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Occupational health and safety adviser

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Summary of occupation

​Occupational health and safety advisers ensure that organisations comply with health and safety laws and regulations to protect staff within the workplace.

They are responsible for developing health and safety management plans, policies and systems, as well as conducting inspections to identify and remedy potential risks or dangers in the workplace. They must make sure all employees have received relevant and up-to-date occupational health and safety training.

Occupational health and safety advisers may also be involved in investigating accidents and injuries, assisting with the rehabilitation of affected workers, and identifying causes to prevent future incidents.

ANZSCO description: Develops, implements and evaluates risk management policies and programs, trains employees in occupational health and safety procedures, monitors and audits the workplace, and records and investigates incidents to ensure safe and healthy working conditions.
Alternative names: Occupational health and safety coordinator, occupational health and safety officer
Specialisations:
Job prospects: Average
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Knowledge, skills and attributes

​An occupational health and safety adviser needs:

  • a high attention to detail
  • a strong capacity for problem solving and critical thinking
  • good written and oral communication skills
  • a careful, accurate and methodical approach
  • the ability to work independently
  • to be committed to health and safety principles and legislation.
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Working conditions

​Occupational health and safety advisers may work within a single organisation, or they might visit and inspect a number of workplaces. They conduct inspections to identify and minimise potential accidents and health hazards, such as chemical use and advising of correct storage procedures for dangerous materials. They also provide training for employees in the use personal protective equipment and the application of safe working procedures.

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Salary details

​On average, occupational health and safety advisers, classified under occupational and environmental health professionals, can expect to earn $1 500 and $1 999 per week ($78 000 and $103 999 per year) depending on the organisation they work for, and their level of experience. As an occupational health and safety adviser develops their skills, their earning potential will generally increase.

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Tools and technologies

​Occupational health and safety advisers use computers to research and develop occupational health and safety plans, programs and reports. When they inspect workplaces they wear personal protective equipment suited to the work environment, such as dust masks, safety glasses, gloves, footwear and helmets.

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Education and training/entrance requirements

​To become an occupational health and safety adviser you usually need to complete a degree in health, safety and environment, occupational safety and health or a related field.

Some universities in Western Australia offer degrees in these fields. Contact the universities you are interested in for more information.

Related courses

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Apprenticeships and traineeships

As an apprentice or trainee, you enter into a formal training contract with an employer. You spend most of your time working and learning practical skills on the job and you spend some time undertaking structured training with a registered training provider of your choice. They will assess your skills and when you are competent in all areas, you will be awarded a nationally recognised qualification.

If you are still at school you can access an apprenticeship through your school. You generally start your school based apprenticeship by attending school three days a week, spending one day at a registered training organisation and one day at work. Talk to your school's VET Co-ordinator to start your training now through VET in Schools. If you get a full-time apprenticeship you can apply to leave school before reaching the school leaving age.

If you are no longer at school you can apply for an apprenticeship or traineeship and get paid while you learn and work.

Related apprenticeships

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Recognition of prior learning

If you think you already have some of the skills or competencies, obtained either through non-formal or informal learning, you may be able to gain credit through recognition of prior learning.

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Develops, implements and evaluates risk management policies and programs, trains employees in occupational health and safety procedures, monitors and audits the workplace, and records and investigates incidents to ensure safe and healthy working conditions.

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