Working as a Safety Consultant

Monday, June 22, 2020, 6:00 PM | Leave Comment

A professional safety consultant uses multiple skills, such as an ability to get and evaluate information to determine compliance with standards, problem solving skills, using industry specific knowledge and communication skills necessary when dealing with supervisors, peers, or subordinates. 

What Does A Safety Consultant Do?

Health and safety is an important part of every business. Business owners are responsible for creating safe work environments where the employees, clients, and visitors are protected.

Health and safety engineers combine knowledge of systems engineering and of health or safety to develop systems, technology, processes and procedures that reduce or eliminate any risks and hazards and create healthy environments for everyone. They keep property, including buildings, furniture and machinery, from getting damaged, and people getting injured or ill.

Here are some examples of different types of health and safety consultants:

  • Fire prevention and protection consultant

    They are responsible for identifying potential risks, designing systems that reduce the effects of fire, protect property, and keep people safe – especially in high hazard industries. They may suggest specific fire-resistant materials or specific fire detection and suppression equipment. It requires knowledge from several different fields, such as science, engineering, technology, environmental health and safety and construction.

  • Product safety consultant

    Evaluate product design for safety, identify physical, chemical, and other types of hazards, assess the risks, and recommend solutions that prevent accidents or injuries by detecting, reducing and eliminating product safety issues.

  • Systems safety consultant

    Analyse all safety requirements as well as hazards and risks associated with system designs. They may recommend modifications to existing designs to resolve safety issues. They work in many fields where safety systems are essential, such as medical safety, software safety, and environmental safety. By their unique approach to hazard identification and risk issues not identified by other processes.

  • How to Become A Safety Consultant

    Health and safety consultants draw on knowledge from different fields. They often have an electrical, chemical, mechanical, safety, civil or industrial engineering degree or come to the field with experience in occupational or industrial hygiene. They take additional courses and more training to get all the required certifications. Employers value experience in high-risk industries or safety related fields.

  • Education

    Very often, you will be required to complete a Bachelor of Engineering degree to become a professional engineer which is one of the best ways to become a safety consultant.

    Typically, a 4-year full time bachelor’s degree includes classroom, laboratory, and field studies. The courses may include engineering materials, engineering mathematics, decision analysis, chemistry, physics, probability and risk analysis and more. There are also other course that are not directly related to engineering, such as psychology, yet they provide you with knowledge and skills every health and safety consultant needs.

    Majoring in the branch in which you want to work in the future will help you become an expert in the field, for example, if you are planning to become a fire protection engineer you will need to understand fire safety engineering principles, building regulations, human behaviour and risk assessment and other topics.

    If you are interested in software safety engineering, you will focus on getting a degree in computer science and they take other courses as required.

    Cooperative-education programs that many colleges and universities offer, are designed to allow students to gain practical, up-to-date, relevant industry experience while completing their education.

    Another option is a 5-year accelerated program that offers both a bachelor’s and a master’s degree as well as better career opportunities.

  • Soft skills required

    • Important Qualities
      Apart from all the required qualifications, to succeed in as a health and safety officer you need a specific set of skills and qualities that employers are looking for.

    • Creativity
      Health and safety engineers benefit from lateral thinking skills and creativity. It allows them to find solutions and apply them to existing designs.

    • Critical-thinking skills
      Critical thinking is an essential skill which health and safety engineers should be practicing. Critical thinking requires the cognitive skills of analysing, applying standards, logical reasoning, and also flexibility, confidence, and intuition.

    • Observational skills
      A successful health and safety consultant has an eye for detail. High-level observational skills are crucial in this job. You have to pay attention to the systems, environment, and people’s behaviour to identify hazards and risks and reduce them effectively.

    • Problem-solving skills
      Health and safety engineers need the ability to solve problems and find the best solutions to correct, reduce or eliminate any safety issues. Problem-solving skills include working out people’s response to possible changes introduced to create safer environments.

    • Communication skills
      Health and safety engineers must be able to communicate effectively with staff and clients. Clear communication is crucial to reduce frustration, stress and unnecessary risks caused by misunderstandings.

      Communication skills include reading skills which are important in health and safety engineering work to correctly interpret federal and state regulations before applying them to support safety practices.

  • Advancement

    Like in many other fields and professions, entry-level health and safety engineers usually work under the supervision of experienced engineers. The new engineers who have a graduate degree in engineering or a Master of Public Health (MPH) degree, can move to more difficult projects that allow for greater independence and responsibility.

    Health and safety engineers with an advanced degree can also develop and implement safety programs and training. Management positions require as a minimum, a certification as a safety professional or as an industrial hygienist. The better your qualifications and certifications, the better your chances of getting your dream job that is right for your career path.

    One more thing for safety consultants to consider is the risks they face when working with clients. One small mistake or error could lead to big financial loss and health hazards. Getting insurance for health and safety consultants is important as well. Find out more about consultant insurance on Bizinsure website.

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