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Choosing the Right Health and Safety Course for You

The demand for occupational health and safety professionals is on the rise. This is partly due to a growing focus on employee well-being, including mental health. Shocking statistics from the UK reveal that over half of all long-term sick leaves are attributed to stress, depression, and anxiety.

Recognising this, organisations worldwide are prioritising employee safety and well-being. In this article, we'll guide you through choosing the right health and safety qualifications to kick-start your career, regardless of your experience level.

What is a health and safety qualification?

What is a health and safety qualification?

A health and safety qualification confirms your capability and knowledge in managing health and safety risks within a work setting. This type of qualification covers various aspects of health and safety management, such as legal responsibilities, identifying hazards, evaluating risks, implementing emergency procedures, and adopting best safety practices. It is particularly essential for professionals in industries susceptible to workplace hazards, such as construction, manufacturing, healthcare, and transportation.

Why does occupational health and safety matter?

Why does occupational health and safety matter?

According to the HSE's statistics for 2022-2023, nearly 1.8 million employees in Great Britain suffer from illnesses caused by their work. Out of this figure, 875,000 individuals experience work-related stress, depression or anxiety.

In essence, organisational health and safety is essential for several reasons:

  • Employee Protection

    Prioritising health and safety safeguard employees from workplace hazards, reducing the risk of accidents, injuries, or illnesses. 
  • Legal Compliance

    Adhering to health and safety regulations ensures that organisations comply with legal requirements. Failure to meet these standards can result in legal liabilities, fines, or penalties.
  • Maximise Productivity and Minimise Costs

    By prioritising employee well-being, you create a work environment where employees feel valued, engaged, and motivated. This can increase productivity, reduce absenteeism, and lower turnover rates.
  • Good Reputation

    Demonstrating a commitment to health and safety cultivates a positive public image and strengthens the organisation's reputation. Stakeholders, including customers, investors, and business partners, prefer to associate with responsible and ethical companies.
  • Regulatory Compliance

    Complying with health and safety regulations ensures that organisations operate ethically and responsibly. It also helps build trust and credibility with regulatory authorities.

What do health and safety professionals do?

What do health and safety professionals do?

Occupational health and safety professionals have obtained accreditation through proper procedures to practice a profession related to occupational health. Occupational health and safety professionals ensure safe and healthy workplace environments. They typically conduct risk assessments, develop and implement safety policies and procedures, train employees on safety protocols, investigate accidents or incidents, and monitor compliance with health and safety regulations.

Their ultimate goal is to minimise workplace injuries, illnesses, and accidents, thereby safeguarding the well-being of employees and protecting the organisation from legal liabilities and financial losses. Here are some typical job positions in health and safety, along with their specific roles and responsibilities:

Safety and Training Specialist

  • Create safety training programmes based on job roles, risks, and regulatory requirements.
  • Deliver safety induction programmes for new employees and ongoing training for all staff. This includes practical demonstrations of safety equipment, emergency procedures, and safe working practices.
  • Stay informed about the latest health and safety regulations and ensure training programmes comply with legal and industry standards. 
  • They work closely with management teams and safety committees to identify safety needs, report on training outcomes, and advise on safety improvements and compliance strategies.
  • May be involved in investigating what happened, determining if additional training could prevent future incidents, and updating training programmes accordingly.

Health and Safety Manager

  • Develop, implement, and manage the organisation's health and safety management system.
  • Lead a team of health and safety professionals to provide guidance and support.
  • Conduct strategic planning to improve health and safety performance and reduce ill health cases.
  • Liaise with regulatory authorities and external stakeholders on health and safety matters.
  • Review and update health and safety policies, procedures, and risk assessments.
  • Analyse incident and accident data to identify trends and areas for improvement.

Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) Coordinator or Specialist

  • Ensure compliance with environmental regulations and standards.
  • Conduct environmental audits and assessments to identify compliance gaps.
  • Develop and implement environmental management systems (EMS) to reduce environmental impact and promote environmental sustainability.
  • Coordinate waste management, recycling, and pollution prevention initiatives.
  • Monitor air and water quality, manual handling and proper disposal of hazardous materials, and chemical management programmes.
  • Provide training to employees on environmental awareness and compliance requirements.

Safety Engineer

  • Safety responsibilities include designing and implementing engineering controls to eliminate or minimise workplace hazards.
  • Conduct safety reviews of engineering designs, processes, and equipment.
  • Develop fire safety plans.
  • Perform hazard analyses and risk assessments for new processes or equipment installations.
  • Investigate equipment failures or accidents to determine root causes and recommend corrective actions.
  • Collaborate with project teams to ensure compliance with safety regulations and standards.

These are just some of the most common occupational health and safety jobs. Other professions include Loss Control Consultant, Risk Manager, Hazard Control Specialist, Corporate Safety Director, occupational and environmental health nurses, occupational medicine physicians, and occupational psychologists.

Health and Safety Training Courses

Health and Safety Training Courses

If your organisation or you're an individual who wants to train in health and safety, the following are the most common core health and safety certificates that are also globally recognised. These online courses are accredited by either IOSH or NEBOSH. 

IOSH Managing Safely

The IOSH Managing Safely training programme is designed for those in charge of managing resources and risk but may not have the necessary expertise or experience to ensure the safety and health of their workplace. 

Learning Outcome

  • Acknowledge the significance of maintaining health and safety in the workplace.
  • Recognise the legal ramifications of putting a health and safety management plan into effect at work.
  • Recognise the distinct duties that managers and supervisors have.
  • Recognise health and safety risks that may arise in the workplace.
  • Understand the distinction between "active" and "reactive" monitoring and when and how to apply each monitoring technique effectively.

