It Takes Leadership to Improve Safety
Occupational health and safety specialists analyze many types of work environments and work procedures. Specialists inspect workplaces for adherence to regulations on safety, health, and the environment. They also design programs to prevent disease or injury to workers and damage to the environment.
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Occupational health and safety specialists typically do the following:
- Identify chemical, physical, radiological, and biological hazards in the workplace
- Collect samples of potentially toxic materials for analysis
- Inspect and evaluate workplace environments, equipment, and practices to ensure that safety standards and government regulations are being followed
- Recommend measures to help protect workers from potentially hazardous work conditions
- Investigate accidents to identify their causes and to determine how they might be prevented in the future
Specialists seek to increase worker productivity by reducing absenteeism and equipment downtime. They also seek to save money by lowering insurance premiums and workers’ compensation payments and by preventing government fines. Some specialists develop and conduct employee safety and training programs. These programs cover a range of topics, such as how to use safety equipment correctly and how to respond in an emergency.
The tasks of occupational health and safety specialists vary by industry, workplace, and types of hazards affecting employees.
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