Construction health and safety is a broad field that encompasses many professions and expert areas. In this article, we will touch on this field of work with a specific focus on the role each professional plays.
In broad terms, health and safety professionals are responsible for promoting and maintaining workplace health and safety. They could be responsible for training, developing best-practices and sourcing or developing safety equipment.
Health and Safety Inspector
Health and safety inspectors often do fieldwork. These professionals visit worksites to ensure that equipment and job site conditions adhere to safety requirements and best-practices as stipulated in the law. This job is potentially dangerous since the inspector would enter construction sites and expose themselves to the same risks and dangers that the construction workers face. They would likely also have to do a considerable amount of traveling since job sites are scattered over a large area.
Occupational Health and Safety Worker
Trained in health and safety laws and guidelines, these professionals usually get tasked with developing health and safety guidelines and best practices. To properly perform this task, they must have a deep understanding of the conditions on the construction site and the functions that construction workers perform daily. They should also be aware of the risks and dangers these workers face and understand how to mitigate or eliminate these risks effectively.
Occupational health and safety workers also perform safety audits, determining whether the risks on a worksite are effectively managed and mitigated.
When a safety-related incident occurs, the occupational health and safety worker is usually the first person to investigate the incident. Should it come to light that the event was caused or influenced by unlawful activities or situations, the investigation is handed over to the relevant authorities.
These professionals must also stay up to date with the latest developments in health and safety legislation, implementing new laws in a timely fashion.
Occupational Health Nurse
Occupational health nurses usually have a medical qualification with a specific focus on occupational health. These nurses must determine the general health of workers and declaring them fit for work or not. By law, construction workers should undergo a general medical examination every year to decide whether or not they suffer from any workplace-related maladies and whether their general health has deteriorated over the course of the past year.
Environmental Protection Officer
Construction sites are known for causing pollution. Employing should adhere to the latest governmental rules and regulations. The environmental protection officer ensures they use the latest technology, monitors on-site operations and promotes best-practices minimizes this pollution.
There are a myriad of different jobs available in the construction health and safety field, such as health and safety inspector, occupational health and safety worker, occupational health nurse or environmental protection officer. All of these are jobs which keep workplace safe and protect the work environment and its surroundings.