Occupational Health and Safety Technicians

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Also known as:
Advisory Industrial Hygienist, Certified Industrial Hygienist (CIH), Construction Safety Consultant, Health and Safety Technician, Industrial Hygiene Consultant, Industrial Hygiene Engineer, Industrial Hygienist, Safety Research Professional

Video transcript

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.

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.
Critical decision making
Level of responsibilities
Job challenge and pressure to meet deadlines
Dealing and handling conflict
Competition for this position
Communication with others
Work closely with team members, clients etc.
Comfort of the work setting
Exposure to extreme environmental conditions
Exposure to job hazards
Physical demands
Daily tasks

Prepare documents to be used in legal proceedings, testifying in such proceedings when necessary.

Evaluate situations or make determinations when a worker has refused to work on the grounds that danger or potential harm exists.

Confer with schools, state authorities, or community groups to develop health standards or programs.

Examine credentials, licenses, or permits to ensure compliance with licensing requirements.

Plan emergency response drills.

Test or balance newly installed HVAC systems to determine whether indoor air quality standards are met.

Educate the public about health issues or enforce health legislation to prevent disease, to promote health, or to help people understand health protection procedures and regulations.

Inspect fire suppression systems or portable fire systems to ensure proper working order.

Train workers in safety procedures related to green jobs, such as the use of fall protection devices or maintenance of proper ventilation during wind turbine construction.

Review records or reports concerning laboratory results, staffing, floor plans, fire inspections, or sanitation to gather information for the development or enforcement of safety activities.

Provide consultation to organizations or agencies on the workplace application of safety principles, practices, or techniques.

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.
Documenting/Recording Information Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
Making Decisions and Solving Problems Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
Processing Information Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
Analyzing Data or Information Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
English Language Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Law and Government Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process.
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.
Mathematics Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
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.
Reading Comprehension Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
Critical Thinking Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
Speaking Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Writing Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
Monitoring Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
Complex Problem Solving Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
Instructing Teaching others how to do something.