occupational health and safety specialist

How to Become an Occupational Health and Safety Specialist

Safety and security

Are you looking to become an occupational health and safety specialist? Well, this is a good place to learn how to do exactly that.

In premise, to become one, you need:

  1. A bachelor’s degree
  2. Certification
  3. Continued education (improved likelihood of securing work)

In this article, we will cover what exactly an occupational health and safety specialist is. As well as the exact process for you to become one.

If you’re interested in ensuring the safety of the businesses around you, as well as the people that interact with these businesses, keep reading.

Who Is the Occupational Health And Safety Specialist?

Before we get into becoming an occupational health and safety specialist, we must first understand what they do.

As the Bureau of Labor Statistics outlined, OSHA specialists work in various environments. Including construction sites, government agencies, hospitals, and manufacturing factories. As well as technical service industries and scientific institutions.

The work these individuals perform involves lots of data collection and analysis. Specialists attempt to learn as much as possible about the location. As well as the procedures employed by workers there. The specialists will analyze the data, policies, and procedures enforced at the location. And ensure that they align with regulations and safety law. As well as the assumed environmental impact, health safety.

These individuals will also perform measurements to support their findings and analyze hazards for the potential impact on the people, environment, and workers.

By doing so, the role of occupational health and safety specialists becomes vividly variable. These individuals don’t just work to ensure the well-being of workers. But also to ensure that they are not adversely impacting the local public.

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But That’s Not All That They Area

In addition to checking the policies and work environments against environmental standards and government regulations, specialists will flag any issues within the management. These problems can often extend to workplace safety. Specialists will compare issues they find to existing health regulations in the organization. This is done to determine if employees are following protocol.

From there, specialists will attempt to adjust these procedures and train the managers and staff. And even then, their work is not done and it awaits lots of other attention.

Depending on the industry in which the work is being completed, specialists might choose to take their work to the next level. They will work with managers and supervisors to create new training programs that will address the primary concerns. These efforts will falling their findings, but are also important to:

  1. Ensure best practices for use of safety equipment
  2. Ensure policies are enforced to prevent, eliminate and control disease and injury
  3. To enact procedures to prevent toxic and biological agents from impacting local public
  4. Make improvements in the working conditions for employees

Thus, the role involves more than gathering information and pointing out the problems. These specialists must also be great leaders. They should be able to communicate these programs to address the problems of the moment. As well as treating the conditions of the future.

Now let’s take a look at the process behind becoming one.

Earn Degree

Individuals interested in OSHA will need a bachelor’s degree in the related scientific fields. These programs will instruct students about their legal/professional obligations in the workplace.

Coursework will include hazard identification, health, and safety standards. As well as hazardous materials, waste management, industrial hygiene. Students can also pursue related degrees, such as biology, engineering, and chemistry.

Earn Certification

While certification is not required for work. It is critically important to securing good employment. One can become certified with the American Board of Industrial Hygiene. But also with the Board of Certified Safety Professionals.

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Through either, a specialist can become certified in their given expertise. Whether it’s industrial hygiene or specifical safety on a wider scale. To acquire these certifications, an individual has to meet the necessary criteria. Such as coursework, references, years of experience, and educations.

Not to mention, the person also has to pass the exam. Employers often prefer those who completed their training by OSHA. Participating in OSHA administration courses is welcomed. Specialists will be able to learn more about preventing hazards in the workplace.

To maintain their certification, a specialist must pay a fee on an annual basis and completed their points every five years. Specialists can acquire these points by performing professional services, joining safety organizations. Also by writing exam questions, mentoring, and presenting. As well as going to SafetyFocus virtual conferences.

Continue Education

While a specialist will only need a bachelor’s degree to work. A master’s degree in health physics or industrial hygiene is required for some positions.

Programs in these fields of education study on environmental analysis and sampling. But also airborne contaminant exposure maintenance, and chemical hazard evaluation.

Continued education also addresses radiochemistry and radiobiology. However, a student can choose to opt-in for some other type of specialized training. For instance, particle physics and more.

Become the Next OHSS

Now that you know how to become an occupational health and safety specialist, you are well on your way to doing so. As long as you really want to become one, and you put in enough effort, there is no reason for you not to become one.

It’s your life and your choice. Whatever you choose to do, it will be the right thing to do.

If you’re interested in similar content, feel free to check out the rest of our articles in the business and professional-related categories on the sidebar.

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