Safety on the job is no accident; occupational health and safety specialists and technicians keep workplaces as accident-free as possible, by looking for safer, healthier, and more efficient work practices. Occupational health and safety specialists inspect workplaces to ensure they meet safety and environmental regulations. They examine factors such as lighting, ventilation, and whether materials are stored or disposed of correctly. Occupational health and safety technicians work with specialists to conduct tests and measure hazards. They may perform checks to make sure workers are using required protective gear, such as masks and hardhats. After a workplace accident or injury occurs, occupational health and safety specialists and technicians investigate potential causes and plan how to prevent future events. They may develop training programs to correct risky conditions, and coordinate rehabilitation for injured employees. Occupational health and safety specialists and technicians generally work full time, and travel from their offices or factories to conduct fieldwork. They use gloves, respirators, and other gear to minimize exposure to hazards. In emergencies, they work weekends and irregular hours. Occupational health and safety specialists typically need a bachelor’s degree in occupational health and safety or a related field, while technicians typically enter the field through on-the-job training, or a related associate’s degree or certificate.
What they do:
Collect data on work environments for analysis by occupational health and safety specialists. Implement and conduct evaluation of programs designed to limit chemical, physical, biological, and ergonomic risks to workers.
On the job, you would:
Test workplaces for environmental hazards, such as exposure to radiation, chemical or biological hazards, or excessive noise.
Prepare or calibrate equipment used to collect or analyze samples.
Maintain all required environmental records and documentation.
Arts and Humanities
Education and Training
teaching and course design
Safety and Government
public safety and security
listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions
reading work related information
noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it
People and Technology Systems
figuring out how a system should work and how changes in the future will affect it
thinking about the pros and cons of different options and picking the best one
communicate by speaking
listen and understand what people say
Ideas and Logic
make general rules or come up with answers from lots of detailed information
notice when problems happen
People interested in this work like activities that include data, detail, and regular routines.
They do well at jobs that need:
Concern for Others
Attention to Detail
You might use software like this on the job:
Data base user interface and query software
Electronic mail software
bachelor's degree or associate's degree usually needed
Get started on your career:
New job opportunities are very likely in the future.