What Is an Occupational Safety Specialist?
According to the regulations of the German Social Accident Insurance (DGUV), companies are obliged to appoint an external occupational safety specialist on a regular basis. From a company size of at least 20 employees collaboration with a specialist for occupational safety is mandatory. These act as a contact and advisory person and support companies in the implementation of safety-relevant topics and measures.
Where Do Occupational Health and Safety Specialists Work?
The specialist for occupational safety stands next to the leading company doctor directly under the company’s management. The occupational safety specialist has only an advisory position and accordingly does not assume a leadership role in the respective organization. However, no person other than the plant management may give instructions to the occupational safety specialist on the performance of activities.
What Does an Occupational Safety Specialist Do?
An occupational safety specialist pursues the goal of supporting the company in all areas of occupational safety. The responsible areas of responsibility are defined in the Occupational Safety and Health Act. