What do Occupational Health and Safety Specialists Do?
Occupational health and safety specialists perform health and safety inspections to ensure that people are not affected by biological, physical or chemical issues. Occupational health and safety specialists design procedures to prevent and eliminate disease at work and other public environments.
Occupational Health and Safety Specialists Skills and Abilities
Occupational health and safety specialists need to fantastic problem solvers. The issues that you work with are serious and time-sensitive. You have to be able to make quick, yet sound judgments. If a situation is complex, you have to act quickly and find the best course of actions when it comes to eliminating serious biological threats. You will read and write reports often, so you have to have great reading comprehension skills and written expression. You will need to be able to not only write down your ideas, but make them easy to understand so you can convey them to your superiors, co-workers, and the general public.
Occupational Health and Safety Specialists Duties
As an occupational health and safety specialist, it’s your responsibility to ensure the safety of the public. If you are made aware of a possible threat to public safety, you will be in charge of suspending public activities and closing down businesses or events until the matter is resolved. This could be anything from making a phone call to speaking at a press release. Once you are aware of a threat, you are responsible for inspecting the area. You need to run tests and investigate all of the equipment and items in the area. You will look for common safety measures such as maintained equipment and proper ventilation. If you do find that an area has been exposed to hazardous waste, an infectious disease, or another threat, you will need to conduct the transport of waste, coordinate cleanups, and anything else that needs to be done to make the area safe again. In addition to immediate threats, you will need to coordinate public events for awareness and prevention so people will know how to prevent problems from occurring, signs that there is a problem, and what to do in the event of an emergency.
Occupational Health and Safety Specialists Tools and Technology
Occupational health and safety specialists use many different tools and technologies to do their job. You will need to use different types of samplers and collectors to run tests. These include air sampling pumps and samplers to trap particles in the air for sampling. You will use gas detector tubes that absorb any gasses that are in the air and test them. Swabs and syringes are often used to check pollutants and bacteria on people’s skin and diseases in their blood.Technology is an important part of the career. You will access many different types of computer software. You will have software for employee and public training and awareness programs. You will have other software to log samples that you take, along with your findings from the results. You will need to access other databases from time to time and be able to make presentations when dealing with threats or providing public training.
Education and Training Occupational Health and Safety Specialists
To become an occupational health and safety specialist, you need to obtain your bachelor’s degree. You will take classes such as occupational health, environmental health, and occupational safety.
Occupational Health and Safety Specialists Salary
The average salary of an occupational health and safety specialist is $69,200 per year. Washington D.C. has the highest paid occupational health and safety specialists at $82,300 per year. Other states with pay that is above the national average include
- Rhode Island
- New Jersey
Occupational Health and Safety Specialists Jobs by Geography
There are 62,900 occupational health and safety specialists in the United States. The states with the most employees are California and Texas with more than 7,000 each. The rest of the states have between 100 and 2,000.