An important aspect in any company especially in businesses doing operation, production or manufacturing functions is the health and safety. Other than just looking into following the safety standards, it is ensuring that the employees are secured and the environment is not harmed. Before it used to be a position that is not given much attention but with the various issues arising, this has changed how the companies are run today.
It is not anymore about who has the best product or service, it is about a company that is able to deliver quality product or service that contributes to the well-being of Mother Nature. With this, the health and safety engineer is a position that assures everyone involved in a company that their safety is considered. The environment that they work in is also safe for all to perform their tasks. Through this kind of engineer, as long as everyone follows the rules and regulations, the operations will run smoothly and efficiently.
Health And Safety Engineer: It Is Not An Easy Position To Hold
The health and safety engineer is the one that focuses on implementing systems and standards to provide a safe working area for all. In a manufacturing plant, this engineer will make sure that the chemicals are stored properly and safely. In an assembly line, this engineer can recommend to install additional emergency shutoff switches.
Aside from the implementation, planning and coordinating safety programs are part of the responsibilities of the engineer performing under the health and safety department. This is to correct or prevent risky environmental work conditions. These engineers continually inspect pipes and machinery to check that these can withstand the daily wear and tear. An important task is to ensure that employees follow safety rules and regulations, which includes wearing of safety gear.
For the working area to be environmentally safe and sound, the engineer under health and safety coordinates with outside organizations such as the OHSA or the Occupational Health and Safety Administration and fire departments. It is also their duty to design as well as mount safety devices on clothing and machinery. They are the ones to investigate the causes of industrial accidents to prevent the same incidents to happen again.
In regards to contributing to the health of the environment, these engineers to ascertain temperature, radiation, noise level and air quality conduct the tests. When problems are encountered on these tests, the health and safety department will consult government organizations in handling such concerns to comply with the safety regulations. Training is provided for the workers to improve their knowledge on safety procedures with the use of safety clothing, devices and equipment.
It is imperative that the engineer working for the health and safety has comprehensive know-how of local, state and federal safety regulations. With this, the engineer must apply the required minimum standards in the field. Not having the extensive knowledge will pose dangers to the employees’ health and lives as well as the people that come and go within the business premises.
What It Takes To Become An Engineer In Health And Safety
To prepare, the aspiring engineer that focuses on health and safety, should start broadening the knowledge on this course from high school. It is during these years that the future engineer is able to make the final decision of what career should be pursued. Subjects such as mathematics, chemistry, biology, environmental science and the like should be taken up during secondary school. Reading other materials will widen the information and increase the motivation to follow this profession.
Even though the job is given a title with ‘engineer’, it actually does not necessarily mean that an engineering degree should be obtained although it will give an advantage. As the industry that encompasses health as well as safety, a variety of college courses can be chosen from. Some of these bachelor’s degrees are Biology, Chemistry, Occupational Health, Environmental Safety, Engineering, health Administration, Public Health and Safety, Industrial Hygiene and Health Physics. Depending on the industry, that the student wants to join in will influence the choice of the college education.
The Journey And Career Of An Engineer In Health And Safety
After the aspiring health and safety engineer has finished the minimum educational requirement, he or she can start to work as an intern in any field of choice for at least three years. From there, getting a certification is the next move to be given appropriate credential. The credentialing organization to go to may differ depending on the specialties but the local Health Department or universities can provide the proper information.
When health and safety certification is acquired, the engineer has more job opportunities. Most of these engineers are oftentimes employed in industry and business sectors. Local and state Health Departments can also be an area where this engineer can work. In these all these offices, the engineer may be asked to travel and conduct inspections or interviews in various business settings. They may visit hotels, malls, parks, restaurants, nursing homes and construction sites among others.
It is suggested that in working as a health and safety officer or engineer, continuing education is pursued. This is because the advance degrees boost the credentials, which increase the job prospects and income capacity. A difference of $20,000 to $30,000 is seen for those that have a master’s degree compared to those that only have a bachelor’s degree.
The average salary of a health and safety engineer is at $75,430 annually or at $36.2 per hour. For those that are just starting out will expect to receive a median yearly income of $55,392. Most of the engineers in the field of health and safety are able to enjoy typical office hours. The government engineers though have to respond to crisis or emergency situations and may work longer hours than the ones in the private sector.
Having good communication skills both in verbal and written is essential as such engineers make hundreds of reports in a year. Being detail oriented, analytical, responsible and problem-solving skills are also great qualities of a great engineer in the health and safety department.
It seems that the career on health and safety is an easy job to handle. Being safe is about knowing common sense in every task that is performed. But with the numerous factors to consider, the responsibility of an engineer in the health and safety field is a tough position to take and is only for those that have the passion in upholding the needs of the business, the employees and the environment.