Work SafeWorkplace Safety involves the implementation and maintenance of various techniques and methodologies in the workplace to ensure a healthy and safe workplace for everyone who has occasion to visit or work in the workplace. As a discipline Workplace Safety, may be referred to as Safety Engineering Technology, Industrial Hygiene, Occupational Health Nursing, Health and Safety Management or a host of other names, depending upon its major focus. It utilizes a combination of engineering, physical and behavioral sciences to reduce and eliminate losses. It frequently focuses upon the recognition, evaluation and control of hazards to people, facilities, equipment and the environment.
Gaps that once separated the Occupational Health, Safety and Environment disciplines, and in many organizations the Quality Management function, have narrowed significantly. Security and Fire Protection which were once a part of the Health and Safety function are now frequently separate functions. Occupational Health, Safety and Environment and the Quality Management function are now often under the umbrella of the 'Health and Safety Professional'. This has evolved in part due to heightened awareness in today's society and especially the workplace regarding occupational health and environmental issues. The increasing level of adoption of International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 9001 and 14001 standards' specifications globally, in combination with more stringent occupational health, safety and environmental legislation, has led to increased emphasis on effective management of these disciplines. It is expected that further streamlining of these disciplines will continue going forward.
Traits & Talents
The role of the Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) Professional includes advising management on the establishment and implementation of occupational health and safety management systems. It is one which requires a diplomatic approach i.e. one must work through others to achieve health and safety objectives. An advisory approach works best in consultation with the various workplace stakeholders. The advice which the Occupational Health and Safety Professional provides and the job he/she performs will impact the health and safety of employees. The team approach often works best in this type of work environment.
The Occupational Health and Safety discipline frequently places OHS Professionals in situations where they are required to make important decisions with many constraints. Problem-solving skills must be applied on a regular basis. OHS Professionals must possess a high level of knowledge and skill in the development and implementation of programs, systems, procedures and techniques to reduce and eliminate losses associated with accidents and occupational disease.
OHS Professionals may become employed in industries requiring specific health and safety requirements. Before any employer requires someone to work in such an environment, they should ensure that the employee has the required training and certifications necessary to safely and effectively perform the duties assigned.
Potential employment opportunities include: health care, construction, waste management, offshore oil and gas development, manufacturing and government.
- Health and Safety Coordinator
- Occupational Health and Safety Manager
- Loss Prevention Specialist
- Occupational Health and Safety Officer
- Health, Safety and Environment Auditor
- Health and Safety Consultant
- Occupational Health Nurse
- Industrial Hygienist
- Health, Safety, Environment and Quality Advisor