There is nothing more important than a person’s health and safety, which is why being a health and safety adviser, requires extensive experience and skills. They will be the person responsible in promoting positive health and a safe culture. Their responsibility spans across occupational hazards, professional risks, health of employees, and safety of the same with an organisation or in a particular location. The adviser will have to work in tandem with those who run a business, coordinate with the employees and make sure they adhere to all the policies and norms laid down the country’s government. The safety regulations, health protection measures all need to be in place and it is the duty of the adviser to check and monitor the same.
The advisers typically work in organisations and factories, ensuring the health policies are in place and safety measures have been implemented. Some of the tasks they will be in charge of are,
- making changes to work environment to make sure it is safe and complies with the regulations
- prepare health & safety policies and strategies that will be followed internally
- carry out periodical risk assessment and provide report on risk levels, and provide suggestions to reduce the risk factor
- outline various safe procedures that takes into account the environment, external factors and hazards
- carry out regular inspections of the site to check and monitor the policies and procedures, ensuring they are implemented correctly
- carry out training for managers and employees on health & safety issues and potential risks
- maintain records of all inspections, the findings and produce reports with suggestions for improvements
- ensure the number of accidents and mishaps are kept at a minimum and people are kept abreast of what to do in case of emergencies.
What to study
When considering going abroad to pursue a career in Health & Safety, then candidates can look at Malaysia as there are several colleges offering good courses in this field. Universiti Teknologi Mara (UITM), Kolej Masterskill Kampus Ipoh and Mahsa University College are good options in this part of the world. If considering going down under for studies, then one should look at Edith Cowan University, Curtin University in Australia where undergraduate courses in Health & Safety are offered. Since it is very important to get a good education, one should also consider applying to Brunel University,University of Greenwich and Heriot-Watt University in UK that offer good post graduate programs in this stream.
Typically, when a person completes their education, they can enter into an organisation as a trainee. They will work under a Health & Safety adviser, learning the ropes and following the procedures. With time, they will get promoted till they become a Health & Safety adviser. Their role would be to ensure all the policies are followed correctly, there are no deviations and if there are any discrepancies then sort them out. They will have a team who will have to be monitored and trained in the various actions and procedures.
To become a health and safety adviser, the student must either study a course and obtain a degree or post graduate degree in health and safety and gain some industry experience on the side. A natural flair for being cautious and noting risk factors will come in handy when the student does pursue a career in this field. A background in safety management, or in engineering, construction, manufacturing or scientific work could be a good launch pad to enter into the Health & safety domain.
Image Credit: Simon Howden