Human Resources & Recruitment
Occupational Health & Safety Officer
Occupational health & safety officers work to reduce health and safety issues, and injuries and accidents in the workplace.
What does an Occupational Health & Safety Officer do?
Occupational health & safety officers work to reduce health and safety issues, and injuries and accidents in the workplace. They also design programs to prevent disease or injury to workers and damage to the environment. Occupational health & safety officers may also be known as health & safety officers or managers.
As an occupational health and safety officer, you would:
- identify potential hazards in the workplace
- inspect and evaluate workplace environments and practices for compliance
- advise on the use of protective clothing or equipment
- keep records of accidents and incidents
- investigate accidents and incidents to identify their causes and to determine how they might be prevented
- conduct training on a variety of topics, such as emergency preparedness
- create health and safety policies
- ensure employers and workers put policies into practice and follow safety laws
- keep up to date with changes in the law.
Key skills and interests
To become an occupational health & safety officer, you would need:
- good communication skills
- good negotiation skills
- to be detail oriented and well organised
- practical technical skills
- a tactful but assertive manner
- a good level of physical fitness
- logical thinking and problem-solving ability
Working hours and conditions
In a full-time job you would work a standard number of hours per week, Monday to Friday. In some industries you may work shifts or be on call in case of emergencies or accidents.
Occupational health and safety officers work in a variety of settings, such as offices, factories, and mines. you might be required to undertake fieldwork and travel. You may also be required to wear protective clothing like overalls, safety glasses or ear protectors. A driver's licence may be required for some jobs to travel to sites.
How to become an Occupational Health & Safety Officer?
Entry Level Education
Occupational health and safety specialists typically need at least a VET qualification in work health & safety. Some employers will require a bachelor’s degree in occupational health, safety, or a related scientific or technical field. To get into these courses, you usually need to gain your senior secondary school certificate or equivalent. English, maths, chemistry, biology, and physics would be appropriate subjects to study prior to university.
Employment of occupational health and safety specialists is projected to grow somewhat slower than the average for all occupations.
Specialists will be needed to work in a wide variety of industries to ensure that employers are adhering to both existing and new regulations.