Health and Safety of each worker is one of the most valuable requirements to keep operating in in an industry. There are guidelines set for each industry type and we have people to guard and implement these rules for everyone’s benefit. These are our Occupational Health Officers (OHS). Some call them as Occupational Hazard Specialist, Safety officer, Inspector, and commonly as Occupational Health and Safety Specialist.
What does it take to become one of them? Let’s start by knowing who they are.
What is an OHS Officer?
OHS officer is federal, municipal, or provincial employee hired specifically to supervise the health and safety of worksites like offices, mines, constructions sites, plants etc. They are responsible in making sure that sites are strictly abiding to quality and safety standards set by the state they work for.
Duties of an OHS Officer
There are a lot to mention. But below are most basic and most important at the same time.
- Audit worksite’s equipment, tools and materials, and, hazard preventing devices used, environmental effects of the worksite, and even first aide paraphernalia used to ensure no hazards to safety and workers’ health and enforce regulations according to the health and safety set by law.
- Scrutinize cases of deaths and injuries within the workplace , analyze health issues and grievances, and validate reasons why some employees disagree to work on dangerous grounds
- They impose that employers and employees join in to programs set for safety and health and contribute advise to promote and foster safe and healthy custom in the site and resolve conflicts arising from health hazard issues between employers and their workers
Work Condition of an OHS Officer
OHS officers work in the field most of the time to assess working conditions. No exact work hours because they need to be around during business hours of the site they are assigned to inspect. Possible overtime may be required especially after an undesirable event that brought casualties and misfortune to the workers. They will definitely experience these hazards because they also need to inspect every inch place of the site and this involves possible climbing high rise buildings, walking dirty mines and inhaling gases construction sites. They also are endangered to get inflicted with some contagious diseases present which may have affected the workers because OHS officers need to talk to the people in the site too. If they have spare time after the field job, they report to offices in central or possibly a regional headquarters.
Educational Requirements of an OHS Officer
- Academically speaking, no standard training or education is required. However employers prefer to hire an OHS who possesses a degree either in engineering, sciences, mechanics or equivalent diploma in post-secondary level. There are Universities that offer specific courses for OH&S Officer aspirants.
- One important thing an OHS officer must have is knowledge in technology and updated of the legislation related to safety and health to be effective in counseling and encourage everyone in the worksite
- Some work site may also require related studies in chemistry, physics, medicine, microbiology and even nursing. So it is also advised to get diplomas for these too.
- Advance Computer literacy is an advantage
Occupation and Progress of an OHS Officer
Because OHS officers are hired by most large and mid-sized companies and it varies to the type of industry, the advancement in their employment differs as well. It is but fair enough to grant promotion including pay increase to those with better educational attainment. But it is easy to get educational requirements. Factors to determine advancement will be:
- Size of occupation – meaning the demand of such work
- Growth of occupation- if there are new designation opened that were not offered before
- Number of people leaving the exiting posts
- Trends affecting the demand of work in a certain location.
What is more important to pursue after the passing the academic requisites is get hands-on training and develop skills. Pursue further related studies while at work so you earn while you learn, be on top of your career and get skilled ready for next challenging role. Offers will come soon.