Mode of training: Virtual classroom

Duration:3 days 

Career opportunities:Site Operations Supervisor, Facilities Coordinator, Trainee Health & Safety Advisor.

IOSH Working Safely

The IOSH Working Safely is an introductory-level training programme that aims to cultivate a fundamental comprehension of health and safety practices. This health and safety certificate can be beneficial in advancing your career growth as an employee or refreshing your existing knowledge.

Learning Outcome

  • Know the significance of workplace health and safety.
  • Understand the precautions you can take to avoid health and safety hazards.
  • Identify the safeguards and preemptive actions you can implement to establish a secure workplace.
  • Create plans for emergencies and accidents, as well as the individual duties of employees in the event of an incident.
  • Understand the importance of risk assessment.
  • Regular risk evaluations and applicable workplace implements
  • Repercussions for employees and businesses who violate health and safety policies

Mode of training: Virtual classroom

Duration: 1 day 

Career opportunities: Trainee Health & Safety Coordinator, Trainee Health & Safety Advisor, Extrusion Operator Supervisor, Health & Safety Advisor.

NEBOSH National General Certificate in Occupational Health and Safety

The NEBOSH National General Certificate is widely recognised as the primary certification for health and safety. This training programme will equip you with the skills to manage health and safety practices efficiently, comprehend the legal obligations in the UK concerning health and safety, and recognise and manage the primary workplace hazards.

At e-Careers, we offer this course through both online and virtual classrooms.

Learning outcomes

  • Conduct risk assessments with assurance.
  • Create and carry out a thorough action plan.
  • Control and reduce hazards at work.
  • Encourage and strengthen the health and safety culture within your business.
  • As a result of the awareness and knowledge acquired, they can ensure their teams carry out their daily tasks safely.

Mode of training: Online and Virtual Classroom

Cost: Costs vary depending on the mode of training 

Career opportunities: Health and Safety Co-ordinator, Health and Safety Officer, Health and Safety Advisor, Health and Safety Executive, Health and Safety Manager, Environment, Health and Safety Manager.

NEBOSH International General Certificate in Occupational Health & Safety

The NEBOSH International General Certificate in Occupational Health and Safety is a prestigious certification that can help you create a secure and safe work environment on a global level. By acquiring this certification, you can ensure your workplace becomes safer, more pleasant, efficient, credible, and profitable.

Learning outcomes

  • Carry our risk assessments with assurance.
  • Create and carry out an elaborate action plan.
  • Control and reduce risks at work.
  • Encourage and strengthen the health and safety culture in your business.
  • Efficiently handle safety and health.
  • Recognise and manage common workplace risks.
  • Calculate the success rate.

Mode of training: Online

Career opportunities: Health & Safety Co-ordinator, Health & Safety Officer, Health & Safety Advisor, Health & Safety Executive, Health & Safety Manager, Environment Health & Safety Manager.

NEBOSH Environmental Management Certificate

The NEBOSH Environmental Management Certificate is a valuable qualification that provides you with the necessary knowledge and skills to uphold environmental excellence and social responsibility. This is crucial for companies that want to avoid legal action, lawsuits, and damage to their reputation.

Moreover, companies with employees who have obtained the NEBOSH environmental certificate are in a favourable position to implement and sustain ISO 14001, a widely recognised environmental management standard. 

Learning outcomes 

  • Recognise a variety of environmental concerns to minimise harm and enhance environmental performance.
  • Operate within a framework of environmental management and make ongoing improvements.
  • Acknowledge environmental factors and their effects, assess the efficiency of the controls in place, and
  • Bolster judgment calls with moral, legal, and financial justifications.
  • Recognise the connections between the actions of your organisation and broader environmental issues

Mode of training: Virtual Classroom

Duration: 5 Days

Career opportunities: Health and Safety Officer, Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) Manager, Risk Manager.

Conclusion

The growing focus on employee well-being and safety creates a strong demand for qualified health and safety professionals. Investing in the right qualifications can position you for a rewarding career in this expanding field. Our guide has equipped you with the knowledge to choose the most suitable health and safety courses to kick-start your journey.

For further information on health and safety careers or the courses offered by e-Careers, you can visit our website or contact us directly. Reach out to us by calling us +44 (0) 20 3198 7700 or messaging us (ask@e-careers.com). 

FAQs

What professional qualifications do I need for health and safety?

Starting a career in health and safety typically requires at least a foundation-level qualification. At e-Careers, we offer beginner-friendly courses like IOSH Managing Safely, IOSH Working Safely, NEBOSH National General Certificate in Occupational Health and Safety, and NEBOSH Environmental Management Certificate.

How long does it take to train in health and safety?

This depends on the particular course. However, since we value your time, our courses can be as short as a day. Intermediate courses can take up to a week.

Is there an online health and safety course?

Absolutely yes. Our health and safety training is accessible online or through virtual classrooms.

What is the difference between IOSH and NEBOSH?

IOSH and NEBOSH are both prominent bodies in health and safety. The Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) is the chartered body and largest membership organisation for safety and health professionals. 

NEBOSH, also known as The National Examination Board in Occupational Safety and Health, is an awarding body based in the UK. NEBOSH offers 21 health and safety qualifications that are all recognised by employers all around the world.

Do health and safety jobs pay well?

Absolutely! Just to give an estimate, a health and safety officer can earn £34,000 per annum, a health and safety advisor can earn £45,000, and a health and safety manager can earn £50,000 annually.

How do I start a career in health and safety in the UK?

Landing a job in health and safety in the UK is not that hard. You can start by getting the basic training. Our competent instructors here in e-Careers can help you with that.

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