When I’m consulting or training, I am often asked “How Do I become a Safety Manager?” I can understand the appeal of my job. I swan in and out of clients premises, drive a big car and have a vast collection of Ugg boots.
What they don’t see is the amount of work done when I’m off site, the scratches on my car from parking near sites and the bags under my eyes from late nights planning and running the business.
So Here’s the Facts About Being a Safety Manager…
– Nobody is pleased to see you
– Very few are interested in what you say
– Most people think they know better
– And Everyone is reluctant to act upon your advice
So Why Do It?
– To make a difference
– To help others
– To maybe save a life
And the more materialistic reasons
– It pays well
– Companies will always need health and safety advice
– If you’re good, you’ll never be out of work
I like my job. I’m out of the office most of the time and every workplace is different with different challenges. And training, if I get one enthusiastic attendee who takes on board what I say, I’m happy.
How to become a Safety Manager
The qualifications are awarded by NEBOSH. There are NVQ routes but NEBOSH is the recognised standard. Those at entry level need to study the two week NEBOSH General Certificate course or the NEBOSH Construction Certificate Course, also two weeks ending in 2 exams. By passing these you are demonstrating knowledge of the legal requirements, how to comply and how to ensure companies are fulfilling the duties placed upon them. Safety advisors are qualified to this level.
The next level is the NEBOSH Diploma. This is a longer course which teaches a higher level of knowledge and is the safety manager qualification. An NVQ in Hea l th and Safety Management can also get you to this level.
What Makes A Good Safety Manager?
– Good listening skills
– Accurate reporting skills
– And of course Qualifications
The Hardest Part is the Start.
Unless you are specifically trained up within a company to fill role, getting the experience and practice you need can be nigh on impossible as experience, particularly in the construction industry, will be required.
And Even When You Have The Job You Will Make Mistakes
Everyone does. I have, everyone I know in the safety industry has, because that’s what people do. But if you learn from it, it’s not such a disaster.
So, given that I’m asked so often (seriously…at least every other day) how to become a safety manager, I’m putting offering you the chance to ask me a question just leave a comment below and I’ll reply as soon as I can.