A certified safety specialist monitors safety in work environments, develops and implements safety programs, and audits workplaces for safety violations. A number of organizations offer certifications at a variety of levels in a range of fields like healthcare and chemical manufacturing. People with an interest in certification may wish to compare and contrast several programs to find the best fit. In some cases, employers have a preference, and may pay for training in the program of their choice.
One part of the job for a certified safety specialist is the development of safety recommendations. New workplaces or facilities that want to revamp their safety standards may bring in a safety consultant. The specialist can discuss the legal safety obligations and the best way to meet these standards. In addition, a certified safety specialist might also bring up generally accepted standards and practices in the industry to help companies keep up with their fields. These practices may not be required by law, but are recommended and expected by the industry as a whole.
Ongoing safety monitoring on the job is also important. A certified safety specialist may keep an eye on working conditions, including in the field at construction sites, oil and gas wells, and similar installations. If problems arise, the safety specialist can determine how to resolve them and may make recommendations to prevent similar issues in the future. Employees with concerns can also meet to report or discuss them. Training for new employees may be offered through the certified safety specialist, who makes sure they are familiar with the safety practices and rules of their employers.
Safety audits can be performed by a certified safety specialist. This usually occurs in the role of a third party consultant, rather than regular company employee. The specialist can review standards and protocols, watch people on the job, interview employees, and inspect safety equipment. All of this information is used in a report to inform the company about its level of adherence to safety regulations and its own internal standards. If the auditor uncovers irregularities, the report may include recommendations for resolving them.
Government agencies may also hire certified safety specialists. They use people with training and industry experience to perform inspections as well as public outreach and education. The specialist may travel to a variety of sites to assist companies with safety programs, inform workers about their rights, and evaluate safety in the workplace.