What Are the Duties of a Safety Representative?

Thứ ba - 01/12/2015 11:35
The duties of a safety representative begin with accident prevention through intervention and education. A company employee, the safety representative doesn’t deal with industry-wide safety issues, but local safety issues. Sometimes called an occupational safety engineer or safety engineer, his focus is local. He acts as the company’s guide in complying with a labyrinthine collection of federal, state and local government regulations.
A Safe Workplace

A safety representative pushes safety in the workplace. His inspections ensure that the appropriate safety regulations are followed in the workplace, whether they are those of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the Environmental Protection Agency or an equipment manufacturer. He updates the company’s safety plan as needed, keeps the employees informed about changes, keeps OSHA-mandated safety posters up to date and monitors compliance on the factory floor.

Training and More Training

Safety training is part of every new employee’s introduction to a company, mandated by OSHA and monitored or taught by the safety representative. Every time a new, unfamiliar piece of equipment moves onto a factory floor, it creates a new set of safety hazards. The safety representative must provide or arrange for the necessary safety training for the employees who operate it.
As employee duties and responsibilities change, the safety representative ensures that the appropriate safety or environmental training follows these changes. The safety representative uses supervisors, shop supervisors and managers as conduits to keep safety-related information flowing to workers, in addition to his own efforts.

Agency Interface

The safety representative is the company’s principle contact in dealings with federal, state and local agencies as well as departments where safety is involved. Chemicals used in a facility mean the Environmental Protection Agency is involved in safety, with safe handling and “Right to Know” issues for employees. The EPA and local sanitation departments are involved in chemical disposal rules and procedures, as disposal can affect the safety of entire communities.
If a company uses trucks as part of its business, the U.S. and state departments of transportation have safety regulations that the company must follow, as well. This means that maintaining contact with these divisions, departments and agencies is a critical part of the duties of a safety representative.

Dealing with Contractors

When contractors come onto a company’s property, their safety and safe-working habits become the company’s -- and the company safety representative’s -- business. Contractors may work through a temporary employment service or for companies providing other services on a contract basis, such as painting, plumbing or electrical contractors.
In all cases, the safety representative inspects the safety management documents of the temporary service or the company providing outside services, and provides the contractors with safety training specific to the plant, location or equipment, as necessary. The safety representative then documents this training, both to ensure compliance by the contractor and minimize the company’s exposure in matters of regulatory compliance and liability.


Safety representatives are members of management and generally possess a four-year degree. Those considering the field could major in industrial or mechanical engineering, or choose a curriculum in occupational safety and health. Industrial hygiene, environmental safety or a curriculum in ergonomics -- the science of how people interact with tools, equipment and other environmental objects -- are also useful.

Pay and Outlook

The median pay for this job was $75,470 per year in 2011, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The average, however, is somewhat higher, at $78,540 or $37.76 per hour. The average pay ranges from $44,860 per year, or $21.57 per hour, for the lowest 10 percent of health and safety engineers, to $116,610 per year, or $56.06 per hour, for the highest paid 10 percent.
BLS projects job growth for occupational safety and health engineers at 13 percent from 2010 to 2020, about the average of other occupations.

Nguồn tin: Will Charpentier

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