Pursuing an OSH career despite disability

Published on: 6 Oct 2023

After illness and disability brought his journey into OSH to a crashing halt, James O’Neill TechIOSH is finally pursuing the career he aspired to – 14 years on. He shares his inspiring story.

James O'NeillHealth and safety wasn’t an instant career choice for James, who worked as a forklift truck driver, carpenter and engineer in his early career, but it was one that came to make sense. ‘I wanted more out of being employed: job satisfaction and someone to look up to,’ he says.

After completing the IOSH Working Safely course, he got a taste for OSH. He became a union rep and signed up for all the safety courses while trying to gain as much experience as he could.

But life had always been ‘a little more complex’ for James given his type 1 diabetes, which could ‘put employers off’. Convinced that gaining the right qualifications would open doors, he worked hard to pass them. But the employment offers didn't come.

Read how James found work, and his advice to others with a disability, here.