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Become A Safety Technician

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Working As A Safety Technician

  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Documenting/Recording Information
  • Getting Information
  • Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards
  • Interacting With Computers
  • $48,070

    Average Salary

What Does A Safety Technician Do

Occupational health and safety technicians collect data on the health and safety conditions of the workplace. Technicians work with occupational health and safety specialists in conducting tests and measuring hazards to help prevent harm to workers, property, the environment, and the general public.

Duties

Occupational health and safety technicians typically do the following:

  • Inspect, test, and evaluate workplace environments, equipment, and practices to ensure that they follow safety standards and government regulations
  • Collect samples of potentially toxic materials
  • Work with occupational health and safety specialists to fix hazardous conditions or equipment
  • Evaluate programs on workplace health and safety
  • Educate employers and workers about workplace safety
  • Demonstrate the correct use of safety equipment
  • Investigate incidents and accidents to identify what caused them and how they might be prevented

Technicians conduct tests and collect samples and measurements as part of workplace inspections. For example, they may collect and handle samples of dust, mold, gases, vapors, or other hazardous materials. They conduct both routine and special inspections that an occupational health and safety specialist orders.

Technicians inspect workplace environments and practices. They may examine machinery and equipment, such as scaffolding and lifting devices, to be sure that they meet appropriate safety regulations. Technicians may check to make sure that workers are using required protective gear, such as masks and hardhats. Technicians also check to ensure that hazardous materials are stored correctly.

In addition to working to maintain employee health and safety, technicians work with specialists to increase worker productivity by reducing absences and equipment downtime. These actions save companies money by lowering insurance premiums and workers’ compensation payments, preventing government fines, and improving productivity and product quality.

Although all occupational health and safety technicians work to maintain the health of workers and the environment, their responsibilities vary by the type of industry and workplace they work in and the hazards that might affect the employees. For example, a technician may test the levels of dangerous gases at a waste-processing plant or may inspect the lighting and ventilation in an office setting. Both of these inspections are focused on maintaining the health of the workers and the environment.

The following are examples of types of occupational health and safety technicians:

Health physics technicians work in places that use radiation and radioactive material. Their goal is to protect people and the environment from hazardous radiation exposure.

Industrial or occupational hygiene technicians examine the workplace for health hazards, such as exposure to lead, asbestos, pesticides, or contagious diseases.

Mine examiners inspect mines for proper airflow and potential health hazards, such as the buildup of methane or other harmful gases.

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How To Become A Safety Technician

Occupational health and safety technicians typically enter the occupation through one of two paths. Some technicians learn through on-the-job training; others enter with postsecondary education, such as an associate’s degree or certificate.

Education

Employers typically require technicians to have at least a high school diploma. High school students interested in this occupation should complete courses in English, mathematics, chemistry, biology, and physics.

Some employers prefer to hire technicians who have earned an associate’s degree or certificate from a community college or vocational school. These programs typically take 2 years or less. They include courses in respiratory protection, hazard communication, and material-handling and storage procedures.

Postsecondary programs include instruction on standard laws and procedures; however, some on-the-job training usually is required to familiarize the technician with specific work environments.

Training

Technicians usually receive on-the-job training. They learn about specific laws and inspection procedures, and learn to conduct tests and recognize hazards. The length of training varies with the employee’s level of experience, education, and industry in which he or she works.

Some technicians enter the occupation through a combination of related work experience and training. They may take on health and safety tasks at the company where they are employed. For example, an employee may volunteer to complete annual workstation inspections for an office in which he or she already works.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Certification is not required for someone to become an occupational health and safety technician; however, many employers encourage it.

To apply for certification, technicians must have earned a high school diploma, possess related on-the-job experience, and pass a standardized health and safety exam. The Board of Certified Safety Professionals (BCSP) offers the following certifications at the technician level:

The Construction Health and Safety Technician (CHST) Certification requires the applicant to have specific education or experience in construction safety. These technicians protect workers on construction sites from injury or illness.

The Occupational Health and Safety Technologist (OHST) Certification is designed for workers who perform occupational health and safety tasks full or part time as part of their job duties.

Important Qualities

Ability to use technology. Occupational health and safety technicians often work with computers and complex testing equipment.

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

Detail oriented. Occupational health and safety technicians must be able to understand and follow safety standards and complex government regulations.

Physical stamina. Occupational health and safety technicians must be able to stay on their feet for long periods and travel on a regular basis.

Problem-solving skills. Occupational health and safety technicians must be able to solve problems in order to assist specialists in protecting workers from hazardous work conditions.

Advancement

Occupational health and safety technicians can become occupational health and safety specialists by earning a bachelor’s degree or advanced degree.

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Safety Technician jobs

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Safety Technician Typical Career Paths

Safety Technician Demographics

Gender

  • Male

    76.4%
  • Female

    21.9%
  • Unknown

    1.6%

Ethnicity

  • White

    77.2%
  • Hispanic or Latino

    15.0%
  • Asian

    5.7%
  • Unknown

    1.4%
  • Black or African American

    0.6%
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Languages Spoken

  • Spanish

    76.8%
  • French

    6.1%
  • Portuguese

    2.4%
  • Carrier

    2.4%
  • Vietnamese

    1.2%
  • German

    1.2%
  • Persian

    1.2%
  • Sindhi

    1.2%
  • Urdu

    1.2%
  • Russian

    1.2%
  • Polish

    1.2%
  • Arabic

    1.2%
  • Saraiki

    1.2%
  • Italian

    1.2%
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Real Safety Technician Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Safety Technician Casey Industrial Inc. Huntington, UT May 23, 2011 $65,000
Environmental Safety Technician CNJ, Inc. Auburn, AL May 28, 2015 $60,715
Laboratory Safety Technician Brown University Providence, RI Aug 01, 2013 $43,250
Food Safety Technician United Pulse Trading Inc. Minot, ND Aug 31, 2016 $39,653
Food Safety Technician United Pulse Trading Inc. ND Oct 01, 2015 $39,653
Food Safety Technician United Pulse Trading Inc. ND Aug 01, 2014 $39,653

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Top Skills for A Safety Technician

SafetyProceduresOshaWeeklySafetyMeetingsEmergencyResponseSafetyTrainingJobSafetyAnalysisSafetyEquipmentFacilitySafetyProgramsH2SContractorSafetySiteSafetyJobSiteCorrectiveActionsSafetyInspectionsSpaceEntrySafetyAuditsSafetyPoliciesIncidentInvestigationsPersonalProtectiveEquipment

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Top Safety Technician Skills

  1. Safety Procedures
  2. Osha
  3. Weekly Safety Meetings
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Developed safety procedures with Fire Department personnel to eliminate fire and explosive hazards.
  • Enforced proper use of equipment, devices and safety regulations as per OSHA regulations while loading and unloading of materials.
  • Provided weekly safety meetings per company and OSHA general industry safety and health standards.
  • Receive all related emergency response training.
  • Conducted safety training for supervisors and employees in accordance with all applicable regulations.

Top Safety Technician Employers

Safety Technician Videos

A Day in the Life - Radiological Technician

Another Day in the Life of an HVAC Technician

California Fire Life Safety Technician Certification Examination

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