Wherever people run the risk of personal injury or illness, they are likely to find safety professionals at work. Safety professionals are people who use a wide variety of management, engineering and scientific skills to prevent human suffering and related losses. Their specifi c roles and activities vary widely, depending on their education,experience and the types of organizations for whom they work.
Safety professionals’ precise roles and responsibilities depend on the companies or organizations for whom they work. Different industries have different hazards and require unique safety expertise. However, most
Safety professionals do at least several of the following:
Hazard Recognition : identifying conditions or actions that may cause injury, illness or property damage.
Inspections/Audits : assessing safety and health risks associated with equipment, materials, processes, facilities or abilities.
Fire Protection: reducing fi re hazards by inspection, layout of facilities and processes, and design of fi re detection and suppression systems.
Regulatory Compliance: ensuring that mandatory safety and health standards are satisfied.
Health Hazard Control: controlling hazards such as noise, chemical exposures, radiation, or biological hazards that can create harm.
Ergonomics : improving the workplace based on an understanding of human Physiological and psychological characteristics, abilities and limitations.
Hazardous Materials Management: ensuring that dangerous chemicals and other products are procured, stored, and disposed of in ways that prevent fires, exposure to or harm from these substances.
Environmental Protection: controlling hazards that can lead to undesirable releases of harmful materials into the air,water or soil.
Training: providing employees and managers with the knowledge and skills necessary to recognize hazards and perform their jobs safely and effectively.
Accident and Incident Investigations:determining the facts related to an accident or incident based on witness interviews, site inspections and collection of other evidence.
Advising Management: helping managers establish safety objectives,plan programs to achieve those objectives and integrate safety into the culture of an organization.
Record Keeping: maintaining safety and health information to meet government requirements, as well as to provide data for problem solving and decision-making.
Evaluating: judging the effectiveness of existing safety and health related programs and activities.
Emergency Response: or ganizing, training and coordinating skilled employees with regard to auditory and visual communications pertaining to emergencies such as fires, accidents or
Managing Safety Programs: planning, organizing, budgeting, and tracking completion and effectiveness of activities intended to achieve safety objectives in an organization or to implement administrative or technical controls that will eliminate or reduce hazards.
Product Safety: assessing the probability that exposure to a product during any stage of its lifecycle will lead to an unacceptable impact on human health or the environment and determining the appropriate auditory and visual hazard warnings.
Security: identifying and implementing design features and procedures to protect facilities and businesses from threats that introduce hazards
Successful safety professionals are effective communicators with strong “people skills.” Most people in this profession characteristically possess the desire to help and work with others.
The safety professional faces new challenges almost daily.The satisfaction of knowing that people have been protected because harmful accidents and other incidents have been prevented is just one of the many rewards associated with professional safety practice or “what safety professionals do.”