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What does a Safety Specialist do?

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  • Written By: Felicia Dye
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 02 December 2016
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A safety specialist is an individual who generally has the responsibility of preventing, reducing, and eliminating harmful situations. These individuals may be employed by factories, educational facilities, and health care facilities. Their duties can include making assessments, proposing solutions, and developing strategies to implement safety policies.

The title “safety specialist” is commonly replaced with a list of other titles, such as health and safety engineer and health and safety officer. Despite how an employer may wish to refer to the position, it is one that generally involves helping to develop and maintain a safe environment. The environment that is the subject of concern can widely vary and include college campuses, hospitals, or mining zones.

A safety specialist can have a wide range of duties, depending on the type of site he is responsible for. He may be responsible for prevention. When this is the case, he will likely spend a great deal of time assessing operations and the habits of those who frequent the site, including members of the public and employees. When a place is frequented by members of the public, it commonly requires dealing with different safety issues and solutions. This does not mean that the safety of one group is prioritized over that of another.

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In addition to identifying potential problems, a safety specialist may also be responsible for making sure solutions are implemented. If, for example, a hazard is identified, the safety inspector may propose a solution and this may be approved by his superiors. Thereafter, it may be his duty to demonstrate and effectively train individuals on implementing the solution. He may have to oversee any projects involved in the process, such as the installation of safety equipment.

The safety specialist may also have the responsibility of ensuring that operations are conducted according to a certain standard. He should make certain that safety policies are always upheld. It is also likely that he will have the task of ensuring compliance with government regulations. In instances where new government regulations are set forth, it may be his duty to make sure a given site adheres to the new policy by the deadline.

A company or government agency may be motivated to hire a safety specialist because of the ramifications that can accompany harm. If a single individual is injured on certain private, public, and commercial sites, the associated costs can exceed the amount of employing a safety specialist for his entire working life. It is common for safety specialists to concentrate on a certain industry. For example, a person who has extensive experience as a mining safety specialist is not likely to become a health care safety officer.

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