5 Quick Career Tips for Safety Officers
Are you pursuing a career as a safety officer, with the important job of protecting the welfare of the employees at a company? Here are 5 tips that will help you advance your career:
- Seek out the right qualifications
Safety officers need to have the relevant formal qualifications, which vary significantly depending on the industry they work in. For example, the construction, mining, and medical industries all have their own specific qualification requirements, so it’s important to familiarise yourself with them. For general occupational health and safety work, an OHS course accredited by the South African Institute for Occupational Health and Safety (Saiosh) is a good starting point.
To read more about the various qualifications required by different industries, click here.
- Find internationally relevant courses
Studying a course that deals with international OHS standards will benefit your career significantly. The OHS standards set by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), for example, are recognised in around 150 countries. Courses covering these standards will therefore equip you with skills and knowledge that will serve you well in the OHS environment worldwide.
Click here for examples of courses aligned with ISO standards.
Keep in mind that each country still has its own requirements for the various OHS job roles. Studying an ISO-aligned course may help to set you apart from other candidates, but it won’t exempt you from meeting any other qualification criteria that apply.
- Continue to develop professionally
Continuing professional development (CPD) is a non-negotiable requirement for certain members of the health and safety industry, such as technical, graduate, and chartered members of Saiosh. But everyone involved in the OHS industry should take on CPD to sharpen and enhance their skills and to stay up to date on the latest industry issues and trends. By earning CPD points, you also make yourself more eligible for promotion and more attractive to employers.
You can develop professionally by doing research, attending workshops, networking, and enrolling for OHS short courses. By becoming a member of Saiosh, you’ll have numerous opportunities to earn valuable CPD points. Have a look at their CPD policy.
- Develop your personal and interpersonal skills
The job of safety officer requires many skills, including critical thinking, problem-solving, written and verbal communication, attention to detail, and a sense of responsibility.
Any job in OHS is also strongly linked to interacting with people. You’ll be speaking to employees about their concerns, making presentations on health and safety in the workplace, reporting to management and making suggestions for improvements. You need to focus on developing these skills if you want to do your job successfully, so take on personal development courses or any roles outside of your work life that will improve these skills.
- Understand the importance of your job
Your responsibilities as a health and safety officer should never be taken lightly. The well-being of employees has a huge impact on an organisation’s reputation, overall productivity, and staff morale. Showing that you appreciate the importance of your job is one of the best ways to gain respect from your superiors and fellow staff, and to fast track your career in health and safety.
Ready to develop your skills as a health and safety worker? Enrol for an OHS course with Oxbridge Academy.