Last week, we celebrated Safety Week. But that doesn’t mean our dedication to safe job sites has come to an end. Safety is still a top priority in the construction industry today – and every week of the year. We continue the mission of Safety Week in today’s featured position with the individual that acts as the central hub of workplace safety: the Safety Coordinator. Though all team members play an important role in maintaining job site safety, the Safety Coordinator is the key to making sure the right standards are set – and always followed.
In the simplest terms, Safety Coordinators are in charge of monitoring working conditions to ensure all activity is compliant with state and federal safety regulations. But their responsibilities can range from coordinating and executing employee training to making routine job site inspections to enforcing safety hazards corrections when necessary. No matter what the Safety Coordinator is working on, everything he or she does must strictly follow OSHA’s safety and health standards in addition to any company-mandated health and safety guidelines. This management position is an important part of any construction project. Safety Coordinators enforce high-caliber safety across all divisions, but it’s especially important in cases where they oversee the use of dangerous chemicals and heavy machinery.
On a day-to-day basis, a Safety Coordinator must stay detail-oriented in every task, from supplying proper safety gear and supplies to leading team training sessions and coordinating emergency drills. Every step toward safe practices must be considered. For example, new hire and ongoing training ensures every employee knows safety procedures and standards while routine inspections keep everything from workspaces to products in proper compliance.
Every day offers an opportunity for creativity for Safety Coordinators. They get to design their own methods for appraising safety conditions and educating employees to fit each team member’s learning style and overall company culture, as long as they adhere to any and all safety guidelines. Not only that, this role requires broad, in-depth knowledge to keep teams safe and companies within federal and state-level safety guidelines.
Given the emphasis on training and collaboration, a Safety Coordinator must thrive in a team setting, both as a leader and as a peer. It’s imperative that they establish relationships with all team members, as they will be the ones who dictate expectations and support teammates in times of need. Key skills that support this function include:
- Natural leadership qualities and strong decision-making skills
- Ability to communicate clearly with others, both orally and verbally
- Detail-oriented precision and honed expertise in the trade
If this sounds like a career for you, keep in mind that a degree in Occupational Safety, Public Safety, Public Health, or Safety Management is required, as well as a valid, up-to-date OHSA Certification. As with any other skilled trade, experience as an assistant or other support staff position delivers the on-the-job training necessary to ensure safety across all departments and functions.