How Do I Become a Safety Supervisor?

Dan Cavallari

The first step you will need to take if you want to become a safety supervisor is to determine in what industry or job field you would like to work. Safety supervisors can work in a variety of settings, from construction to industrial, or from food processing to office safety. The specific qualifications will vary according to the field in which you intend to work, so you will need to do a bit of research into the steps you will need to take to become a safety supervisor in your chosen field.

Safety supervisors often are promoted from within a company.
Safety supervisors often are promoted from within a company.

Some industries are required by law to have safety supervisors on site at all times to monitor work processes, employee conduct, and machinery use. If you want to become a safety supervisor, you will need to have some specific knowledge or experience in the field in which you will work, and you will need to research the steps outlined by the governing safety agency to find out what you need to do to become certified. In the United States and a few other countries, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) will often dictate the certification steps you will need to take. OSHA may also recommend other certifying agencies depending on the field in which you want to become a safety supervisor.

The qualifications for a safety supervisor vary between industries.
The qualifications for a safety supervisor vary between industries.

One way to become a safety supervisor a little more easily is to take an entry-level position with a company or agency that requires such supervisors. You will need to work your way up through the ranks from the bottom, but the advantage of this route is the possibility that your employer will pay for your training and certification processes. Be prepared to spend several years in the field before you become a safety supervisor; it is likely that you will spend some time working as an assistant to the supervisor or as a lower level safety professional before you become a supervisor yourself.

Familiarize yourself with the local laws and regulations regarding safety in the workplace. You will be in better position to step into supervisory roles if you have a solid understanding of safety rules, regulations, and techniques, as well as specific knowledge of the processes and procedures commonly employed in your specific workplace. By gaining work experience outside the realm of safety but within your industry, you are also showing potential employers that you are knowledgeable and able to balance safety needs with workplace efficiency.

Safety supervisors may work in the mining industry.
Safety supervisors may work in the mining industry.

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