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Health and safety adviser: Job description

A health and safety adviser offers expert knowledge and skills in order to generate and promote a positive health and safety culture. This represents a key role in helping to control occupational risk.

Health and safety advisers are based in a range of organisations from multinationals to small consultancies, and work in partnership with employers, employees, directors and trade unions.

They are responsible for ensuring that all safety legislation is adhered to and policies and practices are adopted. They help to plan, implement, monitor and review the protective and preventative measures that companies are required or choose to follow, and work to minimise operational losses, occupational health problems, accidents and injuries.

Typical work activities

Work activities vary, depending on the employer or employment sector. However, tasks typically involve:

  • making changes to working practices that are safe and comply with legislation;
  • preparing health and safety strategies and developing internal policy;
  • carrying out risk assessments and considering how risks could be reduced;
  • outlining safe operational procedures which identify and take account of all relevant hazards;
  • carrying out regular site inspections to check policies and procedures are being properly implemented;
  • leading in-house training with managers and employees about health and safety issues and risks;
  • keeping records of inspections findings and producing reports that suggest improvements;
  • keeping records of incidents and accidents and producing statistics for managers;
  • keeping up to date with new legislation and maintaining a working knowledge of all Health and Safety Executive (HSE)  legislation and any developments that affect the employer's industry;
  • attending Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH)  seminars and reading professional journals;
  • producing management reports, newsletters and bulletins;
  • ensuring the safe installation of equipment;
  • managing and organising the safe disposal of hazardous substances, e.g. asbestos;
  • advising on a range of specialist areas, e.g. fire regulations, hazardous substances, noise, safeguarding machinery and occupational diseases.
Written by AGCAS editors
March 2012

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