Occupational health and safety specialists analyze many types of work environments and work procedures. Specialists inspect workplaces for adherence to regulations on safety, health, and the environment. They also design programs to prevent disease or injury to workers and damage to the environment.
Occupational health and safety specialists typically do the following:
- Identify hazards in the workplace
- Collect samples of potentially toxic materials for analysis
- Inspect and evaluate workplace environments, equipment, and practices for compliance with corporate and government health and safety standards and regulations
- Design and implement workplace processes and procedures that help protect workers from potentially hazardous work conditions
- Investigate accidents and incidents to identify their causes and to determine how they might be prevented in the future
- Conduct training on a variety of topics such as emergency preparedness
Occupational health and safety specialists typically need a bachelor’s degree in occupational health, safety, or a related scientific or technical field, such as engineering, biology, or chemistry. For some positions, a master’s degree is required in industrial hygiene, health physics, or a related subject.