Those looking to enter into other occupational safety and health careers need to be highly familiar in industry-specific disciplines. Much of this background can be gained through courses like an Online Master of Science in Safety, Security, and Emergency Management; which has been recognized by employers as a reputable educational program. With so much riding on safety training, it’s critical to have a solid foundation of knowledge gained from a previous education. It’s possible to acquire these necessary skills by way of an OSHA safety consultant.
OSHA, or the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, is the lead federal agency for workplace safety. Its mission is to safely protect employees by creating a safe work environment for everyone, and this includes the employer. The organization works with employers to create policies that will decrease work related injuries and illnesses, while encouraging employee productivity. A safety consultant is hired when an employer is considering adding any new employee, when one needs advice on an existing policy, or when there has been an injury or fatality in the workplace.
The field of occupational health and safety consultants is vast, but a few disciplines are more common than others. Consultants typically focus on a specific area such as ergonomics, communication problems, environmental issues, and medical compliance. These professionals are also responsible for implementing employers’ safety policies and offering support following an accident or incident.
One advantage of working as a safety consulting professional is that training and certification is not required. As a matter of fact, there are no formal education or licensing requirements. However, before embarking on a career path as a safety consultant, potential employers will want to ensure that you have at least a bachelor’s degree and at least two years of experience working in a similar role. An understanding of OSHA and personal safety practices is also helpful.
There are several professional organizations that provide training and certification in safety consulting. In particular, the American Society of Safety Executives (ASSE) offers courses and educational seminars that help individuals learn about the laws and regulations that govern occupational health and safety practices. In addition, the Occupational Safety and Health Association (OSHA) offers courses and educational seminars focusing on the importance of safe workplaces. Other professional organizations that can be of assistance to potential safety consultants include the Association of Specialized Safety Professionals (ASSP) and the International Society of Professional Engineers (ISPE). Many businesses choose to work with these professional organizations as they can provide additional expertise and guidance when it comes to hiring, training, developing safety practices, and monitoring compliance.
Working as a safety consultant can be both a rewarding and challenging profession. The role requires great deal of dedication and patience, as safety professionals are often required to perform a number of duties simultaneously. This, in turn, requires that the individual be organized, detail-oriented, and have the capability to communicate effectively and compassionately with all individuals assigned to work in the workplace. Graduates and those just entering the safety consulting industry can take pride in knowing that these professionals are making a positive difference in the world.