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Occupational Health and Safety Specialist

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Bachelor's degree

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What They Do

Occupational Health and Safety Specialists Career Video

About This Career

Reviews, evaluates, and analyzes work environments and designs 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.

This career is part of the Government and Public Administration cluster Regulation pathway.

A person in this career:

  • Recommends measures to help protect workers from potentially hazardous work methods, processes, or materials.
  • Orders suspension of activities that pose threats to workers' health or safety.
  • Investigates accidents to identify causes or to determine how such accidents might be prevented in the future.
  • Inspects or evaluates workplace environments, equipment, or practices to ensure compliance with safety standards and government regulations.
  • Collaborates with engineers or physicians to institute control or remedial measures for hazardous or potentially hazardous conditions or equipment.
  • Develops or maintains hygiene programs, such as noise surveys, continuous atmosphere monitoring, ventilation surveys, or asbestos management plans.
  • Coordinates "right-to-know" programs regarding hazardous chemicals or other substances.
  • Conducts safety training or education programs and demonstrates the use of safety equipment.
  • Collects samples of dust, gases, vapors, or other potentially toxic materials for analysis.
  • Analyzes incident data to identify trends in injuries, illnesses, accidents, or other hazards.

Working Conditions and Physical Demands

People who do this job report that:

  • You would often handle loads up to 10 lbs., sometimes up to 20 lbs. You might do a lot of walking or standing, or you might sit but use your arms and legs to control machines, equipment or tools.
  • Work in this occupation involves use of protective items such as safety shoes, glasses, gloves, hearing protection, a hard hat, or personal flotation devices
  • Work in this occupation requires being inside most of the time

Working in this career involves (physical activities):

  • Seeing clearly at a distance
  • Seeing clearly up close
  • Speaking clearly enough to be able to be understood by others
  • Identifying and understanding the speech of another person

Work Hours and Travel

  • Irregular hours
  • Overnight travel

Specialty and Similar Careers

Careers that are more detailed or close to this career:

  • Safety Consultant
  • Safety Specialist
  • Certified Industrial Hygienist (CIH)
  • Industrial Hygienist Consultant
  • Safety Officer
  • Safety Management Consultant
  • Environmental, Health, and Safety Officer (EHS Officer)
  • Environmental Health and Safety Officer
  • Chemical Hygiene Officer
  • Industrial Hygienist


  • Email Support
  • 1-800-GO-TO-XAP (1-800-468-6927)
    From outside the U.S., please call +1 (424) 750-3900
  • North Dakota Career Resource Network
    ndcrn@nd.gov | (701) 328-9733