How to Become a Construction Safety Officer?

by Usama Chaudry on May 10, 2022

The construction industry encounters the highest safety risks of all the industries because of its dangerous work. For the recent past few years, contractors and builders have been trying to minimize accidents at the workplace. 

Because more safety will ensure higher retention of their company in future. Modern technology helps prevent losses by using digital machines and drones, etc. 

But proper administration of safety precautions is necessary to maintain safe working conditions. A construction safety officer serves the purpose.

Who is a Construction Safety Officer?

A construction safety officer is a person who implements safety policies at the construction site. He has to evaluate health and safety hazards and draft a safety plan. 

He must know all occupational safety and health (OSHA) regulations and monitor their implementation. He is responsible for the safe use of materials, machinery, and construction equipment at the site. 

He also takes care of health and environmental issues. A construction officer trains the workers and makes them follow all safety rules.

How Can You Become a Construction Safety Officer?

If you want to become a construction safety officer, then you must meet the following general requirements:

Step#1: Education Requirement

The general or minimum requirement for this post is a bachelor’s degree. The person should have done a bachelor’s in engineering, construction management, or some health and safety-related field. 

The degree is helpful as a person gets comprehensive knowledge about construction safety and equipment and learns the importance of quality working and management.

 Some large-scale firms may also require a master’s degree, especially if the job involves management and training.

Step#2: Need to Learn More than One Language

A construction safety officer should be proficient in more than one language. The command of at least international and local languages is a must-have. 

It helps the officer to communicate effectively with all the employees. You can learn the required second language from YouTube or any other platform on the internet.

Step#3: Specialized Certifications

It is good to achieve specialized certifications before applying for the post of construction safety officer

The certifications like first aid and CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) work well. These certification classes are offered in many courses, typically in universities, hospitals, or at some community centers.

Step#4: Become Certified

After gaining sufficient work experience, a construction safety officer can be certified by BCSP( Board of Certified Safety Professionals). But for this certification, an officer must have a college degree and three years prior experience.

 He also needs to pass two certification exams conducted by BSCP. After getting certified, he is called a “Certified Safety Professional” (CSP).

Step#5: Train other Employees

A construction safety officer becomes eligible to work as a trainer after gaining a minimum experience of five years. Then he can give coaching to construction crew members and train them to cope with unsafe situations.

 But before providing training, the officer has to get authorization from OSHA. He also needs to take and clear two courses offered by OSHA in this regard.

Roles and Responsibilities of Construction Safety Officer

A construction safety officer reviews all biological, chemical, or physical hazards at the workplace. He is responsible for every kind of safety at the site. 

Following are his prominent duties:

Planning of Safety Programs

A construction safety officer plans a safety program or reviews the already drafted contractor’s safety program. 

In the latter case, he checks if there are any violations of WHS (work, health, and safety) regulations.

 Healing the program with WHS and OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Authority) rules.

Implementation of WHS Program

The next duty of a construction safety officer is to implement the safety program. Then the workers follow all these rules.

Addressing Safety Complaints

A construction safety officer must also address all the health and safety issues complaints. He then finds appropriate solutions and changes equipment or working strategies accordingly.

Training the Staff

An experienced construction safety officer is also responsible for the proper training of construction workers and other staff. He gives them coaching to minimize the safety risks and avoid penalties.

Role as a Liaison Officer

Construction is not just a job; it’s an industry and thus constitutes a complex network. The construction safety officer serves as a linkage between the company, crew members, sub-contractors, insurance firm, and the client to make them aware of their safety obligations.

Keeping Records of Incidents

A construction safety officer makes on-site and off-site inspections to check even the minor work details. He keeps all the records from minor losses to significant casualties. 

All the incidents and accidents are recorded to avoid any future neglect. He makes sure that these incidents never happen again.

What Skills Should a Construction Safety Officer Have?

If you are planning to opt for construction safety officer as a career, then you must polish the following skills at first:

Communication Skills

Like any other field, a construction safety job also demands strong verbal and written communication skills. These skills enable the officer to make an effective bond with workers and teach them in a better way. Only an expressive person can give good training.

Technical Skills

A construction safety officer should be familiar with the use of computer software and modern technology to become professional in his field.

Physical Strength

It is a strenuous job and thus requires a physically fit person. A strong man can cope with intense situations.

Observation Power

A man who can observe all the major and minor details of a project is the right fit for this job. It is because even little neglect at the construction site can lead to a safety threat.

Brain-Storming Skills

The safety of the workers is the top priority of a safety officer. That’s why he has to solve all the problems by identifying their root causes and finding the required solutions. If you have a healthy body and a sharp mind, then you are good to go.

Frequently Asked Questions:

1- Is being a construction safety officer a promising career?

If you are a person who likes coaching people and are interested in maintaining a safe working environment on a construction site, then this is the right career for you. You can earn a handsome amount of money by this profession in almost all parts of the world.

2- What is a construction safety officer's salary?

In the United States of America, the average salary of a construction safety officer is almost $58,278 per year. For Canada, the average salary for a construction safety officer ranges from 30 to 70$ per hour.

3- Where does a construction safety officer work?

A construction safety officer may work in his office, at the construction site, or in factories depending upon his need. These professionals may need to travel long distances or may spend a whole long day standing in the field.

Conclusion

A construction safety officer is an integral part of the construction industry. He ensures a safe workplace environment. From planning safety programs to their implementation and records, a safety officer plays a key role. 

He trains the workers for the safety of their lives. A graduate in engineering or construction management with a sharp mind and good health can opt for this profession as a career. It has a good scope in many countries.

Usama ChaudryUsama is a professional engineer and graduated from the University of Alberta. Computations of electrical and thermal characteristics are among his research interests. Usama's hobbies outside of professional work include reading, playing tennis, and trekking.

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