Health and safety advisers/officers develop, maintain and protect health and safety standards within public and private organizations in accordance with current health and safety legislation.
Working in a range of organizations, from multinationals to small consultancies, health and safety advisers plan, implement, monitor and review protective and preventative safety measures.
Employers of Health and Safety Adviser
Health and safety advisers are employed in a variety of settings, including:
- chemicals and allied industries;
- companies involved in the transport network;
- construction companies;
- education and training institutions;
- engineering firms;
- fire and rescue services;
- food, drink and tobacco industries;
- hospitals and clinics;
- hotel and restaurant chains;
- industrial, processing and manufacturing plants;
- large companies with responsibility for many office workers;
- local authorities and government organizations;
- oil and gas companies;
- transport companies;
- universities and colleges.
- investigating/recording incidents, accidents, complaints and cases of ill health
- undertaking risk assessments and site inspections
- ensuring that equipment is installed correctly/safely
- identifying potential hazards
- determining ways of reducing risks
- writing internal health and safety policies/strategies
- compiling statistics
- drawing up safe operational practices and making necessary changes
- writing reports, bulletins and newsletters
- making presentations to groups of employees/managers
- providing health and safety meetings and training courses for employees
- liaising with relevant authorities
- keeping up to date and ensuring compliance with current health and safety legislation
Entry without a degree is possible, provided you achieve an appropriate combination of relevant health and safety qualifications and experience. Short introductory courses are available for those interested in a career as a health and safety adviser and the courses don’t necessarily require a degree.
A background, or experience in, any of the following areas may be useful:
- risk assessment.
- excellent written and spoken communication skills in order to explain health and safety processes to a range of people and to give presentations to groups;
- negotiating skills to convince managers of the need to implement and maintain safety standards that may compromise speed or efficiency in the organization;
- patience and diplomacy because the profession requires a collaborative approach;
- the ability to understand and analyze complex information and present it simply and accurately;
- an investigative mind;
- IT skills;
- attention to detail;
- a flexible approach to work;
- an interest in the law and the ability to understand regulations;
- physical fitness, if your work will involve time on large-scale plants or on outdoor sites;
- a driving licence – essential for jobs involving travel between sites.