How to Become an Occupational Health and Safety Officer
The term human resources covers a whole range of things, from how much you get paid, to who’s hired and annual reviews. It also covers safety in the workplace. By learning how to become an occupational health and safety officer, you will the person in charge of keeping people safe at work. For some workplaces this is burning your hand on the coffee machine or slipping on a wet kitchen floor and in others it’s injuring yourself with a power tool or coming into contact with lethal chemicals. Someone has to be on the lookout for all these things.
What is an Occupational Health and Safety Officer?
An occupational health & safety officer, also known as an OH&S officer, would identify any potential hazards in the workplace and make sure that all rules and regulations are followed. The officer would reinforce to employees or visitors of the workplace that they are required to wear personal protective equipment such as hard hats, goggles, high-visibility vests or overalls, safety footwear, or safety harness where appropriate. For any incidents or accidents, the OH&S officer keeps records on how and when it happened, and who was involved. They lead investigations, identify any causes and make any changes needed to prevent accidents happening again. They conduct training on workplace safety and how to deal with emergency situations for all employees. They create policies on maintaining a safe work space, and ensure that everyone follows the safety practices. There are strict rules and regulations which occupational health & safety officer must understand and keep up to date with all changes in.
Skills & Interests:
An effective occupational health and safety officer needs to have good communication skills, especially when training employees on basic safety policies and explaining to them they must wear appropriate personal protective equipment at all times in the workplace or on site. They need to be especially detail-oriented, with a particular knack for organization. They spend much of their time checking over equipment or work sites and so need to be practical with some technical understanding and physically fit. The role requires an assertive but tactful nature as often the OH&S officer is directing people to alter or change their behaviour to meet applicable health and safety requirements.
Hours & Conditions:
The role is usually a Monday to Friday job with regular working hours. Some industries may require round the clock attendance of an officer and so a shift rota is used. In the event of an incident or emergency an OH&S officer may be on call. Occupational health & safety officers are used across lots of industries and may be working in offices, mining corporations, construction, or factories. A driver’s licence may be needed for travelling between job sites.
How to become an Occupational Health and Safety Officer: Qualifications
To become an occupational health and safety officer you need a VET qualification in work health, and safety. Some companies would require a degree in occupational health, safety, or a related scientific field.
To look at courses that will help you land a position as an occupational health and safety officer, please visit https://www.careerhq.com.au/careers-database/job_details/321/occupational-health-safety-officer
This field of work is a necessity in many industries creating an ongoing need, and a requirement for more people to learn how to become Occupational Health and Safety Officers. Given that the legislation and regulations are always being updated and expanded there is a need for those that can translate the rules into practice in the workplace, providing opportunities for those that keep their health and safety knowledge up to date.