Health and safety officers use their knowledge and skills to promote a positive health and safety culture in the workplace.
They are responsible for ensuring that employers and workers comply with safety legislation and that safety policies and practices are adopted and adhered to.
Health and safety officers are based in a wide range of organisations, from multinationals to small consultancies, and help to plan, implement, monitor and review protective and preventative safety measures.
They work in partnership with employers, employees, directors and trade unions to minimise:
- operational losses;
- occupational health problems;
Typical work activities
Responsibilities vary depending on the employer and may cover, for example, fire safety or safe use of machinery or noise. However, duties typically involve:
- 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;
- making changes to working practices that are safe and comply with legislation;
- preparing health and safety strategies and developing internal policy;
- leading in-house training with managers and employees about health and safety issues and risks;
- keeping records of inspection findings and producing reports that suggest improvements;
- recording of incidents and accidents and producing statistics for managers;
- being 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.
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