Dr. Syed Mahmood Shahidul Islam is a leading expert in occupational health and safety, as well as a highly respected healthcare professional. He has enjoyed a successful 14-year career in the corporate sector, collaborating with prestigious organizations including the government of Bangladesh, USAID, Chemonics International, World Vision, Save The Children, and UNICEF. He is currently serving as divisional health and safety lead (South Asia and Central Asia) for Surbana Jurong & SMEC International Pty Ltd.
Dr. Islam’s true passion lies in the realm of occupational health and safety. He is an Exemplar Global-certified lead auditor for ISO 14001 (in addition to ISO 9001 and ISO 45001) and holds international certifications in occupational health and safety management systems such as NEBOSH (UK), OSHA (USA), AOSH (UK), and IOSH-MS. He has also achieved a Green Belt in Six Sigma, demonstrating a further dedication to process improvement.
Beyond these qualifications, Dr. Islam is a sought-after speaker and trainer covering critical topics in occupational health and safety. He fosters a culture of safety within organizations, empowering individuals to prioritize the well-being of themselves and their colleagues.
As a professional member of the American Society of Safety Professionals (ASSP), he actively contributes to the advancement of the industry in the firm belief that collaboration and knowledge sharing are key to raising health and safety standards.
In this conversation, we chat with Dr. Syed Mahmood Shahidul Islam about his journey to auditing, the positive role that Exemplar Global has played in his career, and his advice to the next generation of OHS professionals and auditors.
EXEMPLAR GLOBAL: What is your educational background?
SYED MAHMOOD SHAHIDUL ISLAM: I hold an MBBS from the University of Dhaka, a fellowship from the Royal Society for Public Health in the UK, an M.Sc from the University of South Asia, and a certification from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. In addition, I am a certified diabetology professional and a member of the American College of Physicians and the American Diabetes Association.
EG: How were you first introduced to the auditing function?
SMSI: In the capacity of a divisional lead health and safety officer at Surbana Jurong & SMEC International, my initiation into the sphere of auditing was organic. It stemmed from the inherent demands of my role. Given the paramount importance of safety and regulatory compliance within our industry, conducting audits emerged as an indispensable facet of my responsibilities. Over time, I assumed auditing responsibilities to scrutinize and enhance our safety protocols, identify areas necessitating refinement, and implement remedial measures. This immersive experience facilitated my comprehensive comprehension of the auditing process and its pivotal role in safeguarding a secure working milieu.
EG: What value has Exemplar Global contributed to your professional journey?
SMSI: Exemplar Global has, unequivocally, bestowed substantial intrinsic worth upon my professional evolution as an occupational health and safety (OHS) practitioner and auditor. Their certification programs and pedagogical resources have afforded me an exhaustive framework for assimilating the intricacies of occupational health and safety management systems and audit methodologies. Through the acquisition of Exemplar Global certifications, I have not only augmented my erudition and expertise but also garnered industry acknowledgment and credibility. Their unwavering support via periodic updates, avenues for networking, and access to superlative industry benchmarks has been instrumental in assuring my perpetual relevance and efficacy.
EG: What counsel would you offer to those just beginning careers as OHS professionals and/or auditors?
SMSI: To neophytes embarking on a career odyssey as OHS professionals and auditors, I would impart the ensuing guidance:
- Diligently pursue erudition. Dedicate yourself to the pursuit of pertinent certifications and instructional regimens, exemplified by entities such as Exemplar Global. This will enable the construction of a robust foundational edifice concerning OHS fundamentals and audit methodologies.
- Sustain currency. The OHS realm is intrinsically dynamic, characterized by ever-evolving regulations and superlative practices. Cultivate a practice of perpetually updating your cognizance to ensure the perpetual currency of your expertise.
- Accrue practical expertise. Endeavor to procure hands-on experience in OHS management and auditing. Tangible exposure furnishes invaluable insights into the intricacies and exigencies of this vocation.
- Develop polished communication acumen. Develop consummate communication proficiencies, as they are sine qua non for conveying audit findings, collaborating with stakeholders, and catalyzing enhancements in safety protocols.
- Demonstrate ethical rectitude. Uphold the loftiest ethical standards in the discharge of your duties. Integrity and impartiality are essential attributes when conducting audits and upholding workplace safety.
- Enhance networking prowess. Enlist with professional associations and networks within the OHS and auditing milieu. Networking can offer invaluable insight, mentorship, and positive career trajectories.
- Seek incessant enhancement. Cultivate a disposition of perpetual betterment, both in your personal and organizational capacities. Strive to be an agent of constructive transformation in the realm of workplace safety.
Bear in mind that a career entrenched in OHS and auditing not only furnishes a sense of fulfillment but also bequeaths a profound influence on the well-being of individuals and institutions alike. Your unwavering commitment to safety will inexorably contribute to the establishment of healthier and more secure workplace environments.