Who is an Occupational Health and Safety Specialist
Generally, Occupational Health and Safety Specialists are concerned with identifying hazardous conditions that affect workers, property, the environment, and the general public, they promote health and safety within a work environment by analyzing workplaces and design initiatives to control, eliminate, and prevent disease caused by chemical, physical, radiological, or biological agents. They carry out workplaces audit to determine compliance relevant regulations.
Job outlook/Duties of an Occupational health and safety specialist
According to research statistics from US Bureau of labour statistics, employment of occupational health and safety specialists is projected to grow by 6% from 2018 to 2028.
Occupational Health and Safety Specialist Job description
Here are some major job description which accompanies this role. This outlook is not exclusive, it is dependent on the organization where the specialist practice.
- Identify hazards in the workplace
- Collect samples of potentially toxic materials for analysis
- Inspect and evaluate workplace environments, equipment, and practices for compliance with corporate and government health and safety standards and regulations
- Design and implement workplace processes and procedures that help protect workers from potentially hazardous work conditions
- Investigate accidents and incidents to identify their causes and to determine how they might be prevented in the future
- Conduct training on a variety of topics such as emergency preparedness
- Investigate accidents to identify causes or to determine how such accidents might be prevented in the future.
- Inspect or evaluate workplace environments, equipment, or practices to ensure compliance with safety standards and government regulations.
- Develop or maintain hygiene programs, such as noise surveys, continuous atmosphere monitoring, ventilation surveys, or asbestos management plans.
- Investigate health-related complaints and inspect facilities to ensure that they comply with public health legislation and regulations.
- Collaborate with engineers or physicians to institute control or remedial measures for hazardous or potentially hazardous conditions or equipment.
- Provide new-employee health and safety orientations and develop materials for these presentations.
- Develop or maintain medical monitoring programs for employees.
- Maintain or update emergency response plans or procedures.
- Maintain inventories of hazardous materials or hazardous wastes, using waste tracking systems to ensure that materials are handled properly.
- Conduct audits at hazardous waste sites or industrial sites or participate in hazardous waste site investigations.
Occupational health and safety career path
Occupational health and safety specialists typically need a bachelor’s degree in occupational health and safety or in a related scientific field such as engineering, biology, or chemistry. For some positions, a master’s degree in industrial hygiene, health physics, or a related subject is required. In addition to science courses, typical courses include ergonomics, writing and communications, occupational safety management, and accident prevention.
To become an occupational health and safety specialist, you need to acquire some certification. Some of the professional certifications including the following:
- NEBOSH Diploma
- The Board of Certified Safety Professionals offers the following certifications:
- Certified Safety Professional (CSP) certification
- Associate Safety Professional (ASP)
- Occupational Health and Safety Technologist (OHST)
- Construction Health and Safety Technician (CHST)
- The American Board of Industrial Hygiene awards a certification known as a Certified Industrial Hygienist (CIH)
- and other relevant certifications
Safety Specialist Skills
Ability to use technology: Occupational health and safety specialists must be able to use advanced technology. They often work with complex testing equipment.
Communication skills: Occupational health and safety specialists must be able to communicate safety instructions and concerns to employees and managers. They frequently prepare written reports and prepare and deliver safety training to other workers.
Detail oriented: Occupational health and safety specialists need to understand and follow safety standards and complex government regulations.
Physical stamina: Occupational health and safety specialists must be able to stand for long periods and be able to travel regularly. Some work in environments that can be uncomfortable, such as tunnels or mines.
Problem-solving skills: Occupational health and safety specialists must be able to solve problems in order to design and implement workplace processes and procedures that help protect workers from hazardous conditions.
Occupational Health and Safety Specialist Salary Scale
The median annual wage for occupational health and safety specialists was $73,020 in May 2018 and it is expected to increase gradually. The median wage is the wage at which half the workers in an occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less.