Health and safety inspector: job description
Health and safety inspectors check that buildings and other work sites are safe.
Health and safety inspectors monitor work sites to check that they're safe for people to work at. A large amount of their time is spent visiting properties such as factories, farms, offices, schools, construction sites, quarries and shops, where premises, equipment and procedures need to be checked for compliance with health and safety legislation.
Other responsibilities of the job include:
- investigating accidents and complaints
- closely examining equipment and machinery to ensure compliance with health and safety regulations, taking photographs where required
- considering the appropriateness of protective equipment and ensuring employees have everything they need to work safely
- writing reports
- serving legal notices
- recording infringements of the law
- providing employers with advice and information on health and safety
- gathering and preparing legal evidence
- providing prosecution evidence in court.
Typical employers of health and safety inspectors
- The Health and Safety Executive (HSE)
- Local authorities
- Large organisations with responsibility for many properties, such as care homes
Opportunities are advertised online on generalist job sites as well as on the websites of specialist publications such as the Municipal Journal. Senior roles are likely to be advertised on the HSE website.
Qualifications and training required
You'll generally need an accredited health and safety qualification to become a health and safety inspector. Many recruiters ask for a NEBOSH diploma as it's accredited by the Institution of Occupational Health and Safety. This is a degree-level course that you can study at a variety of institutions, as well as online.
Key skills for health and safety inspectors
Employers seek people with good communication skills, as they may need to explain complex legal terms to people unfamiliar with them. Other essential qualities and skills include:
- the ability to learn and retain detailed legal, technical and commercial information
- a calm manner
- the ability to work in a team.