- Are you interested in making sure that workers are working safely and maintaining a safe working environment?
- Do you like coaching and training people?
If the answer to these questions is yes, then a career as a Safety Officer could be right for you.
Safety officers evaluate and monitor health and safety hazards and develop strategies to control risks in the workplace. They inspect construction sites to ensure compliance with workplace safety regulations and those for the handling and storage of hazardous substances. In smaller organizations, safety officers may also perform other tasks.
Note: Safety officers are also getting involved in worker health and environmental issues.
Safety officers perform some or all of the following duties:
- Review physical, biological and chemical workplace hazards
- Conduct safety and environmental audits
- Investigate health-and-safety-related complaints, spills of hazardous chemicals, outbreaks of diseases or poisonings, and workplace accidents
- Inspect workplaces to ensure that equipment, materials and production processes do not present a safety or health hazard to employees or the general public
- Develop, implement and evaluate health and safety programs and strategies
- Provide consultation and deliver training programs to construction industry employers and employees on issues of workplace safety and (depending on the project) environmental protection
Safety officers spend a lot of time on or around construction job sites.
As with all careers in the construction industry, safety is the top priority. While on construction or other job sites, safety officers (not surprisingly), must be aware of and comply with all relevant safety policy and procedures.
Training and Certification
The Board Of Certified Registered Safety Professionals (BCRSP) certifies the Canadian Registered Safety Professional (CRSP) designation. For more information, visit www.bcrsp.ca.
The Canadian Society of Safety Engineers (CSSE) offers the Certified Health and Safety Consultant (CHSC) designation that recognizes and promotes excellence in professional occupational health and safety consulting. For more information, visit www.csse.org.
The Canadian Construction Association oversees the Gold Seal Certification Program for several construction occupations, including the Certified Construction Safety Coordinator designation. For more information, visit www.goldsealcertification.com.
The Alberta-based Safety Codes Council is another good source of training information for this occupation. The council also certifies competent safety codes officers in the disciplines covered under the Safety Codes Act. For more information, visit www.safetycodes.ab.ca.
Most safety officers have prior work experience in the construction industry. Larger construction companies hire people with a degree or diploma in workplace health and safety. Related work experience and the completion of in-house training courses may substitute for formal education.