According to the U.S. Labor Department’s BLS (Bureau of Labor Statistics), jobs for health and occupational safety technicians are expected to grow more than 10% through 2026. The opportunities for these professionals are expected to continue growing at a rate higher than most occupations.
In the past, the role of safety professionals was to drive company policy and legislation compliance by “policing” the workplace. Those days are long gone, and safety professionals are no longer the safety “cops.” Their role has gone beyond this antiquated thinking and evolved beyond simple compliance. Safety has gone from a relatively low priority to a top priority.
Job Growth for OSH Professionals
The traditional activities and focus of health and safety professionals are changing to encompass a complete, holistic approach to ensuring the health, safety, and well-being of individuals in the workplace and beyond.
The growth of industries such as infrastructure construction, commercial development, and home-building has led to an increased need for safety experts who are specialized in construction-specific controls and hazards. It is predicted that there will be a growing need for professionals in occupations such as health and safety engineers and occupational health and safety technicians.
There is already a shortage of OSH professionals, and as current professionals retire, the gap between vacant job positions and the number of trained professionals will continue to widen.
The Changing Workplace
Health and safety professionals today need to understand that risks to personnel are less obvious and more varied than those of the workplaces of the past. With different technologies— such as emergency-call functions, GPS trackers, and checklist software—these professionals must be able to operate a range of technologies.
We have witnessed the development and proliferation of new tech solutions that are changing the ways of working. Naturally, this has resulted in new risks and hazards as well as new methods of control. Today’s health and safety professionals have to stay on top of the new technology.
Another factor that affects the role of safety professionals is growing business pressures. To be able to thrive in today’s competitive marketplaces, companies are always looking for ways to reduce costs. More and more organizations understand the financial benefits of having a solid OSH program in place because it will help them reduce the number of workplace injuries, improve personnel morale, and protect their reputation.
Exposing someone to a risk of injury, illness, or death should warrant the same repercussions regardless of the outcome (whether there has been an injury or just an exposure without an injury). Offenses that had low-level penalties are now more likely to attract higher penalties.
The Checker has understood the growing importance that checklists have in creating safety cultures and getting responsible personnel to perform inspections the right way. Safety is both a moral issue and a smart business move because it reduces a wide range of risks and costs while increasing productivity. Our inspection/audit software and checklist books are designed for that purpose—to help companies increase their workplace safety as well as their bottom line.