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The Evolving Role of HSEQ Professionals in an AI-Driven World.

  • Publish Date: Posted about 1 month ago

​The landscape of health, safety, and environment (HSE) continues to undergo a significant transformation. The rise of artificial intelligence (AI) and the ever-growing volume of information online necessitates a shift in the role and skillset of HSE professionals.

During Beyond HSEQ’s latest event at Quintain Limited, Shirley Parsons Organizational Psychologist Jordan Harlow GMBPSS was joined by Stephen Evans-Howe, Steve Wicks,Lee Mills, Irina Altinok, Jake Moffat and Shirley Parsons to explore these changes and how HSE professionals can adapt and thrive in this new era.

The changing role of HSE professionals.

Traditionally, HSE professionals functioned primarily as knowledge holders. However, with information readily available online, this role is becoming less valuable. The focus needs to expand to encompass broader areas:

Broader Risk Management: HSE professionals should become more involved in overarching business risk management initiatives. Their expertise in risk assessment and mitigation is crucial in navigating the complexities of the modern world.

Leaders of Change: HSE professionals are well-positioned to spearhead change programs within organizations. Their leadership skills are instrumental in planning, communication, and successful implementation of new initiatives.

Information Navigators: The abundance of information online presents a challenge. HSE professionals need to develop the ability to evaluate the reliability and accuracy of health and safety information, acting as a filter for credible sources.

While AI may automate some tasks, the human element in HSE remains irreplaceable. The cultural influencing and critical thinking skills of HSE professionals will continue to be highly impactful.

Required skillset changes.

To stay relevant, HSE professionals need to cultivate a new skillset that includes:

Understanding of AI and Emerging Technologies: Familiarity with AI systems, robots, and the associated digital world risks is essential for providing effective oversight and ensuring compliance with HSE standards.

Risk Leadership: HSE professionals should transition into risk leaders, encompassing both traditional HSE concerns and the risks posed by new technologies.

Influence on Education: Collaboration with educational bodies is crucial to ensure that future generations of HSE professionals are equipped with the necessary skills to navigate the digital landscape.


The future of HSE is bright for those who embrace change. Here are some actionable steps to stay ahead of the curve:

Broaden your Risk Management Perspective: Engage with broader business risk management initiatives within your organization.

Develop Leadership Skills: Take on leadership roles in change programs to hone your communication and planning abilities.

Leverage Your Soft Skills: Utilize your emotional intelligence and critical thinking skills to influence company culture in ways that AI cannot.

Become an Information Curator: Develop the expertise to evaluate the accuracy of online HSE information and guide others towards reliable sources.

Embrace Continuous Learning: Actively seek knowledge about AI systems, robots, and autonomous technologies to provide effective oversight.

Advocate for Change in Education: Support initiatives that equip future HSE professionals with the skills needed to excel in the digital age.

By adapting their skillset and embracing the evolving landscape, HSE professionals can ensure their continued relevance and become invaluable assets in a world shaped by AI and information abundance.

To sum up their discussion, Jordan said:

"Despite the ever growing advancements in tech and AI, the human factor will always be a key factor in any business. HSEQ professionals have the skills to influence, inform and drive cultural change that will be irreplaceable even in a highly automated future. And this will lead their growth into the caretakers of information and the ethical and safe application of new tech, not to mention the emotional intelligence to create cultures of ethical efficiency and sustainability."

​"Becoming more aligned with broader business risk is going to be a significant part of our role. It's being seen as leaders of change. It's going to be a significant part of our role. And that's the whole beginning to end in terms of what we want to change, how we want to change it, when we change it."