COHSES Alumni Philippe Lang applies OHS education within his workplace

Philippe Lang began his search for health and safety education for two reasons: to become a health and safety inspector, and to better maintain safety in his workplace. As Philippe works full-time with a demanding schedule, online education was the most sensible option to help him achieve both goals. He chose to pursue the Certificate in Occupational Health, Safety, and Environmental Systems (COHSES) program at UFred.

Finding Success in Online Learning

Philippe is a Security Officer for the largest shopping center in Ottawa, where ensuring the safety of patrons and staff is a prominent element of his role.

While he knew he wanted to pursue occupational health and safety education to grow his career, as an individual diagnosed with dyslexia and attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder, Philippe has faced obstacles with his education in the past. In high school, he received academic support from teachers’ aids, which led to bullying from his peers. To avoid this, Philippe decided to complete his final year of high school without a teacher’s aid but found that without support it was quite difficult for him.

It was important to Philippe that his program of choice would fit his work schedule as a shift worker and suit his preferred learning style, which would allow him to continue working while also being supportive of his success. He found the University of Fredericton’s COHSES program during his research and found it seemed like a good fit. Initially, he was skeptical of a fully online program, feeling “there must be a catch somewhere,” but ultimately found the program was exactly what he needed.

“I called and spoke to an advisor about the certificate. I was reassured and had all my questions answered. With my questions answered, I completed my application the next day and was accepted.”

When Philippe started the program, he enrolled as a part-time student; with his career and personal commitments in mind, he believed this was his only choice. However, as he moved through the program, he found the learning environment engaging and supportive enough that he could complete his courses with ease. Before long, Philippe chose to transition to a full-time student status.

“I was passing with good grades, which I was surprised by. After my first four courses I decided to reach out to my advisor and enrol myself as a full-time student. At first, I thought I would be too busy, but I was able to manage my time very well and pass my courses with good grades.”

Philippe has since gone on to successfully complete the COHSES program faster then he originally intended and is already applying what he learned in his program in his workplace.

Impact of OHS learning and advice to future students

Since completing the COHSES program, Philippe has joined his workplace’s health and safety committee. As a committee member, Philippe has had the opportunity to share his knowledge with peers and apply what he has learned to active investigations.

“I joined the health and safety committee at my workplace and have been able to apply the things I learned in the program. There was an injury that occurred, and I was able to do a few interviews and an investigation thanks to my courses.”

Philippe advises future students considering pursuing the COHSES program to set goals for themselves whenever possible, as he sees this as a vital source of motivation.

“Whatever goals you have in life, go for them. I believe setting goals and working to accomplish them is the most powerful motivation that you can have to succeed.”