Workplace health and safety is an ever-growing field in Canada. As construction projects are on the rise across the country, so is the demand for Health and Safety Managers in Canada. Construction sites are required to follow clearly defined provincial occupational health and safety laws. A construction safety officer is qualified to ensure that companies are following these laws and that worker health and safety is not overlooked.
What do site safety officers do?
Site safety officers have extensive knowledge of mandatory policies and regulations related to their industry for their provinces. They are in charge of evaluating and monitoring construction sites to ensure that the sites comply with regulations, personnel have the right training and that employees understand and follow safety protocols. They may also provide training and develop strategies to improve safety measures on construction sites.
Some of their duties include:
- Inspecting workplaces for hazards and developing strategies to mitigate or eliminate them.
- Checking that workers are handling heavy machinery safely and correctly and recommending training where necessary.
- Ensuring workers wear and use personal protective equipment.
- Investigating worker complaints or health and safety concerns.
- Evaluating employers and documenting if OHS procedures are being followed.
- Following up on worker compensation claims
- Delivering orientation and training programs pertaining to health and safety.
The responsibilities and job profile of a site safety officer can expand with experience and further qualifications enabling them to work with government institutions, not-for-profit groups, or private companies as safety consultants, health and safety coordinators, quality assurance specialists, or environmental health officers. They may also decide to move on and teach a new generation of aspiring site safety officers how to keep workers safe by becoming college professors.
How to become a site safety officer?
There are few different pathways to becoming a qualified site safety officer. They all require some form of post-secondary education.
Get a bachelor’s degree:
This is the most straightforward path to becoming a site safety officer. Obtaining a bachelor’s degree in the field of Occupational Health and Safety can start you off with a strong foundation that can be built on as you progress in your career. If you already have a bachelor’s degree in another field, you may be able to opt for a two-year program, as long as you have graduated from an accredited university with credits for at least one course in chemistry.
Once you’ve completed your bachelor’s degree program from an approved program, you will be qualified to sit for the Certified Registered Safety Professional (CRSP) certificate examination.
Complete a recognised diploma and certificate course:
The Board of Canadian Registered Safety Professionals (BCRSP) has a list of approved programs that make you eligible to challenge the Canadian Registered Safety Technician certificate examination. This allows you to work in entry-level roles in site safety. You may be eligible for the (CRSP) certificate examination after four years of work experience in the field.
Why get certified?
Obtaining a certification demonstrates to potential employers that you have the skills and knowledge necessary to carry out the job at hand. It also demonstrates that you have put in the time and effort to bring yourself to be at par with or exceed industry standards and have kept abreast with the latest developments in the fields.
Holding a certification also increases your earning potential. BCRSP Salary Surveys have consistently demonstrated that BCRSP certification holders earn more than their non-certified counterparts.
As you can see there are many advantages to becoming a site safety officer with great earning potential, job security, and the satisfaction of helping others do their jobs safely.
As one of the top employment agencies in BC, Best Personnel is constantly on the lookout for highly motivated individuals. We have various career opportunities available qualified workers who put safety first. We also help eligible candidates earn the credentials they need through subsidised training programs.