Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) inspection is essential to ensuring the safety and well-being of workers in various industries. OSH inspectors are responsible for identifying and addressing potential hazards in the workplace to prevent accidents, injuries, and illnesses. If you have a passion for safety and want to help ensure the well-being of workers, then becoming an OSH inspector may be the right career path for you. Learn everything you need to know to become an OSH inspector, including the qualifications, education, training, certification, career opportunities like becoming a hazardous materials consultant, and more!
What Does An OSH Inspector Do?
The primary responsibility of an OSH inspector is to identify potential hazards in the workplace and ensure compliance with safety regulations. OSH inspectors perform inspections of various workplaces to identify hazards such as electrical hazards, chemical exposures, and ergonomic issues. They also investigate accidents and injuries to determine their cause and recommend preventive measures to prevent future incidents.
In addition, OSH inspectors educate workers and employers about safety practices and regulations. They provide training on emergency preparedness, hazard communication, and personal protective equipment. OSH inspectors also work with employers to develop and implement safety programs and policies.
The Qualifications to Become an OSH Inspector
To become an OSH inspector, you must have a combination of education, experience, and skills. The following are the qualifications required to become an OSH inspector:
Education & Training Requirements
Most OSH inspector positions require a bachelor’s degree in occupational safety and health, environmental science, or a related field. Some employers may accept a degree in a related field, such as engineering or chemistry if the candidate has relevant experience or training.
In addition to a degree, OSH inspectors must undergo specialized training in workplace safety and health regulations and practices. The employer may provide this training or through a government agency such as OSHA.
Certification & Licensing for OSH inspectors
Certification is not always required to become an OSH inspector, but it can enhance your job prospects and demonstrate your knowledge and skills. The Board of Certified Safety Professionals (BCSP) offers several certifications for OSH inspectors, including the Certified Safety Professional (CSP) and the Occupational Health and Safety Technologist (OHST). Some states may require OSH inspectors to be licensed in places like the United States. Licensing requirements vary but typically involve passing an exam and meeting education and experience requirements.
Typical Work Environment & Job Duties
OSH inspectors work in various settings, including factories, construction sites, and offices. They may work for government agencies or private consulting firms. OSH inspectors may work alone or as part of a team, depending on the size and complexity of the workplace.
The job duties of an OSH inspector may vary depending on the type of workplace they are inspecting. However, some common job duties include:
- Conducting inspections of the workplace to identify potential hazards
- Ensuring compliance with safety regulations and standards
- Investigating accidents and injuries to determine their cause
- Developing and implementing safety programs and policies
- Educating workers and employers about safety practices
- Writing reports detailing findings and recommendations
Career Advancement Opportunities For OSH Inspectors
OSH inspectors can advance their careers by gaining experience and pursuing additional education and training. Some potential career paths for OSH inspectors include:
Hazardous Materials Consultant: A Career path For OSH Inspectors
Hazardous materials consultants work with companies to identify and manage hazardous materials in the workplace. They may also develop emergency response plans and train workers on handling hazardous materials safely. Becoming a hazardous materials consultant can be a natural career path for OSH inspectors, as the skills and knowledge required for both professions overlap significantly.
Becoming an OSH inspector is an excellent career choice for those passionate about safety and health in the workplace. OSH inspectors are vital in identifying and addressing potential hazards to prevent accidents, injuries, and illnesses. To become an OSH inspector, you must have a combination of education, training, and experience and may need to obtain certification or licensing, depending on your area and employer. With the rising demand for workplace safety and compliance, a career as an OSH inspector offers ample opportunities for growth and advancement – like becoming a hazardous materials consultant. Whatever you choose, hopefully, this gave insight into how you can become an OSH inspector and succeed.