I greatly appreciate the opportunities that Yellow Bird as provided me on recent gig jobs. But I also recognize without God, education, experience, and credentials none of this would be possible. So, keep your eyes on the prize not the obstacles!