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Occupational Health and Safety Specialists
SOC Code: 29-9011.00

Review, evaluate, and analyze work environments and design programs and procedures to control, eliminate, and prevent disease or injury caused by chemical, physical, and biological agents or ergonomic factors. May conduct inspections and enforce adherence to laws and regulations governing the health and safety of individuals. May be employed in the public or private sector. Includes environmental protection officers.

Sample of reported job titles: Certified Industrial Hygienist; Chief Safety Officer; Corporate Safety Director; Director Employee Safety and Health; Environmental Health and Safety Manager; Environmental, Health, and Safety EHS Officer; Health and Safety Manager; Risk Control Consultant; Safety Consultant; Safety Specialist

Tasks

  • Order suspension of activities that pose threats to workers' health or safety.
  • Investigate accidents to identify causes or to determine how such accidents might be prevented in the future.
  • Recommend measures to help protect workers from potentially hazardous work methods, processes, or materials.
  • Inspect or evaluate workplace environments, equipment, or practices to ensure compliance with safety standards and government regulations.
  • Develop or maintain hygiene programs, such as noise surveys, continuous atmosphere monitoring, ventilation surveys, or asbestos management plans.
  • Collect samples of dust, gases, vapors, or other potentially toxic materials for analysis.
  • Investigate the adequacy of ventilation, exhaust equipment, lighting, or other conditions that could affect employee health, comfort, or performance.
  • Conduct safety training or education programs and demonstrate the use of safety equipment.
  • Investigate health-related complaints and inspect facilities to ensure that they comply with public health legislation and regulations.
  • Collaborate with engineers or physicians to institute control or remedial measures for hazardous or potentially hazardous conditions or equipment.
  • Provide new-employee health and safety orientations and develop materials for these presentations.
  • Develop or maintain medical monitoring programs for employees.
  • Coordinate "right-to-know" programs regarding hazardous chemicals or other substances.
  • Maintain or update emergency response plans or procedures.
  • Inspect specified areas to ensure the presence of fire prevention equipment, safety equipment, or first-aid supplies.
  • Collect samples of hazardous materials or arrange for sample collection.
  • Maintain inventories of hazardous materials or hazardous wastes, using waste tracking systems to ensure that materials are handled properly.
  • Conduct audits at hazardous waste sites or industrial sites or participate in hazardous waste site investigations.
  • Perform laboratory analyses or physical inspections of samples to detect disease or to assess purity or cleanliness.

Technology Skills

  • Compliance software - ESS Compliance Suite; Mannus Compliance: EHS; Primatech AUDITWorks
  • Data base user interface and query software - Medgate Enterprise EHS; Microsoft Access ; RAE Systems HazRAE; Safety Software OSHALOG 300 (see all 9 examples)
  • Electronic mail software - Microsoft Outlook
  • Enterprise resource planning ERP software - SAP
  • Internet browser software - Web browser software
  • Office suite software - Microsoft Office
  • Operating system software - Microsoft Windows
  • Presentation software - Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Project management software - Microsoft SharePoint
  • Spreadsheet software - Microsoft Excel
  • Web platform development software - Microsoft Active Server Pages ASP
  • Word processing software - Microsoft Word

