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Occupational health and safety jobs can be highly rewarding as they set the standards and conditions that protect employee welfare in the workplace. Depending on the types of jobs in the safety field an applicant is interested in, the positions can also offer high salaries. Entry-level safety jobs, as well as health and safety jobs available for more experienced or higher educated applicants, are a staple of many industries and openings are growing on pace with the economy. An industrial hygienist may work on constructions sites, laboratories, and factories. As you consider beginning your education in occupational health and safety as you earn your degree, keep in mind these positions that offer above-average salaries and extraordinary fulfillment as you care for the wellbeing of others.
Choosing the Highest Paying Occupational Health Careers
1. Occupational Health and Safety Technicians
Occupational health and safety technicians use their undergraduate education to ensure that workers are acting appropriately in the workplace and not inadvertently causing dangerous situations that could lead to their own injuries or circumstances that injure others. These technicians make sure that any safety equipment required on job sites is available to the employees who need them and are being used appropriately. They also work to ensure that safety standards and guidelines are being followed. These are considered entry level safety jobs but still carry median salaries close to $55,000 per year, depending on the industry.
2. Occupational Health and Safety Specialists
Occupational health and safety specialists require an undergraduate degree plus some industry experience. Among health and safety jobs, they are also well-paid, with median wages topping $70,000 per year. Specialists are often health and safety professionals who began as technicians and moved into the next level position after gaining industry experience. Instead of working to make sure workplace regulations and safety standards are followed, these specialists are the professionals who research, design, and implement those standards. Additionally, they may oversee the work of technicians, specifically auditing or inspecting to ensure the highest level of safety is observed on the job.
3. Health and Safety Engineers
Occupational health and safety jobs often require programs or systems to be designed that call upon engineering skills. Some colleges and universities offer programs that either include engineering classes or specializations through their occupational health and safety degrees, or the opportunity to earn concurrent degrees in safety and engineering to prepare for this career field. Engineering jobs in the safety field consider entire workplaces or work systems to determine procedures and guidelines that protect employees throughout the work cycle. This can include building specialized equipment, redesigning the layout of the workplace, or engineering new processes that heighten safety standards. Health and safety engineers earn a median income of $88,510 per year. In certain fields, specifically, those related to science, those earnings can swell to a mid-range of $100,000 per year.
What is Occupational Safety and Health and Why is It Important?
Occupational health and safety (OHS) is an important area of public health that focuses on the prevention of workplace injuries, illnesses, and deaths. It involves the assessment of risk factors in the workplace and the implementation of strategies to reduce or eliminate those risks. OHS also includes activities such as providing information about safe work practices, monitoring working conditions, and enforcing safety regulations.
Occupational health and safety is important to protect workers from physical, mental and emotional harm. It helps ensure that workplace hazards are identified and addressed in a timely manner, preventing injuries and illnesses that could occur due to unsafe working conditions. Furthermore, occupational health and safety measures help create a positive work environment where employees can perform their duties without fear of harm or injury. It is essential for employers to provide a safe working environment for their employees as it reduces costs associated with lost time due to injuries or illnesses, as well as legal fees should an employee be injured on the job.
It is the responsibility of employers to ensure that their employees are provided with a safe and healthy environment. To ensure this, there are various organizations that enforce occupational health and safety regulations. These organizations include:
- government agencies
- trade unions
- independent bodies
- non-governmental organizations and nonprofits
They are responsible for monitoring workplaces for compliance with the relevant laws and regulations, as well as providing advice to employers on how to improve their safety protocols in order to create a safe working environment for all employees.
Occupational health and safety is an important field that covers a wide range of topics. It involves the assessment and management of risks associated with all types of workplaces, including physical, biological, chemical, ergonomic and psychological hazards. It also includes the development of policies, procedures and programs to ensure a safe and healthy work environment. The main areas that are part of occupational health and safety include:
- workplace health promotion
- hazard identification and risk assessment
- hazard control measures such as engineering controls or personal protective equipment (PPE)
- training for workers on how to safely perform their jobs
- emergency preparedness plans
- recordkeeping requirements for employers to track injuries or illnesses in the workplace
- develop health standards with the safety team
Environmental health and occupational health and safety are closely related. Poor environmental conditions can lead to an increased risk of occupational hazards, while unsafe working conditions can have a detrimental effect on the environment. Therefore, it is essential for businesses to ensure that both environmental health and occupational health and safety standards are met in order to protect workers, the environment, and public health. By implementing measures such as regular air quality monitoring, proper waste management practices, and providing adequate protective equipment for workers, businesses can help ensure that employees remain safe while protecting the environment from further harm.
Finding Your Occupational Health and Safety Niche
Occupational health and safety jobs can be found throughout many different industries, including construction, manufacturing, engineering, science, mining, and exploration. Job duties may take individuals from comfortable inside environments out to more challenging outside areas and even workplaces that are underground or offshore. With the field growing on pace with the economy, there will be a continued need for employees in the health and safety field for the foreseeable future. You can work in staff, the management or consulting roles, all calling upon your education and training to ensure you achieve the best possible results in employee safety.
Occupational health and safety is a field that focuses on protecting workers from potential hazards in the workplace. It is an important part of any organization’s operations, and there are many different job roles available in this area:
- safety inspectors
- risk assessors
- workplace safety specialists
- safety education
- safety managers
- safety coordinator
- environmental scientists
- industrial hygienist
Occupational health and safety professionals play a vital role in ensuring that workplaces are safe for everyone. If you want to work as a safety specialist, you can set up OSHA’s job alert to keep up with available positions. OSHA is an equal opportunity employer.
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