Laís Veloso Lara has always wanted to positively impact people’s safety and wellbeing.
Now she’s making a difference in her role as Health and Safety Manager at Amazon’s first fulfilment centre in Ireland.
She said: “The approach they have is totally in line with what I think about safety. It’s not something we are doing just because it’s a legal requirement, we are going above and beyond.”
Journey from Student to Chartered Member
Brazilian-born Laís started her career in occupational safety and health (OSH) in her home country. She came to Ireland to improve her English to a level that would enable her to enrol on a master’s course to boost her professional development.
“Having to choose a course in a different country was very tricky. But even when I was in Brazil, I knew about IOSH’s reputation, so when I saw an IOSH-accredited qualification it was a stamp of quality and reliability for the programme. And it also gave me the opportunity to become a Student Member of IOSH, which was a no-brainer.
“When you have IOSH in your name, it opens doors. I can’t stress this enough.”
Starting her MSc in Environmental Health and Safety at Dublin Institute of Technology in autumn 2018, Laís used IOSH member benefits to enhance her learning.
“The best benefit for me was IOSH Magazine, because it was a good way to get updated on what was going on in the industry and to understand a little bit more about the market,” she said.
After graduating, Laís progressed to Graduate Member in January 2020.
“I wanted to stay with IOSH because of the quality information that I had on hand, which saved me time having to search for reliable sources,” she said.
Her next goal was Chartered status, which Laís achieved in September 2021.
“It is a way of communicating my commitment to health and safety, my qualification and, of course, my credibility. So, when I’m giving advice, everyone knows the level of professional that I am.”
Being CMIOSH also helped Laís land her role with multinational company Amazon at the start of 2022.
“We are enablers,” said the 31-year-old. “We take a safety approach totally focused on human performance, principles, engagement and coaching.
“We work with the operations team to ensure that every single box that needs to go outdoors to be delivered to customers is done so as safely as possible.”
Chartered Members are encouraged to give back to the OSH community and Laís is doing this as the Communications Co-ordinator for IOSH’s Ireland Branch. Having joined the branch to network, boost her professional development, and understand more about the Institution, she wanted to volunteer to “bring more visibility to Ireland and the Irish industry”.
“Volunteering has given me an understanding of the amount of work that is needed to provide a good service to members of IOSH,” she said. “And it is good for me to develop some skills that I didn’t have.”
Top tip for working towards CMIOSH
“Keep records of the activities you are performing and keep in mind that every single step counts, as you will be asked to submit evidence during the initial professional development (IPD) process,” said Laís. “Also, it is a great opportunity to undertake new activities to build your experience and professional skills.”
Student to Chartered status in three words
“Intense, challenging and gratifying.”
Laís added: “It was challenging because of the number of activities that we need to complete to become Chartered, but the process also involves self-reflection. You look back and think, ‘I’ve achieved a lot and it’s just the beginning of my professional journey, and I’m going to see how much I can progress as a health and safety practitioner’.”
Read more about IOSH and join as a member.