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Safety engineers, also known as safety managers, work for companies where job safety is critical, such as manufacturing plants, mining operations and virtually anywhere heavy equipment and machinery is used. They are largely responsible for the safety record of a company, so they must be ever-vigilant to detect signs of potential accidents. A safety engineer is usually required to have a minimum of a four-year degree in engineering or a science-related field.
Develop Safety Programs
Safety engineers develop programs and processes for safety in the workplace. Once the program is developed, they may also be charged with putting the new process in writing in the form of a manual. They present the new program to management to ensure they have a thorough understanding so that they can implement the program in their specific work areas. They may be involved with planning and conducting training classes and seminars for workers.
Eliminate Unsafe Practices and Equipment
Safety engineers evaluate existing work procedures to uncover areas where safety may be at risk. They analyze accident reports to determine if the cause was due to faulty equipment or a poor procedure, and recommend any necessary corrections. Safety engineers regularly inspect tools and equipment to check for possible defects. They may also observe workers to ensure that they are operating machines and equipment in a safe manner.
Safety in the workplace is regulated at the federal government level by the Occupational Safety and Health Association (OSHA). Safety engineers are typically required to obtain OSHA certification, which requires 10 hours of online and on-site training. They must ensure that the company is in compliance with all OSHA regulations, and they work closely with an OSHA investigation of accidents involving injury in their workplace.
Chris Joseph writes for websites and online publications, covering business and technology. He holds a Bachelor of Science in marketing from York College of Pennsylvania.