Health and Safety Officer: What you need to know about this career
A Health and Safety Officer plays a role in protecting a company or organisation’s employees by decreasing the risk of accidents occurring in their work environment. If you’re meticulous and reliable, this might be the right career for you. Find Health and Safety Officer vacancies on Job Mail and start applying.
A career as a Health and Safety Officer involves helping organisations comply with relevant laws and regulations. They advise businesses and staff on how to maintain high levels of safety in the workplace. A Health and Safety Officer performs the following duties:
- Conducts regular inspections
- Identifies and addresses safety hazards
- Gathers evidence and collects samples if required
- Reviews complaints in the workplace
- Develops safety management policies and plans
- Oversees compliance with health and safety laws
- Provides advice on legal problems
- Collaborates with other professionals
- Trains employees on safety procedures in the workplace
- Checks that employees have access to the required safety equipment
- Trains employees on how to operate safety equipment
- Writs reports
The work environment of a Health and Safety Officer depends on the industry that they’re working in. These employees usually carry out monitoring duties at their desk, but they’re also required to make site visits. They usually work regular business hours in a corporate setting while shift work may be required in hospitals. Working as a Health and Safety Officer in the mining industry can result in exposure to a more hazardous work environment.
Before you start studying, you’ll need to decide which industry you want to work in as each industry is subject to different regulations. Qualification requirements can also differ between organisations. To enter this career, you’ll need the right formal qualification first. Once you’re hired, it’s important to keep up to date with the latest health and safety guidelines and laws. While every educational institute has different entry requirements, it’s advisable to study Chemistry and Physics at school if you plan to become a Health and Safety Officer. Mathematics is another advantageous school subject for this career.
What to study:
- National Diploma or Bachelor of Technology in Environmental Health – You can study at most universities of technology in South Africa.
- National Diploma or Bachelor of Technology in Environmental Science – You can study at most universities of technology in South Africa.
- Diploma or Degree in Environmental Health – Available at selected universities and tertiary institutes.
- Advanced or Postgraduate Diploma in Occupational Health – Available at selected universities and tertiary institutes.
- Master of Technology in Environmental Health – You can study at most universities of technology in South Africa.
As a Health and Safety Officer, you’ll enjoy plenty of employment opportunities and international positions are also available. Another option is to work for yourself. A moderate income potential is associated with this job. Vacancies are available at municipalities as well as in the mining and construction industries. The Department of Agriculture and engineering organisations also hire a Health and Safety Officer. Continuing your studies can help to advance your career. Your experience in the field and your work performance also impact your career progress.
Skills and traits needed for this career
- Interpersonal and communication capabilities
- Ability to work under pressure
- Organisational skills
- Responsible and trustworthy
- Professional attitude
- Technical capabilities
- Ability to pay attention to detail
- Problem-solving skills
Related job opportunities
- Environmental Health Officer
- Health and Safety Manager
- Environmental Scientist
If you’re interested in helping to protect employees, becoming a Health and Safety Officer may be the right career for you. Looking for a job? Visit Job Mail and submit your CV today.