Health and safety adviser

health and safety officer health and safety coordinator

Career outlook for

Figures and forecasts for roles at the same level, which require similar skills and qualifications.

Average UK salary

Currently employed in Scotland

Six year jobs forecast

The information is supplied by LMI For All

What's it like?

You would keep people safe from accidents, injuries and health problems in the workplace. You’d create health and safety policies and make sure employers and workers follow them.

Depending on your employer, your work could cover areas such as:

  • Fire safety
  • Occupational health
  • Noise
  • Safe use of machinery
  • Control of hazardous substances

You would:

  • Develop effective policies and procedures
  • Make regular inspections and risk assessments
  • Keep records of accidents
  • Advise on protective clothing and equipment
  • Train employees on safety issues
  • Investigate accidents and recommend improvements in safety standards
  • Write reports

You’d work with Health and Safety Executive inspectors and trade unions.

You’d need to have a good knowledge of health and safety legislation and keep up to date with changes in the law.

In some companies, responsibility for health and safety may be part of another job role such as personnel or facilities management.

Working conditions

Hours

Your typical working hours would be 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday. In some industries your hours could be more irregular. You may work shifts or be on call in case of emergencies or accidents.

Environment

You would normally be based in an office. You could also spend time in other environments like factories, building sites or offshore rigs, depending on the industry you work in. In some industries the work could be very physical and you may need to work outside, at heights or in cramped spaces. You may also be required to wear protective clothing like overalls, safety glasses or ear protectors.

UK employment status

Full-time

Part-time

Self employed

Here are some of the skills that people in this job would be most likely to have:

  • Communicating with people
  • Persuading people
  • Being tactful
  • Communicating ideas through writing
  • Using computers
  • Being physically fit
  • Finding solutions to problems
  • Being logical
  • Planning and organising
  • Paying attention to detail

Build your skills

Your skills can help you choose the career that’s right for you. You can build your skills through work, study or activities you do in your spare time.

To understand more, have a look at what are my skills?

Keep track of your skills in your account and find the jobs, opportunities and courses that suit you.

Click here to view / add your skills

Getting in

Entry requirements for courses can change. Always contact the college, university or training provider to check exactly what you’ll need.

Foundation Apprenticeships

Choosing a Foundation Apprenticeship as one of your subjects in S5 and S6 can help you get a head start with this type of job.

You'll get an SCQF level 6 qualification (the same level as a Higher) plus valuable work placement experience and skills you can't learn in a classroom.

Interested? Find out what's on offer at your school on Apprenticeships.scot.

Qualifications

To become a health and safety adviser, you can either study for health and safety qualifications whilst you are working or take a training course before looking for a trainee position.

The type of training you take will depend on the industry you work in.

Relevant work-based qualifications such as a Scottish Vocational Qualification in Occupational Health & Safety (SVQ level 3/4) or a Higher National diploma (SCFQ level 8), degree (SCQF level 9/10) or postgraduate qualification (SCQF level 11) in a subject like Occupational Health & Safety, Engineering, building or sciences.

The University of the West of Scotland offers a Occupational Health & Safety Degree (SCQF level 9/10) which requires National 5 qualifications and a minimum of three Highers or a relevant HNC/HND.

To enter a postgraduate course (SCQF level 11) you will usually require an honours degree in a relevant subject.

Qualifications should meet Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) standards.  

Useful subjects

  • Maths, (required by most courses)
  • English (required by most courses)
  • Science subjects  (required by most courses) 
  • Business Management
  • Sociology

Technologies (many involve health & safety procedures) may also be helpful.

You will also need

You must hold a Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) card or equivalent and pass a health and safety test to work and train on construction sites.

Helpful to have

Qualifications and experience that develop an understanding of relevant health and safety regulations and allow you to use problem-solving and communication skills.