Occupational Health and Safety Specialists

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Also known as:  Certified Indoor Environmentalist, Certified Industrial Hygienist, Certified Professional Ergonomist, Environmental Health Sanitarian, Health and Safety Inspector, Industrial Hygienist, Industrial Safety and Health Specialist, Occupational Health and Safety Specialist, Occupational Safety and Health Inspector, Radiological Health Specialist

ABOUT OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH OR SAFETY SPECIALIST CAREERS

VIDEO TRANSCRIPT Expand
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 envir ...
onments 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. These specialists develop and implement training programs to correct risky conditions or practices then monitor their progress. They're good listeners and excellent communicators.

Most employers, including the government, require a four-year degree in safety or a related field. You should be detail-oriented and prepared to continue your education to meet recertification requirements. As many occupational safety and health specialists proudly say, safety on the job is no accident.
SNAPSHOT Expand
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.
Leadership
HIGH
Critical decision making
HIGH
Level of responsibilities
HIGH
Job challenge and pressure to meet deadlines
MED
Dealing and handling conflict
LOW
Competition for this position
MED
Communication with others
HIGH
Work closely with team members, clients etc.
HIGH
Comfort of the work setting
HIGH
Exposure to extreme environmental conditions
LOW
Exposure to job hazards
LOW
Physical demands
LOW
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DAILY TASKS Expand
Maintain and update emergency response plans and procedures.
Order suspension of activities that pose threats to workers' health and safety.
Conduct audits at hazardous waste sites or industrial sites, and participate in hazardous waste site investigations.
Investigate health-related complaints, and inspect facilities to ensure that they comply with public health legislation and regulations.
Develop and maintain medical monitoring programs for employees.
Maintain inventories of hazardous materials and hazardous wastes, using waste tracking systems to ensure that materials are handled properly.
Coordinate "right-to-know" programs regarding hazardous chemicals and other substances.
Collect samples of dust, gases, vapors, and other potentially toxic materials for analysis.
Collect samples of hazardous materials, or arrange for sample collection.
Collaborate with engineers and physicians to institute control and remedial measures for hazardous and potentially hazardous conditions or equipment.
Inspect specified areas to ensure the presence of fire prevention equipment, safety equipment, and first-aid supplies.
MAIN ACTIVITIES Expand
Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
Getting Information Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
Provide Consultation and Advice to Others Providing guidance and expert advice to management or other groups on technical, systems-, or process-related topics.
Making Decisions and Solving Problems Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
AREAS OF KNOWLEDGE Expand
English Language Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
Public Safety and Security Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.
Law and Government Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process.
Chemistry Knowledge of the chemical composition, structure, and properties of substances and of the chemical processes and transformations that they undergo. This includes uses of chemicals and their interactions, danger signs, production techniques, and disposal methods.
Education and Training Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
Mathematics Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
Engineering and Technology Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.
Customer and Personal Service Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
KEY ABILITIES Expand
Problem Sensitivity The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
Oral Comprehension The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
Speech Recognition The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
Written Comprehension The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
Oral Expression The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
Inductive Reasoning The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
Speech Clarity The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
Deductive Reasoning The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
TOP SKILLS Expand
Speaking Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Active Listening Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Critical Thinking Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
Social Perceptiveness Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
Writing Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
Complex Problem Solving Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
Judgment and Decision Making Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
Reading Comprehension Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
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