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Health and Safety Inspector

Health and safety inspectors are good at communicating clearly and efficiently. They are well organised and able to help people understand laws and regulations relating to their health and safety.

Health and safety inspectors may do some or all of the following

  • advise employers and employees about safe and healthy work practices, and health and safety management systems
  • inspect machinery, equipment and workplaces
  • ensure suitable protective equipment, such as hearing protection, is provided and is being used correctly
  • ensure workplaces comply with health and safety legislation
  • investigate complaints, serious harm incidents and accidents
  • investigate occupational disease
  • write reports about the results of inspections and investigations
  • take legal action or give evidence in court when necessary
  • serve infringement notices.

Health and safety inspectors need to have

  • knowledge of health and safety Acts and regulations, and how to interpret them
  • an understanding of safe work practices and safety equipment
  • knowledge of health and safety management systems
  • knowledge of hazardous substances used in workplaces and their adverse effects
  • the ability to conduct investigations and prepare cases for prosecution
  • the ability to conduct presentations
  • auditing skills
  • computer skills
  • problem-solving skills and the ability to make decisions
  • oral and written communication skills.

Health and safety inspectors need to be

  • honest
  • practical
  • able to keep information confidential
  • enquiring and alert, with an eye for detail
  • firm, fair and impartial
  • able to relate well to people from a range of cultures and backgrounds
  • able to work well under pressure and without supervision
  • able to cope with accident scenes and to deal with stress and conflict.

Health and safety inspectors need to have a good level of fitness as some bending and climbing is involved in workplace inspections, which can be in diverse physical environments.


Health and Safety Officer

Health and safety officers may do some or all of the following

  • ensure businesses comply with health and safety legislation for workplaces
  • work with staff to manage, monitor and improve health and safety standards in workplaces
  • undertake workplace safety inspections such as monitoring noise levels in a factory
  • ensure health and safety requirements are met before and when workplace alterations are made or new equipment is installed
  • educate and inform staff and managers on how to identify safety risks and set up preventative measures
  • help design health and safety monitoring systems and policies
  • check the efficiency of health and safety management systems and policies
  • develop emergency procedures (for earthquake and fires) and co-ordinate emergency teams
  • provide emergency training (for earthquakes and fires)
  • educate staff about safety when working at heights or in confined spaces
  • assist in the rehabilitation of staff who have been injured or ill
  • facilitate regular health and safety checks for staff, and give first aid to staff when accidents occur
  • organise first aid training for staff
  • develop workplace safety systems, policies and processes
  • conduct eyesight and hearing tests and workstation assessments
  • give counselling and advice, or refer people to other health professionals.

Health and safety officers need to have

  • knowledge of health and safety legislation
  • knowledge of work-related illnesses and injuries, and rehabilitation strategies
  • knowledge of Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) procedures and how an organisation becomes ACC-accredited
  • good communication and listening skills
  • observational skills
  • good problem-solving and decision-making ability.

Health and safety officers need to be

  • safety-conscious
  • alert
  • responsible
  • practical
  • patient
  • able to relate well to a wide range of people
  • calm in emergencies.