If you are considering to start a career that ensures the safety of others, then become a construction health and safety officer. You’ll never be short of work, and you’ll be well paid for the important job you perform. Keep on reading to find out how to become a health and safety officer in construction.

1. What does a health and safety officer do in construction? 

Health and safety officers are those who are in charge of ensuring that organizations and employees follow health and safety duties and responsibilities. They in charge of health and safety help to prevent injuries, accidents, and other health issues. They are also known as safety officers or health and safety advisers.

What does a health and safety officer do?

A health and safety officer often performs these following duties:

  • Developing and implementing processes to assist reduce the possibility of workplace accidents
  • Examining building sites for potential dangers or potentially dangerous circumstances
  • Identifying any malfunctioning equipment and tools
  • Training workers on how to utilize construction tools and equipment safely
  • Performing a safety inquiry in the event of an accident
  • Creating policies to prevent accidents
  • Conducting occupational safety and health training for all employees on issues such as fire prevention strategies and correct handling of hazardous chemicals
  • Providing the necessary safety documents and employee safety records

>> Read more: Problems of Health and Safety in Construction

2. Health and safety officer salary and working conditions

A full-time work health and safety officer earns an average yearly income of $66,786. This equates to a pay rate of $29.33 per hour.  Salaries vary widely based on the industry, the size of the company you work for, and your degree of experience and education.

how to become a health and safety officer in construction
How much can a health and safety officer earn?

Building safety officers can operate in a variety of environments, including construction sites, offices, and factories. These professionals may also spend the majority of their time in the field, which may need some travel.

Because you may be working in hazardous environments and situations as a construction safety officer, it is usual to use gloves, helmets, respirators, and other safety equipment to protect yourself while on the job.

>> Suggested article: Occupational Diseases in Construction Industry

3. How to become a construction safety officer?

3.1. Qualifications and training for health and safety officers

In order to work in the area of construction, many employees are also required  work experience, safety training, online safety training, or safety qualifications specialized to the construction industry. Many health and safety consultants will begin their careers with a bachelor’s degree in construction management, engineering or occupational health and safety fields. Prior expertise in building, engineering, manufacturing, or scientific work can also be beneficial before taking on this career.

A degree in occupational health and safety may focus on topics such as construction site safety training, legislation, and management. Construction safety officers can study OSHA regulations, important principles, and components of occupational health and safety regardless of their degree program.

To work as a health and safety officer on the construction sites, you may also need a CSCS Green Card. Learn and take CSCS Practice Test right now to be well-prepared for the CSCS exam and get your CSCS card.

3.2. Skills a construction health and safety officer needs

Having specific skills and traits is extremely helpful if you want to become a good construction safety officer.

  • Technology skills: 

As a construction safety officer, you may be required to know how to run software programs or machinery using computers and other complex kinds of technology. You’ll have to produce a lot of reports and give a lot of presentations. Employers, therefore, value employees who are familiar with Microsoft software such as Word and PowerPoint. Because different firms utilize different types of software, it also helps if you’re comfortable learning new technology.

  • Communication skills: 

Construction safety officers may be required to communicate well in order to provide safety information to construction site workers and management, hence being a skilled communicator is one of the top safety officer qualifications. 

This position needs interaction with people at all levels of a company. You must be able to communicate your point clearly and effectively, both verbally and in writing. When communicating about safety, it’s critical to be concise and direct. Clarity is important, especially in a workforce that is so diverse in terms of cultures, races, and languages.

Equip yourself with multi-skills to help you become a good health and safety officer
  • Attention to detail: 

Do you have a good sense of observance? Are you adept at recognizing changes in your surroundings or things that could become a potential problems? During worksite walk-throughs and inspections, safety inspectors must be able to identify possible dangers. That involves exceptional observational abilities. You must be able to spot hazards and harmful conditions in order to take appropriate action.

  • Decision-making and problem-solving skills: 

Sound decision-making and problem-solving skills are critical when it comes to safety. To keep all employees safe, safety officers must work to uncover problems and propose solutions. That implies you must be able to collect relevant data, analyze it, and devise a solution.

  • Being organized: 

The workplace will be safer if it is well-organized. Being disorganized can lead to mistakes and carelessness, which can be disastrous in a position with so much responsibility. In addition, juggling many projects is an important safety officer talent. You will be more appealing to potential employers if you can keep organized and operate effectively in a fast-paced workplace.

  • Physical strength: 

A health and safety officer also need a great foundation for strength. Because the job of a construction safety officer can be physically demanding, being physically fit may be advantageous.

3.3. How long does it take to become a construction health and safety officer?

There is no fixed amount of time required to become a health and safety officer. You might not need a degree, but you will need certain specialized skills in occupational health and safety. It can take from 1 to 5 years to develop knowledge and skills to become a safety officer, depending on how much responsibility and advice you want to take on.

In summary, Health and Safety is an important issue in every industries, especially in a hazardous area like construction. Everyone wants to get home safely after a hardworking day. That is why the roles of a health and safety officer is very important. You have found out the basic information on how to become a health and safety officer. If you’re passionate about safety in the construction sector, consider applying for this position to help prevent injuries and fatalities.