Occupational health and safety specialists look for accidents waiting to happen. Also called risk managers, their job is to keep workplaces as accident-free as possible. They do this by looking for safer, healthier and more efficient ways of working. Health and safety specialists analyze work environments to identify potential hazards. They use experience, historical data and other sources to identify patterns of injury or illness. These specialists may conduct inspections to make sure companies comply with laws governing worker health and safety. This can include making sure chemicals are stored or disposed of correctly, or that protective equipment is available and used properly. Occupational health and safety specialists conduct investigations after accidents or injuries to find ways to prevent them in the future. They often coordinate rehabilitation for injured employees to help them return to work. Occupational health and safety specialists develop and implement training programs to correct risky conditions or practices in a workplace, then monitor their progress. They're good listeners, and excellent communicators. Most positions in this field require a 4-year degree. You should be detail-oriented and prepared to maintain certification requirements with continuing education to succeed in this field. As many occupational safety and health specialists proudly say: safety on the job is no accident.
What they do:
Review, evaluate, and analyze work environments and design programs and procedures to control, eliminate, and prevent disease or injury caused by chemical, physical, and biological agents or ergonomic factors. May conduct inspections and enforce adherence to laws and regulations governing the health and safety of individuals. May be employed in the public or private sector. Includes environmental protection officers.
On the job, you would:
Recommend measures to help protect workers from potentially hazardous work methods, processes, or materials.
Order suspension of activities that pose threats to workers' health or safety.
Investigate accidents to identify causes or to determine how such accidents might be prevented in the future.
Arts and Humanities
Education and Training
teaching and course design
Math and Science
arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, or statistics
Safety and Government
public safety and security
talking to others
listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions
noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it
People and Technology Systems
measuring how well a system is working and how to improve it
thinking about the pros and cons of different options and picking the best one
communicate by speaking
communicate by writing
Ideas and Logic
make general rules or come up with answers from lots of detailed information
notice when problems happen
see hidden patterns
quickly compare groups of letters, numbers, pictures, or other things
choose the right type of math to solve a problem
People interested in this work like activities that include ideas, thinking, and figuring things out.
They do well at jobs that need:
Attention to Detail
Concern for Others
You might use software like this on the job:
Data base user interface and query software
Medgate Enterprise EHS
ESS Compliance Suite
Mannus Compliance: EHS
bachelor's degree or master's degree usually needed
New job opportunities are likely in the future.
Green jobs will increase the demand for this type of work.