Career Profile: Safety Inspector
Every job has its own dangers, but this can be especially true of the trades. When people work on high buildings in construction and use sharp saws to cut wood or steel, or work with chemicals and poisonous gases, they can easily be hurt or even killed. However, safety inspectors can help reduce the dangers by inspecting everything to make sure that tools are safe to use, and the space is safe to work in. This job is arguably one of the most important jobs in the Trades industry- it is the Safety Inspector’s job to keep employees alive and well. If something is over-looked during an inspection, it will be in large part, the Safety Inspector’s fault for not seeing it.
An office job might be stressful but have few actual threats to safety. However, many of the trades can be quite dangerous. Electricians can potentially electrocute themselves, construction workers can drop heavy objects onto their feet or fall off of buildings, and factory employees can lose fingers or hands in machines. The job of a safety inspector is to identify these types of dangers and to try to correct the problems before someone is hurt.
Any factory or construction site can be a place where safety inspectors work. They can work on oil pipelines to make sure that everything is working properly and that there are no leaks in the oil or gas lines. They might check a factory to make sure that the employees are all wearing the safety equipment that they need or that they are following all of the steps that are necessary to avoid accidents. Safety inspectors often work with checklists to be sure that they have not forgotten anything, but it helps to know the basics of how the industry works.
Most people in this field start by getting several years of experience in the area that they later want to inspect. In some cases, getting a safety certificate might be enough education for a safety inspector, but many of them also have a degree or diploma in an area such as science or engineering. Normally, they work in the trades for several years before becoming inspectors. Depending on the work and their level of experience, they might earn from $16-34 per hour.
Once they have the necessary education and background, safety inspectors can begin the job of making work safer for other people. Sometimes, this means that they have to go to dangerous places to find out how to change the working conditions. Being a safety inspector often involves travelling long distances to get to the oil rigs or factories where they check for problems. When they have found out what they need to know, they write reports on what they think should be changed and how they think the business can make the work safer.
Being a safety inspector requires a lot of detailed work, and it is not always pleasant. However, if you like the idea of helping to keep other people safe, it might be the right job for you.
Alberta Learning Information Service. “Occupational Profile: Occupational Health and Safety Officer.”
Monster.ca. “Safety Inspector.” http://my.monster.ca/job-profiles/safety-inspector.aspx.
Oilsands Infomine. “Health, Safety & Environment Advisors – Pipeline.” http://oilsands.infomine.com/careers/jobs/listings/1.571732/health.safety.environment.advisors.pipeline.aspx.
Payscale.com. “Construction Inspector Salary (Canada).”