My Safety Moment – Zybin Christy

After 15 years in the Indian Navy, Christy changed courses and got into OHS

My Safety Moment – Zybin Christy

As the HSE co-ordinator at Durabuilt Windows and Doors in Edmonton, Christy led the organization in receiving the silver award for the manufacturing category of Canada’s Safest Employers awards three years in a row,  from 2015-17. He is a National Construction Safety Officer (NCSO), he holds a National Examination Board  in Occupational Safety and Health (NEBOSH) designation and he achieved the Canadian Construction Association’s Gold Seal Certification as a Construction Safety Co-ordinator in 2016.

Q. How did you get into health and safety?

A. I was introduced to health and safety during the second inning of my professional career. I joined the Indian Navy in 1994 where I spent 15 years. Following my retirement from the Navy, I consulted with my mentors and discussed the next stages of my career and professional development. Health and safety stood out to me as the realm that would most resemble my time in service. 

I started looking for courses that would assist me in becoming a qualified occupational health and safety professional. I took an OHS course and also obtained the NEBOSH International General Certificate while in India. 

In addition, I became designated as a ship security officer. I then applied for my first job as a health and safety officer at a company called Internship Private. They were constructing an offshore accommodation vessel in Vietnam named MV Camelot. This was where I first got true exposure to the health and safety profession, and from there, my passion grew.

Q. What has been your biggest challenge as a safety professional?

A. On the  MV Camelot, the morning toolbox meetings were conducted by the HSE officer in the ship dining hall. I had 300 people looking at me! I found the most difficult part was trying to get over my nerves and communicate all of the safety talks effectively.

Q. What are your career aspirations?

A. I am currently working on meeting the educational requirements to obtain the Canadian Registered Safety Professional (CRSP) designation. I aspire to be a knowledge bank as a health and safety consultant, to work with a wide variety of employers, sharing my passion for health and safety with others.

Q. At work, what takes up the most of your time?

A. My position requires me to spend 60 per cent of my time on the production floor and 40 per cent of my time in the office. As a health and safety co-ordinator, I spend most of my time working with business partners and our employees. I enjoy being on the production floor and looking for improvements in manual handling techniques and ergonomics. I also spend a great deal of time conducting workplace inspections and keeping our workplace documents up to date.

Q. What do you like the most about being a safety professional?

A. I love everything about the health and safety profession. I enjoy having the ability to work with a group of people, being able to clarify their doubts and help answer any questions they may have. I am an advocate for health and safety and I get to be a champion, daily, through interaction with employees as well as through facilitation during training sessions.

Q. How do you promote safety outside of work?

A. In my spare time, I enjoy camping, fishing and biking. During these activities, I keep safety top of mind by following all safety rules and ensuring I have all necessary safety equipment. 

While fishing, for example, I keep my kids in the boat and ensure that we all have our personal floating devices on at all times. The most important thing is to share safety tips and ensure my family knows what to do in an emergency.

Q. What motivates you at work?

A. Each and every day I am motivated by the challenge of making the job of our employees easier and safer, as well as making the people around me happy.

This Q&A originally appeared in the April/May 2019 issue of COS.