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What is a Health and Safety Officer?

Health and Safety is a pretty broad job description. There are plenty of jobs in health and safety, and their individual responsibilities can vary dramatically.

Today, we want to focus on the responsibilities of a Health and Safety Officer. Health and Safety Officers are prominent employees in most companies, and they hold key responsibilities that keep employees, customers, and others safe.

So, let’s get started.

1: Auditing and Inspections

This is the most basic responsibility of a Health and Safety Officer. As a company is going about its daily work processes, certain rules and guidelines need to be followed to ensure that everyone operating within the company, and anyone receiving items that come out of that company’s production facility, is safe. If they find that there have been corners cut, this can result in fatalities or incidents that have serious ramifications. If an incident happens which needs a deep cleaning or biohazard removal, for instance, and they have missed this, they too can be scrutinized and reprimanded for their work, so they have to be on top form each time.

So, Health and Safety Officers will perform routine inspections directly on the production floor (or wherever they’re supposed to conduct their duties), and try to find things that are against the company’s policies or the law. These can be employee mistakes, unsafe equipment conditions, or anything else that doesn’t meet expectations.

They will then take the information they’ve gathered and approach management with it to ensure that corrections are made.

It’s key that a Health and Safety Officer performs this duty to the utmost of their abilities and by the books, because if they don’t, a workplace accident can occur, and someone can get seriously hurt.

2: Investigations

When something does go wrong, it’s the safety officer’s job to get to the bottom of what happened, why it happened, and how it can be fixed. They will usually work alongside management to ensure that proper actions are being taken.

3: Report and Catalogue

Businesses have gotten very complex over the years. Now, every single bit of data is micromanaged and used to make the company as efficient as possible. It’s near-robotic behavior, honestly.

This also applies to health and safety data. Everything, and we mean everything, is recorded and reported to management or a central system by the Health and Safety Officer in charge. That data is used for numerous things, but typically, it is used to find ways to make the workplace safer.

For instance, this data might reveal that a lot of employees are having incidents on a certain machine. Rather than assuming all of the employees are at fault, an investigation of the machine might be conducted to see if it’s causing the issues.

4: Equipment and Product Inspections

Health and Safety Officers will inspect the equipment being used and any products being developed to ensure they’re being made to specifications and are safe for both the employees to use and for customers to get their hands on, depending on what is being inspected.

For instance, they may look into the measures enforced by a company in order to ensure the safety of its employees, especially those working in the manufacturing unit. This can include whether or not the workers are provided with helmets, gloves (similar to Unigloves, for instance), shoes, or any other item. Similarly, they may look into the standards maintained for manufacturing the different products and whether specific guidelines are followed or not during the process.

Health and Safety Officers have Important Jobs

As you can see, the responsibilities of health and safety officers are pretty vast. They don’t just inspect things and tell management. More so, a lot of these critical responsibilities have real consequences if they’re not carried out perfectly.