How to become a safety inspector

Do you pay attention to detail and have a critical mind with a knack for spotting health hazards a mile off? Then you might enjoy the critical role of a Safety inspector. You make sure the company staff has a safe environment to work in with no undue risks. You do this by carrying out inspections of the areas they work in. After making your visit you prepare recommendations and write reports based on your observations. The role offers a good balance between written desk work and getting out and about on inspections themselves. If you like office work but don’t want to spend all day every day at your desk you will find the life of a safety inspector suits you well. You may also spend time presenting and getting stuck into practical tasks. Checking equipment and enforcing legislation.

You have a sharp critical mind which you like to exercise. You want a job with responsibility without being desk-bound. Keep reading to find out how to make your dream job as a safety inspector a reality.

Step one: Select a specialisation

Completing a course before applying to jobs is a must. This is because of the specialised knowledge needed to carry out your responsibilities as a safety inspector. There is a range of courses available and they tailor the content to fit the specialisation you will choose. This means before you choose a course it is important to consider the direction you would like to take as a safety inspector.

Environmental Health Officer: The focus in this specialisation is on the environment. This could mean public places, such as a government made Children’s Park or a man-made business environment such as a factory. The health and safety of the public and employees are the focus of your work as you monitor and put into practice legislation. You inspect sites and workplaces as a part of your daily life. Taking steps to ensure businesses are implementing health and safety practices as they should.

Auditors: With less scope for public spaces the auditor’s focus is the workplace. You visit various workplaces to conduct an audit of their practices and identify any practices which may be risky. You provide them with a report and recommendations so they can move forward and minimise risk for their employees. There is a place for auditors in every industry because even in the office there are health and safety implications to consider. You may want to focus your work in a particular industry, or you may keep a broad base and audit across a range of workplaces.

Warehouse Safety Inspector: The warehouse is a specialised workplace with a lot of risk and potential for accidents. Warehouses are teeming with people, machinery, and stock, all of which present their own particular risks. The warehouse safety inspector will need to learn specific knowledge. They then use their knowledge to identify risks and make recommendations so they can make improvements.

Step two: Choose a course which suits your desired career path

Once you have an idea of the field you would want to specialise in you can turn your attention to choosing a course. Participating in education is critical when you want to be a safety inspector because you will need to learn about the WHS legislation. This legislation must inform your decisions and practices once you have a job.

Step three: Look for your first job

Once you have gained your qualifications you are ready to begin to look for work. You may not be able to apply for a specialised role for your first job. Therefore, focus on finding an entry-level job which interests you. When applying for work, don’t forget to tailor your resume and cover letter to highlight your skills and interests. Make sure you let them know all about your newly achieved specialised education.

Step four: Gain experience

Spend some time working in your first exciting role. This is a great way to gain valuable experience and practice putting all your new knowledge into action. You can focus on a particular industry at this point, or keep a broad view to keep your options open later.

Step five: Apply for a specialized role

Once you have a few years experience under your belt you can begin to look out for openings for a career progression. You deserve it by now! You may find an opening comes up at the right moment in the company you work for, or you may want to look further afield. Stay patient and bide your time until you see the perfect role advertised. Then go for it!

Safety Inspector job description

The duties of a safety inspector are very important. You will spend time inspecting different sites, to make sure employees are not working with any undue risk. Getting to the bottom of things by carrying out inspections, then giving advice based on what you have observed. Do you have a keen eye? A keen eye is needed to spot workplace hazards, and then you inform the appropriate people giving them advice on the action they need to take. As a part of your inspections, you will also need to check any equipment to make sure they are in good working order. You check and check again because when it comes to people hazards are liable to creep back into the workplace without proper monitoring. Most days you will be out and about visiting different sites. You are the one who enforces WHS legislation, and this makes your daily tasks critical.

Tasks

  • Inspecting different sites and workplaces for safety issues, or hazards
  • Advising on existing or potential hazards
  • Assisting with employee safety training
  • Ensuring compliance with WHS legislation and good safety practice
  • Checking equipment for good function and quality
  • Helping to put in place robust health and safety workplace practices

Skills for Success

Were you the one taking charge of your siblings or taking charge of your group of friends at school? Maybe then you will be a natural safety inspector. To succeed in this field you will have a lot of responsibility on your shoulders. This makes what you do every day important. You must pay extraordinary attention to detail to spot potential hazards in the workplace. Seeking out even the most inane seeming details which could develop into an accident. You should be a get-up and go kind of person, who likes to get things done. Identify risks and then not just drop the ball, many times people will need monitoring and reminding of what they should be doing to stay safe. People will always cut corners when they get the chance. Once you have completed your training you need to keep up-to-date with any legislation changes when they take place.

Skills and attributes

  • Pay a ridiculously high attention to detail
  • Keep on the ball – maintaining knowledge of WHS legislation
  • Able to apply your core knowledge across a range of industries
  • Good communication skills
  • A careful approach to your work

What do Safety Inspectors earn in Australia?

In Australia, safety inspectors earn a median wage of $64,650 per year. This varies according to a number of factors, and is intended as a reference only from Payscale 05/’18

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