WHS Officer

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Workplace Health and Safety Officer [Safety inspectors] visit workplaces to ensure that they are adhering to government and industry standards for occupational health and safety, from busy factories in the state's busy industrial centres, to mining operations in our regional areas. FutureGrowthModerate

They advise employers and employees about safe work practices, help to implement health and safety management systems in various workplaces, inspect specific machinery or equipment, and ensure that the correct protective equipment is being used by employees.

Workplace Health and Safety Officers also enforce health and safety legislation by investigating complaints that refer to accidents or occupational disease, report on the results of their investigations, and serve infringement notices to employers that do not comply with legal requirements.


ANZSCO description: Inspects machines, equipment, working conditions and public places to ensure compliance with government and industry standards and regulations, in relation to occupational health and safety. Registration or licensing may be required.


Alternative Names: Health and Safety Inspector, Occupational Health and Safety Coordinator, Occupational Health and Safety Officer, Workplace Health and Safety Officer

Specialisations: Boilers and Pressure Vessels Inspector, Construction Site Inspector, Ergonomist, Forestry Site Inspector, Gas Examiner, General Safety Inspector, Hazardous Goods Inspector, Lifts and Cranes Inspector, Mines Inspector, Mining or Petroleum Safety Inspector, Occupational Health and Safety Inspector, Occupational/Industrial Hygienist

Did You Know?


The 10 Most Common Workplace Accidents In Australia

Work place injuries

#1 Fatigue & Strain

#2 Lower Back Pain

#3 Workplace Trips and Falls

#4 Falling From Heights

#5 Unidentified Falling Objects

#6 Repetitive Motion Injuries

#7 Sprains and Strains

#8 Machine Entanglement

#9 Workplace Violence & Assault

#10 Stress & Mental Health

(Source: Life Hacker Australia 2016)


Knowledge, skills and attributes

Workplace Health and Safety Officers [Safety inspectors] need:

  • a commitment to health and safety

  • energy, confidence and enthusiasm

  • good communication and people skills

  • an eye for detail

  • honesty and impartiality

  • the ability to handle confidential information

Working conditions

Workplace Health and Safety Officers may be based in an office and travel to various work sites in order to conduct inspections, or they may work at one specific larger site that requires constant safety co-ordination. These are more likely to be industrial environments, such as factories or mine sites. They may be required to work at heights or in confined spaces, and may get dirty as a result of inspecting some work sites.

Tools and technologies

Workplace Health and Safety Officers often need to wear protective clothing such as a high-visibility safety jackets, hard hats, steel-capped boots, safety glasses, overalls and earmuffs when working in industrial and mining environments. They may also need to be familiar with specialist electronic equipment such as noise, airflow, heat, lighting and solvent monitoring equipment. They may use cameras, measuring instruments and electronic notebooks to record information about the work sites they visit.

 

Education and training/entrance requirements

In order to become a Workplace Health and Safety Officer you usually need to complete a formal qualification in health and safety.

VET courses in Work Health and Safety, and the Diploma of Occupational Health and Safety are offered at training organisations throughout Australia.

You can also complete a traineeship. The Occupational Health and Safety Officer traineeship usually takes 24 months to complete.

You can complete a degree majoring in health, safety and environment, or occupational safety and health.

 

Did You Know?

Statistics and Research


3,414 workers have died from 2003 to 2016

39% of worker fatalities were due to a vehicle collision (2003 to 2016)

44 workers who died in 2016 worked in the agriculture, forestry and fishing industry

(Source: Safe Work Australia)

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