What Does Safety Officer Mean?
A safety officer is an employee who is responsible for workplace safety within an organization or at a specific jobsite.
Among other things, they are tasked with implementing safety policies, conducting safety inspections, and providing safety training.
Safeopedia Explains Safety Officer
Safety officers are trained to recognize risks and potential hazards, as well as how to mitigate them.
In some countries, organizations are required to have at least one safety officer on staff. This requirement can be relaxed if the owner or a manager takes it upon themselves to monitor the safety of their workplace, as often happens in small businesses.
General Responsibilities of a Safety Officer
Safety officers are generally responsible for the following:
- Identifying health and safety hazards
- Implementing control measures for identified hazards
- Ensuring the proper use of personal protective equipment (PPE)
- Ensuring compliance with all applicable health and safety standards
- Conducting training sessions
- Providing safety information to employees
- Investigating accidents and documenting incidents
- Preparing and reviewing the emergency action plan and carrying out emergency drills
- Conducting daily toolbox talks
Primary Roles of a Safety Officer
A safety officer’s roles will vary in detail across organizations, but all of them have safety as their primary goal. Broadly speaking, the roles can be summarized as follows:
- Planning (e.g. ensuring the tools and equipment required to complete the job safely are on site and available)
- Organizing (e.g. designing a workflow that reduces the likelihood of employees getting in each other’s way and causing accidents)
- Supervising (e.g. observing employees to ensure that they are following safety protocols)
Skills Required to be a Safety Officer
An understanding of OSHA regulations is required for all safety officers. Since part of the job is educating workers about safety and motivating them to follow safe work procedures, safety officers should also be skilled communicators
and well-versed in leadership and conflict resolution.