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Safety consulting allows businesses to have their health and safety practices objectively evaluated, bringing them up to necessary standards (be they from the Occupational Safety and Health Association or other regulators). If you are thinking about becoming a safety consultant, or you are hiring one for your business, what are the expectations of the position?
When brought in to consult for a business, one of a safety consultant's first duties is to evaluate existing safety-related policies and training programs. Before making any suggestions, a consultant will need to understand current practices and the reasons behind them.
Identify Problems in Workstations, Offices and Other Spaces
Beyond reading policy, a safety consultant will need to observe how safety practices are carried out within the means of business--or how they aren't. Walking through the physical space, and testing any machinery, also will be useful to the safety consultant.
Investigate Incidents or Accidents
Safety consultants may also be brought into a business in response to accidents that may have occurred on site. They investigate the circumstances leading to the accident, as well as the incident response and post-incident follow-up.
Write Safety Manuals and Policies
Safety consultants also write safety manuals, response plans and related policies for a business. For this responsibility, a safety consultant will need a clear, directive writing style, as well as an understanding of risk management.
Many businesses have mandated safety trainings or certification programs they must offer to employees. A safety consultant presents such trainings, ensuring that they address all required topics.
Safety consultants stay abreast of new safety regulations, as well as watch related court decisions. Not doing so would make them ineffective in offering appropriate advice and recommendations. Networking with safety agencies, attending seminars and keeping an active membership in industry organizations are crucial for knowing where regulations and policies are heading.
Kat Hasenauer is a freelance sportswriter focusing on hockey and lacrosse. She is a regular contributor to several sports websites, and is well known for her informative Twitter feed. She also maintains her own sports blog, "...On Being a Sports Girl." A student affairs professional by day, she holds degrees from School of the Arts (Rochester, NY), Binghamton University and Boston University.