Tools Used

  • Air pollutant samplers - Gravimetric dust samplers; Particle sensors
  • Air samplers or collectors - Aerosol monitoring instruments; Air sampling impingers; Cascade impactors; Dry gas meters (see all 5 examples)
  • Air sampling pumps - High-volume air sampling pumps; Low-volume air sampling pumps
  • Air velocity and temperature monitors - Air flow monitors
  • Anemometers
  • Audiometers or accessories - Audiometers
  • Barometers
  • Chemical absorption gas analyzers - Chemical detection tubes
  • Chromatographic detectors - Ultraviolet UV digital meters
  • Colorimeters
  • Compressed air gun - Compressed air guns
  • Decontamination shower - Emergency shower stations
  • Desktop computers
  • Dissolved oxygen meters - Dissolved oxygen monitors
  • Dosimeters - Radiation monitoring instruments
  • Ear muffs - Protective ear muffs
  • Eyewashers or eye wash stations - Emergency eye wash stations
  • Fire extinguishers
  • Flame ionization analyzers - Flame ionization detectors FID
  • Flowmeters - Wet test meters
  • Gamma counters - Gamma radiation survey meters
  • Gas chromatographs - Gas chromatographs GC
  • Gas detector tubes - Benzene detector tubes; Charcoal absorption tubes; Sorbent tubes
  • Gas detectors - Combustible gas meters; Gas leak testing equipment
  • Geiger counters - Geiger-Muller counters
  • Goggles - Safety goggles
  • Handheld thermometer - Handheld thermometers
  • Hazardous material protective apparel - Personal protective suits
  • Laboratory balances
  • Laboratory flasks - Volumetric flasks
  • Leak testing equipment - Smoke generating tubes
  • Liquid leak detectors - Liquid leak testing equipment; Refrigerant leak detectors
  • Luxmeters
  • Manometers
  • Medical tape measures - Medical measuring tapes
  • Moisture meters - Humidity measurement equipment
  • Multi gas monitors - Multi-gas detectors
  • Notebook computers
  • Pasteur or transfer pipettes - Laboratory transfer pipettes
  • Peristaltic pumps
  • Personal computers
  • pH meters - pH monitors
  • Photometers
  • Pressure indicators - Pressure meters
  • Psychrometers
  • Respiration air supplying self contained breathing apparatus or accessories - Self-contained breathing apparatus
  • Respirators
  • Rotameters
  • Safety shoes
  • Sample holders - Sample vials
  • Sampling syringes - Microliter syringes
  • Single gas monitors - Chlorine monitors
  • Soil testing kits
  • Spectrofluorimeters or fluorimeters - X ray fluorescence XRF lead testing analyzers
  • Spirometers or its accessories or its supplies - Spirometers
  • Toxicology test kits or supplies - Mold sampling equipment
  • Turbidimeters - Turbidity monitors
  • Vibration testers - Vibration measurement equipment

Knowledge

  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Law and Government - Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process.
  • Education and Training - Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
  • Public Safety and Security - Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.
  • Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
  • Mathematics - Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
  • Chemistry - Knowledge of the chemical composition, structure, and properties of substances and of the chemical processes and transformations that they undergo. This includes uses of chemicals and their interactions, danger signs, production techniques, and disposal methods.
  • Engineering and Technology - Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.
  • Administration and Management - Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
  • Biology - Knowledge of plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, interdependencies, and interactions with each other and the environment.
  • Psychology - Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.
  • Physics - Knowledge and prediction of physical principles, laws, their interrelationships, and applications to understanding fluid, material, and atmospheric dynamics, and mechanical, electrical, atomic and sub- atomic structures and processes.
  • Mechanical - Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
  • Computers and Electronics - Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
  • Building and Construction - Knowledge of materials, methods, and the tools involved in the construction or repair of houses, buildings, or other structures such as highways and roads.
  • Personnel and Human Resources - Knowledge of principles and procedures for personnel recruitment, selection, training, compensation and benefits, labor relations and negotiation, and personnel information systems.
  • Production and Processing - Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.

Skills

  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Complex Problem Solving - Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Judgment and Decision Making - Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Social Perceptiveness - Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
  • Systems Evaluation - Identifying measures or indicators of system performance and the actions needed to improve or correct performance, relative to the goals of the system.
  • Writing - Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
  • Monitoring - Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
  • Quality Control Analysis - Conducting tests and inspections of products, services, or processes to evaluate quality or performance.
  • Systems Analysis - Determining how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect outcomes.
  • Operation Monitoring - Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
  • Persuasion - Persuading others to change their minds or behavior.
  • Active Learning - Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
  • Coordination - Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
  • Instructing - Teaching others how to do something.
  • Operations Analysis - Analyzing needs and product requirements to create a design.
  • Time Management - Managing one's own time and the time of others.
  • Learning Strategies - Selecting and using training/instructional methods and procedures appropriate for the situation when learning or teaching new things.
  • Service Orientation - Actively looking for ways to help people.

Abilities

  • Problem Sensitivity - The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
  • Deductive Reasoning - The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
  • Inductive Reasoning - The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
  • Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  • Written Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
  • Near Vision - The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
  • Speech Clarity - The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
  • Speech Recognition - The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
  • Flexibility of Closure - The ability to identify or detect a known pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) that is hidden in other distracting material.
  • Information Ordering - The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
  • Perceptual Speed - The ability to quickly and accurately compare similarities and differences among sets of letters, numbers, objects, pictures, or patterns. The things to be compared may be presented at the same time or one after the other. This ability also includes comparing a presented object with a remembered object.
  • Category Flexibility - The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
  • Far Vision - The ability to see details at a distance.
  • Mathematical Reasoning - The ability to choose the right mathematical methods or formulas to solve a problem.
  • Selective Attention - The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.
  • Fluency of Ideas - The ability to come up with a number of ideas about a topic (the number of ideas is important, not their quality, correctness, or creativity).
  • Number Facility - The ability to add, subtract, multiply, or divide quickly and correctly.
  • Originality - The ability to come up with unusual or clever ideas about a given topic or situation, or to develop creative ways to solve a problem.

Interests

  • Interest code: IC
    • Investigative - Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.
    • Conventional - Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.
    • Realistic - Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
    • Social - Social occupations frequently involve working with, communicating with, and teaching people. These occupations often involve helping or providing service to others.

Work Context

  • Electronic Mail - 91% responded “Every day.”
  • Face-to-Face Discussions - 79% responded “Every day.”
  • Telephone - 73% responded “Every day.”
  • Responsible for Others' Health and Safety - 67% responded “Very high responsibility.”
  • Duration of Typical Work Week - 72% responded “More than 40 hours.”
  • Wear Common Protective or Safety Equipment such as Safety Shoes, Glasses, Gloves, Hearing Protection, Hard Hats, or Life Jackets - 55% responded “Every day.”
  • Contact With Others - 45% responded “Constant contact with others.”
  • Work With Work Group or Team - 47% responded “Very important.”
  • Freedom to Make Decisions - 58% responded “Some freedom.”
  • Importance of Being Exact or Accurate - 42% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Indoors, Environmentally Controlled - 52% responded “Every day.”
  • Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results - 61% responded “Important results.”
  • Structured versus Unstructured Work - 52% responded “Some freedom.”
  • Letters and Memos - 52% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
  • Coordinate or Lead Others - 39% responded “Very important.”
  • Indoors, Not Environmentally Controlled - 36% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
  • Frequency of Decision Making - 33% responded “Every day.”
  • Time Pressure - 50% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
  • Exposed to Contaminants - 39% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.”
  • Outdoors, Exposed to Weather - 30% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.”
  • Sounds, Noise Levels Are Distracting or Uncomfortable - 39% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
  • Physical Proximity - 39% responded “Moderately close (at arm's length).”
  • Consequence of Error - 33% responded “Very serious.”
  • In an Enclosed Vehicle or Equipment - 34% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
  • Frequency of Conflict Situations - 52% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.”
  • Responsibility for Outcomes and Results - 41% responded “Moderate responsibility.”
  • Deal With External Customers - 38% responded “Important.”
  • Exposed to Hazardous Conditions - 33% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.”
  • Level of Competition - 59% responded “Moderately competitive.”
  • Deal With Unpleasant or Angry People - 58% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.”
  • Exposed to Hazardous Equipment - 33% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.”
  • Outdoors, Under Cover - 31% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.”
  • Spend Time Sitting - 47% responded “About half the time.”

Education

Percentage of RespondentsEducation Level Required
64%Bachelor's degree
18%Master's degree
9%Post-baccalaureate certificate

Work Styles

  • Integrity - Job requires being honest and ethical.
  • Analytical Thinking - Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
  • Attention to Detail - Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
  • Dependability - Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
  • Adaptability/Flexibility - Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
  • Initiative - Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
  • Concern for Others - Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
  • Stress Tolerance - Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
  • Cooperation - Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
  • Self Control - Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
  • Leadership - Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
  • Persistence - Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
  • Achievement/Effort - Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
  • Independence - Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
  • Innovation - Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.
  • Social Orientation - Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.

Work Values

  • Support - Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.
  • Working Conditions - Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions. Corresponding needs are Activity, Compensation, Independence, Security, Variety and Working Conditions.
  • Achievement - Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement.

Wages & Trends

  • Median wages (2017)
    • $34.51 hourly, $71,780 annual
  • Employment (2016)
    • 84,000 employees
  • Projected growth (2016-2026)
    • Average (5% to 9%)
  • Projected job openings (2016-2026)
    • 5,000

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