A Work Health and Safety Officer is mainly responsible to prevent accidents, injuries and work-related illnesses in the workplace. They are responsible for creating and implementing health and safety policies and procedures in accordance with the latest legislation and to ensure that these policies are implemented within the workplace.
The responsibilities of a Work Health and Safety Officer include, but are not limited to:
- identifying hazards
- assessing, controlling, and where possible eliminating risks in the workplace
- analysing, developing, and implementing work health and safety plans
- reviewing, designing and effecting return-to-work programs
- training employees and contracts in the correct use of equipment (where required)
- recording, reporting and investigating workplace accidents and injuries
- recording and reporting on safety performance
- inspecting, auditing and making recommendations on workplace conditions and hazards
- forming policies and processes to ensure the workplace is compliant with the appropriate legislation
- stay updated with the current legislation, news and technology concerning the WHS industry
- collaborating and liaising with employees, contractors, and other external parties at various levels
If you have been considering a career in work health and safety but aren’t sure if you should complete a qualification in work health and safety, perhaps the following 5 reasons may help you make an informed decision:
#1 The projected job growth over the next 5 years is 2.9%
It has been projected by Job Outlook that between 10,000 to 25,000 more Work Health and Safety professionals are needed in 2020 compared to 2015. Currently, there are nearly 30,000 people employed as occupational and environmental health professionals in Australia and the projected job growth over the next 5 years is 2.9%. . This shows a growth in demand and how crucial the functions of a Work Health and Safety Officers are to our nation.
#2 Employers are looking for tactful and diplomatic WHS officers
As one of Australia’s fast growing sectors, safety is now vital in many industries and workplaces across Australia. Employers are looking for WHS Officers who are tactful and diplomatic, able to work independently or as part of a team, good communication skills, good interpersonal skills, as well as someone who can exercise great discretion and respect for confidentiality and privacy. They also look for personnel who are computer literate, have strong analytical skills and excellent listening and research skills. Most importantly, employers are looking for employees who have integrity and are honest.
#3 Access new career opportunities with income potential up to $142K
(Image source: https://www.payscale.com/research/AU/Job=Compliance_Manager/Salary )
To become a Work Health and Safety officer, a formal qualification is required. By completing the Certificate IV in Work Health and Safety BSB41419 and/or Diploma of Work Health and Safety BSB51319, you’ll be ready to seek out a wide range of new career opportunities and help keep Australians safe. These courses are also an ideal stepping stone to more advanced training which could help you move into more senior roles such as a Senior Compliance Manager with income potential up to $142K. It provides a great foundation of essential health and safety skills you can build on with specialised training.
#4 An essential part of day-to-day work in many Australian industries
Occupational health and workplace safety is an essential part of the day-to-day work in many Australian industries. It is especially important for people working in:
- Transport, Postal & Warehousing
- Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing
- Government Departments
- Human Resources
#5 Advance into senior management roles
Senior managers and executives have a duty to ensure their organisation complies with its duties and obligations under the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 and the Safety Rehabilitation Compensation Act 1988.
The role and influence a person has in the organisation determines if they are considered to be an ‘officer’ under work health and safety laws. Senior managers and executives are almost always ‘officers’ in their organisation.
Therefore, knowing key skills in workplace health and safety is vital when you want to advance into senior jobs, management roles, or even just up-skill within your current job. Show employers you have the right skills to play your part in keeping their safety systems running smoothly.
Click here to download the Employment Outlook Guide for more information.
Interested in becoming a work health and safety officer?
- Complete a Certificate IV in Work Health and Safety BSB41419 and Diploma of Work Health and Safety BSB51319
- Gain 3 years’ full-time experience in an OHS Practitioner role.
- Complete a capability assessment, including complete OHS Practitioner Portfolio Report, referee checks and interviews.
- Renew certification annually and complete ongoing CPD.
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