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Become A Safety Representative

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Working As A Safety Representative

  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards
  • Getting Information
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Training and Teaching Others
  • $79,133

    Average Salary

What Does A Safety Representative 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 Representative

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 Representative Jobs

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Safety Representative Career Paths

Safety Representative
Safety Engineer Project Manager Area Manager
Area Operations Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Safety Supervisor Human Resources Manager Compensation Consultant
Compensation Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Safety Consultant Safety Supervisor Safety Manager
Corporate Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Safety Manager Human Resources Manager Plant Manager
Director Of Plant Operations
14 Yearsyrs
Safety Engineer Safety Officer Facilities Manager
Director, Facilities & Operations
7 Yearsyrs
Safety Specialist Program Manager Deputy Director
Emergency Management Director
8 Yearsyrs
Health And Safety Coordinator Environmental Health Specialist Environmental Specialist
Environmental Compliance Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Health & Safety Officer Health And Safety Coordinator Environmental Health Specialist
Environmental Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Safety Consultant Safety Manager Facilities Maintenance Manager
Facilities Project Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Environmental Health Safety Manager Facilities Manager Regional Operation Manager
Field Operation Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Training Supervisor Security Officer Security Supervisor
Fire Safety Director
6 Yearsyrs
Health And Safety Coordinator Assistant Director Food Service Director
Food Safety Director
9 Yearsyrs
Health & Safety Officer Industrial Hygienist Loss Control Representative
Loss Control Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Safety Specialist Engineer Security Officer
Loss Prevention Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Safety Manager General Manager Security Officer
Loss Prevention Supervisor
5 Yearsyrs
Human Resources Coordinator Home Health Aid Environmental Services Supervisor
Manager Of Environmental Services
9 Yearsyrs
Safety Supervisor Safety Manager
Program Safety Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Safety Inspector Safety Officer Safety Coordinator
Safety And Training Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Safety Coordinator Specialist Security Officer
Security Director
10 Yearsyrs
Safety Coordinator Operations Manager
Terminal Manager
9 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as a Safety Representative?

Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
Safety Manager 3.8 years
Safety Trainer 3.6 years
Safety Engineer 3.4 years
Safety Officer 3.2 years
Safety Supervisor 3.1 years
Safety Coordinator 3.1 years
Safety Specialist 3.0 years
Safety Inspector 2.7 years
Safety Consultant 2.6 years
Safety Advisor 2.6 years
Safety Technician 2.4 years
Safety Analyst 2.4 years
Top Employers Before
Internship 5.7%
Supervisor 3.5%
Manager 3.2%
Technician 2.7%
Foreman 2.7%
Top Employers After
Supervisor 3.7%
Consultant 2.0%
Manager 2.0%

Do you work as a Safety Representative?

Safety Representative Demographics

Gender

Male

75.3%

Female

22.2%

Unknown

2.5%
Ethnicity

White

59.1%

Hispanic or Latino

18.1%

Black or African American

12.0%

Asian

7.5%

Unknown

3.4%
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Languages Spoken

Spanish

51.1%

Mandarin

12.5%

Chinese

8.0%

German

5.7%

French

4.5%

Italian

3.4%

Portuguese

2.3%

Cantonese

2.3%

Hebrew

2.3%

Ukrainian

1.1%

Japanese

1.1%

Russian

1.1%

Persian

1.1%

Hindi

1.1%

Polish

1.1%

Arabic

1.1%
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Safety Representative Education

Schools

Hofstra University

25.3%

Columbia Southern University

20.2%

Community College of the Air Force

6.6%

University of Phoenix

5.6%

Murray State University

4.6%

Indiana University of Pennsylvania

3.8%

Southeastern Oklahoma State University

3.3%

West Virginia University

3.1%

University of Central Missouri

2.8%

Texas A&M University

2.8%

Eastern Kentucky University

2.8%

Purdue University

2.6%

Nicholls State University

2.6%

Del Mar College

2.3%

Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania

2.3%

Indiana State University

2.0%

University of Florida

1.8%

University of Houston

1.8%

Oklahoma State University

1.8%

Brazosport College

1.8%
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Majors

Business

19.2%

Occupational Safety And Health

18.1%

Management

7.8%

Public Health

7.4%

Criminal Justice

4.9%

Psychology

4.3%

Health Care Administration

4.1%

Industrial Technology

3.5%

Environmental Science

3.2%

Environmental Control Technologies/Technicians

3.1%

Fire Science And Protection

2.9%

Education

2.9%

General Studies

2.8%

Accounting

2.6%

Communication

2.5%

Electrical Engineering Technology

2.2%

Computer Science

2.2%

Biology

2.2%

Construction Management

2.2%

Human Resources Management

2.0%
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Degrees

Bachelors

35.2%

Other

28.1%

Masters

14.1%

Associate

13.5%

Certificate

6.5%

Doctorate

1.3%

Diploma

0.9%

License

0.5%
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Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Real Safety Representative Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Environmental Health and Safety Representative International Paper Salinas, CA Jun 19, 2015 $74,000
Environmental Health and Safety Representative International Paper Salinas, CA Aug 25, 2015 $74,000
Senior Health & Safety Representative Conocophillips Company Borger, TX Oct 01, 2010 $62,800 -
$124,320
Food Safety Representative Driscoll Strawberry Associates, Inc. Santa Maria, CA Aug 11, 2014 $52,000
Retail Food Safety Representative NSF International Morrisville, NC May 26, 2015 $45,594

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Top Skills for A Safety Representative

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  1. Safety Procedures
  2. Safety
  3. Osha
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Selected as 'back up' Safety Representative, responsible for enforcement of safety procedures and equipment inspection.
  • Facilitate and assist management with the implementation of company safety program.
  • Crafted OSHA mandated site-specific safety plan.
  • Audited implementation of company safety programs and job site observations.
  • Performed job safety analysis and provided hazardous waste operation and emergency response guidance.

How Would You Rate Working As a Safety Representative?

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Top Safety Representative Employers

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Jobs From Top Safety Representative Employers

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