Our first Chartered Fellow from Sri Lanka wants to support others in his country reach the highest level of IOSH membership.
Hemantha Dodangoda was awarded CFIOSH status earlier this year. This recognised his dedication to occupational safety and health (OSH) during a varied career in Asia and the Middle East.
Now working in Sri Lanka as Health, Safety and Environment Director at tyre manufacturer Michelin, Hemantha is keen to share his experiences to help others on the same road.
"I feel very happy and proud about being the first Sri Lankan Chartered Fellow," he said. "At the same time, I should not be the last. Others should gain the same qualifications and climb the ladder sooner than I did."
Hemantha was born in Colombo and grew up in nearby Horana. He started his OSH career in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and has continued to learn from work opportunities in other countries.
The OSH training he had early in his career developed a strong passion to pursue a career in the industry.
"I've had work assignments in different countries such as the UAE, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Bangladesh, Vietnam, Indonesia and India," he said. "This gave me the chance to meet different people with different cultures. Attitudes, commitments and beliefs about OSH differed from country to country.
"Exposure to this diversity helped me to think and look at OSH profession differently and were influential in shaping my career.
"The thing I enjoy most is conducting training programmes to change the behaviour of people."
Tips to help you achieve CFIOSH
- Use the mentoring guidance available to IOSH members.
- Network with other CFIOSH members and learn from them.
- Use social media networks for support.
Fellowship in three words
Passion, commitment and hard work.
Our Chartered Fellows are role models in the OSH community and Hemantha is a fine example of this.
In addition to volunteering with IOSH, he initiated the formation of the Workplace Safety and Health Association (WSHA), a professional body for Sri Lankans working in OSH. WSHA is a member of the Asia Pacific Occupational Safety and Health Organization (APOSHO) after Hemantha co-ordinated their application.
"I will have opportunities to share my knowledge with a younger generation in universities and on training programmes." he said.
"Sharing the story of my career journey can motivate young professionals to select OSH as a career and reach a similar status."
Read more about Chartered Fellowship.