To become a construction safety officer, many people start by taking safety training courses from a recognized institution. In most cases, you'll get some type of certification to prove that you have satisfactorily completed an accredited training program. Other people choose to attend school and earn a degree in social science or resource management, during which they take as many elective courses as possible in fire and safety. If you live and plan to work in the United States, you might want to consider becoming a Certified Safety Professional, a certification that is offered by the American Board of Certified Safety Professionals. After you hold certification or a degree, you might want to consider working as a volunteer in construction management because many employers prefer to hire applicants who have at least one to three years of experience.
As a general rule when working in construction safety, you'll also need to be able to communicate effectively in speech and writing. Strong computer literacy is another valuable qualification, because the average employer looks for applicants who are proficient in standard office software, like word processing programs and spreadsheets. People management skills is also a requirement because of the nature of the job, which involves supervising workers.
If you're considering working as a construction safety officer, it can help to understand what the job is like on a day-to-day basis. Although the officer's duties vary depending on the site and geographical location in which he or she works, there are some similarities in almost all cases. You probably will have to be willing to travel at least locally to be on the scene of various construction sites. Construction safety officers do many inspections to ensure that work is done in compliance with regional or national regulations. Your job probably also will involve ensuring that construction workers are using required personal protective equipment.
Construction safety officers usually attend mandatory safety audits and meetings to keep up to date on changes in regulations. They also are expected to report potential health hazards, instances of non-compliance, and any unsafe practices of construction workers. Assisting in the development of safety training courses and materials also could be a part of your job. If you want to become a construction safety officer, you should be safety-conscious and willing to uphold and enforce the rules and regulations that help ensure the safety of the construction workers with whom you will work.