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What Are the Different Types of Occupational Health And Safety Jobs?

Safety consultants check for biological hazards in a workplace.
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  • Written By: T. L. Childree
  • Edited By: Jacob Harkins
  • Last Modified Date: 11 September 2014
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Professionals who work in the many different occupational health and safety jobs are often needed to help identify potential hazards to workers, property, the public and the environment. Although most occupational health and safety jobs have the same common goals, they may vary somewhat according to workplace or industry. Occupational health and safety jobs usually have titles such as safety director, health and safety manager, or environmental health and safety manager. Safety consultants and safety specialists are also considered to be types of occupational health and safety jobs.

A safety director is generally in charge of a company’s safety programs and are responsible for developing, implementing, and managing all occupational health and safety policies, programs, and procedures. This person must have a good working knowledge of current local and regional safety laws to ensure that the company is in compliance with them. A safety director performs a number of different tasks including maintaining safety and accident records as well as leading and directing the work of other safety specialists.

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Health and safety managers are typically hired to help protect employees from on-the-job injuries, as well as work-related diseases and illnesses. These managers perform workplace inspections to look for potential threats to employee safety. They also look for any possible violations of local or regional health and safety laws. Health and safety managers will often make recommendations on how to improve workplace safety based on these inspections. Many health and safety managers are employed by local or regional governments, and are authorized to issue fines and citations to businesses for failing to comply with regulations. Other health and safety managers either work directly for a private company or are independent contractors who work as consultants.

An environmental health and safety manager generally assists with monitoring and reducing environmental workplace hazards such as radiation, chemical pollution, and structural dangers. Some of these managers focus their attention on reducing these types of hazards by improving workplace design. Environmental health and safety managers are frequently used in locations such as mines and factories, which typically present greater risks to employee safety. This type of manager may be employed by a private company or government agency.

Safety consultants are often retained by government agencies, private companies, and consulting firms to assist businesses in addressing overall safety concerns. Safety consultants check for various types of chemical, physical, radiological, or biological hazards that may exist in the workplace. They perform their work in a wide range of locations such as factories, mines, and construction sites. When a workplace accident occurs, a safety consultant is often called to the site to help determine the cause of the accident.

A safety specialist is sometimes hired by a business to help reduce insurance costs by improving workplace safety. Safety specialists are generally responsible for identifying and removing workplace hazards as well as instructing employees in the correct use of personal safety equipment. These specialists also help to ensure that local and regional safety laws are being adhered to.

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