Health & Safety Practitioner Job Role, Qualifications and Courses.
The term health and safety practitioner has been applied across many different health and safety roles. Generally where you started out as a Health and safety assistant and worked in that role for at least one year, you are now ready to improve you practise, and assume the role of health and safety practitioner. Becoming a health and safety practitioner involves taking the next step and acquiring more responsibility.
The health and safety practitioner is familiar with health and safety procedures unique to their employer and is expected to be familiar with the basics of Health and safety law and risk assessments. Working as a Health and Safety practitioner involves having at least one year’s experience in a health and safety assistant role. The key skills of Communication, working with others, accountability and responsibility are still as relevant for the health and safety practitioner as they are for the trainee.
There is more pressure on a health and safety practitioner to have up to date health and safety knowledge. Due to time demands of the practitioner role, it will mean attending lots of short 1-day courses on Manual handling, ergonomics and risk assessments. In addition, a more formal part-time Occupational Health and Safety Certificate qualification (at level 7 in Ireland or level 5 in England) that covers the core elements of working as a health and safety practitioner is needed.
Health and safety practitioners are expected to implement the basics of continuous improvement. They should know the basics of health and safety policies, plans and objectives and know the basics of the plan, do, check and act process. They are expected to be up to date with the basics of health and safety legislation and codes of practice. They tend to be more involved in the operational part of the health and safety job and are expected to get their hands dirty. Typical tasks a health and safety practitioner may be doing is:
- Moving from one safety meeting to another
- Communicating to staff about hazards observed
- Observing Safe working procedures
- Reporting on non-safe working
- Putting control measures in place
- Dealing with external contractors, visitors and suppliers.
The health and safety practitioner with one year’s experience, will be very busy and be expected to immerse themselves in tasks delegated to them by the Health and Safety Manager.
Health and Safety Practitioner qualifications
Becoming a Certified Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) Practitioner is another formal step in your health and safety career. A level 6 Certificate in Occupational Health and Safety (comparable to level 7 in Ireland) is designed for those wanting to work as health and safety practitioners.
At practitioner level, you acquire a broader range of knowledge in health and safety management, health and safety practice, risk and incident management and techniques to create a positive health and safety culture. Consider becoming a Certified Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) practitioner today.
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