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Featured Certified Mine Safety Professionals

Read more about current Certified Mine Safety Professionals and how receiving this credential took their mine safety career to the next step.

Brian Still

HSE Manager ,Cementation USA Inc.

What is your role in mine safety and health, and how long have you been involved in this arena?

My role is Manager of Health, Safety and Environment for Cementation USA Inc. I have been employed in mining, and mine contracting for 43 years, and in various safety roles for 26 of those years.

The Interview

What excites you about mine safety and health? What personal achievements in mine safety and health have made you proud?

In my initial transition from mine operations to safety, I was very excited about the learning opportunities that came with the new role. The focus of these learning opportunities was centered on helping my fellow employees work safely in an Underground Mine environment. Also included in these learnings was the opportunity to help employees who suffered unfortunate incidents. I was proud to provide assistance to these employees based on my involvement on the mine ambulance service, as an EMT-Intermediate. I am also proud of my participation and efforts working as a Mine Rescue member, and eventual Mine Rescue Instructor.

What made you decide to pursue the CMSP credential?

First, the opportunity to learn and expand my knowledge and skills as an advocate for safety in the workplace, while remaining in the challenging field of Mine safety. (Individual production bonus occasionally interfered with ability to improve safety culture) Included in this pursuit was also the hope for career advancement, based on the credentials. It is always nice to be able to monetarily provide for your lifestyle of choice.

How do you think the CMSP credential is important for: The industry? Employers? Certificants? Communities around mining sites and/or communities in general?

My CMSP certification number is 399. 398 persons before me were certified as mine safety professionals. I am not sure what the number is now, but we likely number in the thousands now, the growth of the organization is testament to the need and desire for credentialing. I believe it is so important that I ensure safety professionals that work for me have the opportunity to pursue the CMSP designation and certification, if desired.

Many studies show that certified individuals tend to outperform non-certified individuals – do you agree with this in terms of mine safety and health?

Like the pursuit of an Occupational Safety & Health degree, the Certified mine safety professionals typically display exceptional dedication to the field and continuously work to expand their knowledge base. This practice helps them keep up to date on regulations, and best practices that helps to provide continuous safety improvement.

Certifications are tied to objective demonstrations of competence. Does your company actively promote a culture of competence?

Yes, all employees are afforded training, learning and certification opportunities to help ensure competence. The company provides the training at no cost to the employees, and they pay for college course work that applies to their field or leads to a degree.

What does it say about a mining operation when “CMSP preferred” is included in job listings? Does the CMSP credential assist with job security and mobility? What opportunities exist for CMSPs that aren’t so easily open to non-credential holders?

Preferred is of course meant to be somewhat subjective, but it shows intent and preference to hire competent individuals. My experience is that CMSP’s help each other to become successful in the field. This leads to job security and mobility if desired.

What do you hope the future holds for yourself and for mine safety and health?

Personally, I would like to make 5 more years prior to retirement, but I see the HSE profession becoming more specialized and technical in the future. I believe the demand for HSE professionals will continue to increase, until some point in the distant future when all work becomes automated.

What advice would you give to someone just starting out in this field?

I was told when I started in the field by a seasoned HSE professional that I would either enjoy it or leave it. 26 years later I still enjoy the challenges. The HSE career path is not for everyone, but I would just say that if you have a strong desire to help people, likely this is right career path. Early on you will have various mundane tasks, hang in there as it gets better with time.

What is the best way to prepare for the CMSP exam?

Easy, have a photographic memory or study as if you were still in college. This is best accomplished by taking the examination preparation course.

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The Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration (SME) brings together the mining and mineral industry’s brightest and most dedicated professionals. Over 14,000 global members advance their careers with world-class technical resources, educational programs, networking opportunities, and professional development tools from SME. Our members are focused on sharing best practices on safety, environmental stewardship, and moving mining forward. SME. Inspiring mining professionals worldwide.

SME acquired the CMSP certification as a part of our ongoing commitment to supporting mine safety and health professionals around the world. SME's Health and Safety Division provides global resources for mine safety and health information, professional development, networking and advocacy.

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