What does an Occupational Health and Safety Specialist do?

Review, evaluate, and analyze work environments and design programs and procedures to control, eliminate, and prevent disease or injury caused by chemical, physical, and biological agents or ergonomic factors. May conduct inspections and enforce adherence to laws and regulations governing the health and safety of individuals. May be employed in the public or private sector. Includes environmental protection officers.

Jobs Roles

  • Order suspension of activities that pose threats to workers' health or safety.
  • Recommend measures to help protect workers from potentially hazardous work methods, processes, or materials.
  • Investigate accidents to identify causes or to determine how such accidents might be prevented in the future.
  • Investigate the adequacy of ventilation, exhaust equipment, lighting, or other conditions that could affect employee health, comfort, or performance.
  • Develop or maintain hygiene programs, such as noise surveys, continuous atmosphere monitoring, ventilation surveys, or asbestos management plans.
  • Inspect or evaluate workplace environments, equipment, or practices to ensure compliance with safety standards and government regulations.
  • Collaborate with engineers or physicians to institute control or remedial measures for hazardous or potentially hazardous conditions or equipment.
  • Conduct safety training or education programs and demonstrate the use of safety equipment.
  • Provide new-employee health and safety orientations and develop materials for these presentations.
  • Collect samples of dust, gases, vapors, or other potentially toxic materials for analysis.
  • Investigate health-related complaints and inspect facilities to ensure that they comply with public health legislation and regulations.
  • Coordinate "right-to-know" programs regarding hazardous chemicals or other substances.
  • Maintain or update emergency response plans or procedures.
  • Develop or maintain medical monitoring programs for employees.
  • Inspect specified areas to ensure the presence of fire prevention equipment, safety equipment, or first-aid supplies.
  • Conduct audits at hazardous waste sites or industrial sites or participate in hazardous waste site investigations.
  • Collect samples of hazardous materials or arrange for sample collection.
  • Maintain inventories of hazardous materials or hazardous wastes, using waste tracking systems to ensure that materials are handled properly.
  • Prepare hazardous, radioactive, or mixed waste samples for transportation or storage by treating, compacting, packaging, and labeling them.
  • Perform laboratory analyses or physical inspections of samples to detect disease or to assess purity or cleanliness.
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