Every single workplace and sector needs to adhere to a certain level of health and safety. Whether it’s a wobbly step on the front entrance to the building, a blocked fire door, or – if working in areas such as construction – not wearing the correct hard hat and clothing, it's the health and safety officer who has to sort it out (and make sure it doesn’t happen again).
Graduates working in health and safety liaise with other departments, line managers and the organisation's senior management to ensure compliance with health and safety legislation.
- monitor staff in the workplace
- run educational training
- run risk assessments
- provide training tools
- monitor contractors
- run audits and workplace inspections
- keep on top of current legislation
The role is vital in all organisations, especially in high risk sectors such as construction and engineering. You'll be making sure you stop accidents (and any ensuing legal action) from ever happening. But you may not be the most popular person in the workplace as you will need to be pedantic for everyone else's sake.
Specific health and safety qualifications, such as the NEBOSH (National Examination Board in Occupational Safety and Health) and IOSH (Institution of Occupational Safety and Health), are usually required, as well as relevant health and safety experience within the specific sector, as regulations will vary. You'll need to be thick-skinned and cunning enough to see flimsy excuses for what they are. Good communication skills and an eye for detail are vital, as well as a caring attitude and a sense of humour.