Safety Consultant Career Profile

Safety consultants work across all industries. They’re best known for their role in Occupational Health and Safety, (OHS) but have many lesser known roles as specialist consultants. They provide extremely high value services to their clients and are often able to find causes of problems which the clients can’t identify, or in some cases don’t even know are potential risks. Their fundamental skills are invaluable in terms of developing and creating good safety practices throughout their industries.  Safety consultants coined the term “sick building syndrome” to define workplaces which were fundamentally unhealthy.

The Work Environment

This is a large area of employment, often involving advanced technical skills and extensive training.

A safety consultant’s work may include :

  • Hazardous materials
  • Accident prevention
  • Food technology
  • Hygiene
  • Health care
  • Ergonomics
  • Manufacturing safety
  • Construction site safety practices and protective clothing
  • Workplace assessments
  • Fire safety
  • Environmental hazard evaluation
  • Safety assessment studies
  • Training in safety procedures
  • Briefing management and government on safety issues
  • Research and related projects

The Typical Day

The work of a safety consultant contains a series of stages:

  • Clients request the assistance of a consultant with a specific problem or a need for a safety assessment.
  • The safety consultant investigates the problem and conducts a professional analysis of issues. This is a systematic investigation of the client’s issues, defining the situation.
  • The safety consultant prepares a report with recommendations addressing each element of the situation, and proposing a solution.
  • The client evaluates the report, and if recommendations are accepted, implements them, with the safety consultant acting as overseer of the new safety measures.
  • The safety consultant may also train staff regarding the new safety measures.

Safety managers also provide expert advice regarding insurance issues and requirements, industrial safety laws and industry standards. They can evaluate a client’s safety issues and needs on all levels. The wide combination of services safety consultants provide saves their clients time and money, as well as lives.

Salary and Hours

The salary of a safety manager runs between $55,000 to $90,000, depending on location. Contract and project work may increase income considerably. The manager will work standard business hours, or as required by clients.

The Career Environment

Career progression in safety consultancy work is based on professional skills, qualifications, and areas of expertise. Most safety consultants work for agencies, either private businesses or government agencies. The promotional track is a good representation of related career moves.