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Become A Product Safety Specialist

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Working As A Product Safety Specialist

  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards
  • Getting Information
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Training and Teaching Others
  • $72,447

    Average Salary

What Does A Product Safety Specialist Do

Occupational health and safety specialists analyze many types of work environments and work procedures. Specialists inspect workplaces for adherence to regulations on safety, health, and the environment. They also design programs to prevent disease or injury to workers and damage to the environment.

Duties

Occupational health and safety specialists typically do the following:

  • Identify hazards in the workplace
  • Collect samples of potentially toxic materials for analysis
  • Inspect and evaluate workplace environments, equipment, and practices for compliance with corporate and government health and safety standards and regulations
  • Design and implement workplace processes and procedures that help protect workers from hazardous work conditions
  • Investigate accidents and incidents to identify their causes and to determine how they might be prevented
  • Conduct training on a variety of topics, such as emergency preparedness

Occupational health and safety specialists examine the workplace for environmental or physical factors that could affect employee health, safety, comfort, and performance. They may examine factors such as lighting, equipment, materials, and ventilation. Specialists seek to increase worker productivity by reducing absenteeism and equipment downtime. They also seek to save money by lowering insurance premiums and workers’ compensation payments and by preventing government fines.

Some specialists develop and conduct employee safety and training programs. These programs cover a range of topics, such as how to use safety equipment correctly and how to respond in an emergency.

In addition to protecting workers, specialists work to prevent harm to property, the environment, and the public by inspecting workplaces for chemical, physical, radiological, and biological hazards. Specialists who work for governments conduct safety inspections and can impose fines.

Occupational health and safety specialists work with engineers and physicians to control or fix hazardous conditions or equipment. They also work closely with occupational health and safety technicians to collect and analyze data in the workplace. 

The tasks of occupational health and safety specialists vary by industry, workplace, and types of hazards affecting employees. The following are examples of types of occupational health and safety specialists:

Ergonomists consider the design of industrial, office, and other equipment to maximize workers’ comfort, safety, and productivity.

Industrial or occupational hygienists identify workplace health hazards, such as lead, asbestos, noise, pesticides, and communicable diseases.

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How To Become A Product Safety Specialist

Occupational health and safety specialists typically need a bachelor’s degree in occupational health and safety or in a related scientific or technical field.

Education

Occupational health and safety specialists typically need a bachelor’s degree in occupational health and safety or in a related scientific or technical field, such as engineering, biology, or chemistry. For some positions, a master’s degree in industrial hygiene, health physics, or a related subject is required.

Typical courses include radiation science, hazardous material management and control, risk communications, and respiratory protection. These courses may vary with the specialty in which a student wants to work. For example, courses in health physics focus on topics that differ from those in industrial hygiene.

High school students interested in becoming occupational health and safety specialists should take courses in English, math, chemistry, biology, and physics.

Important Qualities

Ability to use technology. Occupational health and safety specialists must be able to use advanced technology. They often work with complex testing equipment.

Communication skills. Occupational health and safety specialists must be able to communicate safety instructions and concerns to employees and managers. They need to be able to work with technicians to collect and test samples of possible hazards, such as dust or vapors, in the workplace.

Detail oriented. Occupational health and safety specialists need to understand and follow safety standards and complex government regulations.

Physical stamina. Occupational health and safety specialists must be able to stand for long periods and be able to travel regularly. Some specialists work in environments that can be uncomfortable, such as tunnels or mines.

Problem-solving skills. Occupational health and safety specialists must be able to solve problems in order to design and implement workplace processes and procedures that help protect workers from hazardous work conditions.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Although certification is voluntary, many employers encourage it. Certification is available through several organizations, depending on the field in which the specialists work. Specialists must have graduated from an accredited educational program and have work experience to be eligible to take most certification exams. To keep their certification, specialists usually are required to complete periodic continuing education.

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Product Safety Specialist Typical Career Paths

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Product Safety Specialist Demographics

Gender

Female

63.4%

Male

33.3%

Unknown

3.2%
Ethnicity

White

63.6%

Hispanic or Latino

12.0%

Black or African American

10.6%

Asian

10.0%

Unknown

3.8%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

French

50.0%

Italian

50.0%

Product Safety Specialist Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

10.0%

West Virginia University

10.0%

University of North Carolina at Greensboro

6.7%

Rosedale Technical Institute

6.7%

Temple University

6.7%

University of Cincinnati

6.7%

Northeastern University

6.7%

Duquesne University

6.7%

Pfeiffer University

3.3%

University of Houston

3.3%

Kettering University

3.3%

University of Connecticut

3.3%

Saint Petersburg College

3.3%

Front Range Community College

3.3%

Montclair State University

3.3%

University of Arkansas Community College-Hope

3.3%

Grove City College

3.3%

Rider University

3.3%

Wichita State University

3.3%

Walden University

3.3%
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Majors

Business

15.9%

Nursing

14.3%

Pharmacy

12.7%

Biology

7.9%

Chemistry

6.3%

Management

4.8%

Public Health

4.8%

Pharmacology

4.8%

Writing

3.2%

Environmental Science

3.2%

Chemical Engineering

3.2%

Environmental Control Technologies/Technicians

3.2%

Special Education

3.2%

Electrical Engineering

3.2%

Occupational Safety And Health

1.6%

Alternative And Complementary Medicine And Medical Systems

1.6%

Agricultural And Domestic Animal Services

1.6%

Microbiology

1.6%

Management Information Systems

1.6%

Medicine

1.6%
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Degrees

Bachelors

38.8%

Masters

27.5%

Other

15.0%

Doctorate

10.0%

Certificate

3.8%

Associate

3.8%

License

1.3%
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Top Skills for A Product Safety Specialist

  1. Adverse Event Reports
  2. Product Safety
  3. Complete Regulatory Reports
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Peer review of adverse event reports, product quality complaint reports, and medical information inquiries.
  • Lead the Product Safety Committee Discuss elevated customer cases and incidents product trends to maintain safe and effective product.
  • Initiate and complete regulatory reports for timely submission to domestic and international regulatory authorities.
  • Developed new chemical review process, reducing allocated resources while maintaining compliance.
  • Review literature articles and process adverse event reports from literature per project and FDA guidelines.

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