What Does an Occupational Safety Consultant Do?

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The Role and Function of an Occupational Safety Consultant

Organizations can get valuable assistance from occupational safety consultants in their efforts to:

  • Workplace safety hazards can be avoided by protecting employees
  • Respect federal and state safety and health regulations

Exposure to electrical wiring, toxic fumes and repetitive motion can all pose dangers to workers. Both legally and ethically, organizations have a responsibility to reduce or eliminate hazards on the job.

Organizations can rely on occupational safety consultants to help them meet their obligations. They carefully examine work environments in order to find potential hazards. This includes analyzing policies, equipment, procedures, and the layout of workspaces to identify any potential hazards that could put employees at risk.

Occupational safety consultants might check to make sure that hazardous chemicals are properly labeled and tracked according to OSHA standards. And, Occupational safety consultants might also inspect equipment such as guillotine cutting machines to ensure they have the required protective guards to prevent accidents.

Occupational safety consultants identify safety and health problems and provide solutions. They may also help companies develop and implement strategies to reduce risk and foster a safety culture.

These are the main responsibilities of an occupational safety consultant:

Troubleshooting Safety Hazards

The first step in identifying workplace safety hazards is risk assessment. This includes:

  • Recognizing hazards and risks
  • How they might affect you
  • How to control them by determining where safety measures can be implemented

An organization may require a broad risk assessment that covers all work activities and tasks. They may also have a particular area in mind. They may hire an occupational safety consultant to evaluate potential hazards related to dangerous substances produced or used on-site.

Occupational safety consultants review the records and history of workplace accidents to identify potential issues and areas that need attention.

Eliminating or controlling risks

OSHA safety consultants identify risks and hazards and then find solutions. This could include buying new machinery, changing work habits, or redesigning work environments. A hoist can be purchased to prevent injury from workers who haul heavy materials.

Sometimes it’s impossible to eliminate all risks. Occupational safety consultants can help you to reduce them. They might recommend that highly toxic chemicals be replaced with less toxic ones. And improving ventilation systems to eliminate noxious fumes from work areas or moving machines to areas where fewer people are exposed to them.

Other options that occupational safety consultants might suggest are:

  • Barriers can be used to protect workers from potential dangers
  • Rotating employees’ jobs so that they don’t get injured from repetitive motions
  • To reduce human error, clear workspaces of any unnecessary items
  • To limit misuse, color coding tools are used according to the job.

Safety Programs:

Organizations can also get safety programs developed by occupational safety consultants. These programs cover all aspects of safety management, including:

  • How to manage hazards
  • Reporting incidents and accidents
  • Be prepared for an emergency

Safety programs are plans that outline safety practices and measures for certain activities. They also take into account governmental regulations. These programs provide employees with information on how to deal with everything, from spillage in the breakroom to an explosion at work.

The components of safety programs include:

  • What actions to take when you face various safety incidents
  • Use safe handling techniques and practices
  • Use to wear Protective gear
  • Training plans
  • Evacuation routes
  • How to dispose of equipment or waste

Supervising safety training

Employees remember effective training so that they can respond quickly to unexpected safety or health issues.

Many organizations hire occupational safety consultants to help them manage effective safety training programs. These programs help employees to be safe in their work. OSHA standards and rules are also covered during training sessions. These sessions help to prevent accidents. This gives workers the information they need in order to perform their job efficiently and accurately.

Training programs that work are successful provide sessions for employees when they are hired when their work assignments change and also on a yearly basis. Basic safety training is required for all employees. Forklift operators, for example, need both safety training and instruction on how to use the forklift.

There are also other types of training:

  • Accident prevention
  • Incident response
  • Use of personal protective equipment (PPE).
  • OSHA guidelines require incident reporting

Occupational Safety Consultant Education and Skills

The right education and skills are essential for occupational safety consultants to be successful. These steps will help aspirants become successful occupational safety consultants.

Step 1: Get a Bachelor’s degree

A bachelor’s degree can be earned in occupational safety or a related field like chemistry, biology or engineering. This will give occupational safety consultants a strong foundation. This degree can give you the necessary knowledge to conduct risk assessments and devise safe measures.

Step 2: Get a Master’s degree

A master’s degree in industrial hygiene is often required to have the level of expertise that occupational safety consultants require. They learn advanced techniques to develop engineering and administrative controls for workplace hazards.

Step 3: Get Experience

Occupational safety consultants require extensive experience to be able to identify hazards and troubleshoot potential risks. Practical experience is a great way to sharpen your skills as an occupational safety consultant. It also allows you to put what you have learned into practice.

Step 4: Get certified

Although not required, occupational safety consultants can benefit from obtaining a certification in occupational safety and health. Both the American Board of Industrial Hygiene (ABIH) and the Board of Certified Safety Professionals (Board of Certified Safety Professionals) offer certifications that require experience and passing exams.

The Skills to Success

Occupational safety consultants need to have a deep understanding of safety regulations in all levels of government, including state and local. They also need to be able to identify and implement strategies that address safety and health hazards. Some required skills for their job:

Analytical Skills

An occupational safety consultant is often responsible for collecting and analysing information. Occupational safety consultants need to think critically and solve problems when assessing safety risks or determining training needs.

Communication skills

If an occupational safety consultant is unable to clearly communicate their findings and recommend solutions, it will be difficult for them to identify and solve problems. Occupational safety consultants must communicate their ideas clearly in simple terms to make them understandable to workers of all backgrounds. For writing and presenting reports, they must also be able to speak fluently.

Interpersonal skills

To be effective in training workers and managers and to reach mutually beneficial agreements regarding safety programs, occupational safety consultants must build trust with them. This requires the ability to work together, build relationships, and listen actively.

Salary and Job Outlook for Occupational Safety Consultant

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, occupational safety consultants earned a median annual salary of $76,340 in May 2020. The highest-earning occupational safety consultants earned more than $112,000.

According to the BLS, there will be a 4 per cent growth in occupational safety consultant jobs between 2019-2029. This is comparable to the average growth rate for all occupations.

Notable is the fact that more than a 1.1million people were hurt on the job in 2019, according to the BLS. Nearly 30% of these injuries caused the worker to miss more than a month of work. In the same year, 5333 workers died due to work-related injuries. This is a 2 per cent increase over the previous year. These figures highlight the importance of occupational safety consultants.

Encourage safety and health at work

Poor ventilation, chemical exposures, spills and other hazards are all reasons why workers fall ill or even die every year. Organizations can avoid these terrible losses by consulting an occupational safety expert and other experts in the field.

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