Have you got what it takes to be a health and safety adviser?
If you’re interested in a job as a health and safety adviser, there are a few things you should know before you steer your career in this direction. In this blog, we take a look at what it takes to be successful in this field of work, and what you can do to improve your chances of securing a role.
Are you suitably qualified?
Before you can even apply for a job as a health and safety adviser, you’ll need to make sure you’re suitably qualified. To get yourself noticed by employers, you'll need to have a degree, a master’s degree or a postgraduate diploma that’s acknowledged by the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health.
You could also take an approved qualification through a professional examination body. For example, you could complete the National Examination Board in Occupational Safety and Health (NEBOSH) International General Certificate in Occupational Safety and Health. This course is recommended for those who are keen on gaining a strong knowledge and understanding of health and safety.
However, to really stand out from the crowd, you could take your studies one step further and complete the degree-level NEBOSH International Diploma in Occupational Safety and Health. Specialists Sheilds point out that this certification puts more of an emphasis on best practice in regards to safety management, making you more appealing to employers and boosting your career prospects after teaching.
Do you have the right skill set?
As a health and safety adviser, you’ll be expected to have a certain set of skills. For example, a large part of your role will involve explaining safety issues to clients, so it’s vital that you’re a clear, confident communicator. You’ll also need to be able to present complex information, such as the details of government rules and regulations, in an easy-to-understand format.
In your role you may be be expected to carry out regular risk assessments and inspections, as well as investigations into accidents in the workplace. As a result, having excellent attention to detail and being extremely organised is crucial.
It also helps if you have a knack for problem-solving and negotiating, as well as having good IT skills.
Are you prepared to work in different industries?
From public sector fields such as healthcare and education, to construction, engineering and manufacturing, there is an element of health and safety in most types of organisations. To get a role as an adviser, it helps to be flexible and prepared to work in different industries, adapting your knowledge and expertise to the job at hand. For example, if you choose a role in a school, you will be required to help staff and pupils to understand and manage risks so that the children can experience a wide range of activities safely. You may be tasked with helping the school follow relevant legislation in relation to school trips, reporting accidents and injuries and ensuring that procedures such as obtaining written parental consent for activities that take place outside of school hours are being followed. Your expertise will also be pivotal in helping the school to put together a suitable health and safety policy.
As long as you’re qualified, possess the right set of skills and you’re up for a challenge, you should find that you’re perfectly suited to a career as a health and safety adviser.