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How To Become A Health And Safety Advisor

Many organizations today adopt different strategies to reduce hazard costs. Therefore the role of a Health and Safety Advisor is very important.

If you think this career path is a perfect fit for you, read further.

The Job

A Health and Safety Advisor is a trained professional responsible for limiting and controlling occupational hazards and reducing the number of incidents and accidents in an organization. In order words, he promotes health and safety culture amongst employees while ensuring the company is following health and safety regulations, legislation and policies.

He works round the clock to ensure that protective and preventive health practices are adhered to and implemented by managers and workers.

The activities of a Health and Safety Advisor includes; risk assessment, identification of hazards in the workplace, monitoring the activities of workers to ensure that safety policies and procedures are practiced, training of managers and workers on safety-related issues, keeping the management up to date with current safety legislation, etc.

Entry Requirements

Starting a career in health and safety is easier with a degree in health, management, engineering or any life sciences. But if you want to gain entry into this field without a degree, you need to attend short training courses at approved health and safety institutions then apply for trainee positions. On the other hand, if you majored in a different field, you can switch careers to health and safety by attending training.

The following skills are a must-have: Written and spoken communication, patience to work with people of diverse backgrounds, negotiating skills as you may have to convince your managers to see the need to institute certain safety practices which may slow down their work, investigative skills, attention to details, etc.

Training and Certification

Training as a health and safety officer continues throughout the career in order to stay abreast of every new development in the industry. Training is required in areas such as risk assessment, monitoring & evaluation. You can get HSE Level 1, 2 & 3 from

Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH)

Institute of Safety Professionals in Nigeria (ISPON) and

National Examination Board in Occupational Safety and Health (NEBOSH).

Working Conditions and Salary

Considering this is a safety role, you may be required to work irregular hours/shifts in cases of emergencies but outside of this, it is the standard 9 am – 5 pm from Mondays to Fridays. You will spend a lot of time going for site inspections and working in extreme weather conditions since this is a practical job. When on site, you will be suited in protective wears and may travel from one location to another depending on the number of sites your employing company has and the nature of the employment contract.

Average starting salary is usually N120, 000 for new entrants although the oil & gas industry and construction industry offers higher pay packages. Your pay package increases alongside your level of experience and qualifications.

Career Progression

As a Health and Safety Advisor, you can work in different industries ranging from construction, manufacturing, telecommunications, transport, and public services such as hospitals, etc. This provides huge opportunities for growth and experience. You can either grow to the management level where you get to lead a team of advisors, become a consultant giving specialist advice to organisations, specialise in a particular sector such as oil and gas, manufacturing, chemical processing, etc. or delve into academia (teaching, training and conducting research on global best practices in health and safety).

We hope you found this week’s career profiler interesting and useful. If you are interested in this career path or have questions, require further guidance on planning your career or have comments and suggestions, please feel free to contact us at careers@careerhubafrica.com. Or you know someone, a friend, a colleague who may find this post interesting, please do share this with them.

We wish you every success in your career…..

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