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Careers in Occupational Safety

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A Career in Occupational Safety
Occupational safety professionals care about the working conditions of people everywhere. More importantly, they care about the safety of our world’s workers. From firefighters and factory workers to people in office buildings, the goal of occupational safety specialists is to make sure that we can accomplish our jobs while being and feeling safe and healthy. If the worst-case scenario happens and there is an accident or larger-scale disaster, occupational safety professionals make sure that we have the tools and policies in place to save lives, minimize casualties and make it home safely.

Occupational safety professionals are in demand across the world. They make construction sites safer for the workers, while working with architects and engineers to ensure that proper safety protocols are in place for the future. In our factories and industrial settings, occupational safety professionals are making sure that hazardous materials are properly stored and handled, safety measures are in place and enforced, and that accidents are handled with speed and precision.

In our corporate offices, occupational safety professionals help to create healthy environments, plan evacuation routes and keep staff trained for emergency fire and rescue scenarios. These are just a few of the roles occupational safety professionals play in our lives.

Occupational health and safety technicians work in a variety of settings, from offices and factories to mines. Many work for governmental agencies. Their jobs often involve considerable fieldwork, and some require frequent travel. Most private companies employ their own occupational health and safety technicians, but some will use contractors.

Here is a sample of careers available with this degree:

Occupational Health and Safety Technician – Occupational health and safety technicians work with occupational health and safety specialists to help prevent harm to workers, property, the environment and the public.

Agricultural Inspector – Agricultural inspectors are employed by federal and state governments to ensure compliance with laws and regulations governing the health, safety and quality of agricultural commodities, processing equipment and facilities, and fish and logging operations.

Construction and Building Inspector – Construction and building inspectors examine buildings, highways and streets, sewer and water systems, dams, bridges and other structures. They ensure that their construction, alteration or repair complies with building codes and ordinances, zoning regulations and contract specifications.

Fire Inspector and Investigator – Fire inspectors visit and inspect businesses and other places of assembly each year to ensure that these places meet state and local fire codes. These inspectors may also work with developers and planners to check and approve plans for new buildings and to inspect buildings under construction. Fire investigators determine the causes of fires. They collect evidence, interview witnesses and prepare reports on fires in cases in which the cause may be arson or criminal negligence.

Occupational Health and Safety Specialist – Occupational health and safety specialists, also known as safety and health professionals or occupational health and safety inspectors, help prevent harm to workers, property, the environment and the public. For example, they may design safe work spaces, inspect machines or test air quality. In addition to making workers safer, specialists aim to increase worker productivity by reducing absenteeism and equipment downtime — and to save money by lowering insurance premiums and workers’ compensation payments, and preventing government fines.

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