Occupational Health and Safety Officer

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Occupational Health and Safety Officers coordinate health and safety systems in an organisation. They identify hazards, assess risks to health and safety, put appropriate safety controls in place and provide advice on accident prevention and occupational health to management and employees.

Some of the duties and tasks for an Occupational Health and Safety Officer include promotion and education of health and safety practices and legislation, assisting with rehabilitation of workers, developing policies and procedures, inspecting workplaces and the machinery and equipment used in the workplace, in regards to safety regulations.

Occupational Health and Safety Officers can specialise as Ergonomists and Occupational Hygienists. Ergonomists investigate the design and use of equipment and systems, and examines their suitability for human operators. They may also advise on psychological factors affecting work performance. An Occupational Hygienist identifies and investigates problems of chemical and biological hazards in the workplace and alerts managers and professionals to possible health risks. They use scientific equipment to measure and control hazardous substances.

Occupational Health and Safety Officers can come from a wide range of backgrounds including areas such as health, law or human resources. There are a number of postgraduate study options available in the area of occupational health and safety, though such qualifications are not mandatory for employment.