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Become A Safety Inspector

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Working As A Safety Inspector

  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards
  • Getting Information
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Training and Teaching Others
  • $57,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Safety Inspector 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 Safety Inspector

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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Safety Inspector Career Paths

Safety Inspector
Safety Coordinator Supervisor Superintendent
Project Superintendent
10 Yearsyrs
Safety Coordinator Supervisor Facilities Manager
Director Of Facilities
11 Yearsyrs
Safety Coordinator Supervisor Owner
Construction Superintendent
9 Yearsyrs
Safety Supervisor Safety Manager
HSE Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Safety Supervisor Safety Manager Owner
General Superintendent
11 Yearsyrs
Safety Supervisor Manager Facilities Manager
Facilities Maintenance Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Safety Specialist Manager Service Manager
Fleet Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Safety Specialist Manager Plant Manager
Director Of Plant Operations
13 Yearsyrs
Safety Specialist Operations Manager Program Director
Quality Assurance Director
11 Yearsyrs
Safety Officer Team Leader Executive Team Leader
Loss Prevention Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Safety Officer Security Supervisor Security Manager
Security Director
10 Yearsyrs
Safety Officer Security Supervisor Field Supervisor
Field Operation Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Safety Consultant Safety Manager Compliance Manager
Risk Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Safety Consultant Risk Manager Nursing Director
Health Director
9 Yearsyrs
Safety Consultant Health And Safety Coordinator Environmental Health Specialist
Environmental Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Foreman Property Manager Compliance Manager
Regulatory Compliance Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Safety Advisor Health & Safety Officer Industrial Hygienist
Senior Safety Specialist
11 Yearsyrs
Health & Safety Officer Industrial Hygienist Safety Engineer
Loss Control Consultant
10 Yearsyrs
Health & Safety Officer Health And Safety Coordinator Occupational Health Nurse
Occupational Safety And Health Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Laboratory Technician Registered Nurse Utilization Review Nurse
Quality Management Specialist
7 Yearsyrs
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Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
Safety Trainer 3.6 years
Safety Officer 3.3 years
Safety Engineer 3.3 years
Safety Coordinator 3.2 years
Safety Specialist 3.1 years
Safety Inspector 3.0 years
Safety Advisor 2.7 years
Safety Consultant 2.6 years
Safety Technician 2.5 years
Safety Analyst 2.5 years
Safety Assistant 2.2 years
Top Careers Before Safety Inspector
Supervisor 4.2%
Internship 3.9%
Foreman 3.5%
Technician 3.2%
Manager 2.7%
Inspector 2.7%
Owner 2.5%
Top Careers After Safety Inspector
Inspector 4.4%
Manager 3.7%
Supervisor 3.6%
Owner 2.6%

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Top Skills for A Safety Inspector

  1. Ensure Compliance
  2. Osha
  3. Safety Procedures
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Inspect over 100 vehicles to ensure compliance with Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority safety regulation.
  • Inspected work performed by debris removal contractors/crews to ensure compliance with FEMA contract requirements, federal and local OSHA safety guidelines.
  • Followed prescribed loading and safety procedures, calculated load restraints and secured cargo with appropriate devices and equipment.
  • Monitored daily field observations of job site to identify and mitigate safety hazards, unsafe acts, and unsafe conditions.
  • Maintained safety hours worked on project site, safety logs involving sub-contractor safety violations and administered corrective action.

Safety Inspector Demographics

Gender

Male

73.0%

Female

17.9%

Unknown

9.1%
Ethnicity

White

58.8%

Hispanic or Latino

18.1%

Black or African American

12.2%

Asian

6.6%

Unknown

4.4%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

61.7%

French

6.2%

Carrier

4.9%

Persian

3.7%

Dari

3.7%

Russian

2.5%

Arabic

2.5%

Italian

2.5%

Portuguese

1.2%

Chinese

1.2%

Ukrainian

1.2%

German

1.2%

Dutch

1.2%

Kannada

1.2%

Urdu

1.2%

Hindi

1.2%

Polish

1.2%

Cantonese

1.2%
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Safety Inspector Education

Schools

Columbia Southern University

17.1%

University of Phoenix

13.0%

Eastern Kentucky University

6.9%

West Virginia University

4.6%

University of Houston

4.6%

Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania

4.2%

University of Texas at Arlington

4.2%

The Academy

4.2%

Baton Rouge Community College

4.2%

Oklahoma State University

4.2%

Houston Community College

3.7%

Texas A&M University

3.7%

San Jacinto College District

3.7%

National University

3.2%

Wayland Baptist University

3.2%

Delgado Community College

3.2%

Northeastern State University

3.2%

Kilgore College

3.2%

Del Mar College

2.8%

Illinois State University

2.8%
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Majors

Business

20.3%

Occupational Safety And Health

11.6%

Criminal Justice

7.7%

Management

6.2%

Public Health

4.9%

Education

4.5%

Environmental Science

4.5%

Biology

4.4%

General Studies

4.0%

Environmental Control Technologies/Technicians

3.3%

Mechanical Engineering

3.2%

Psychology

3.2%

Industrial Technology

3.0%

Automotive Technology

3.0%

Medical Technician

3.0%

Electrical Engineering

2.9%

Accounting

2.7%

Civil Engineering

2.6%

Health Care Administration

2.6%

Fire Science And Protection

2.5%
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Degrees

Bachelors

33.8%

Other

31.2%

Associate

15.3%

Masters

10.0%

Certificate

6.1%

Diploma

2.2%

Doctorate

0.9%

License

0.4%
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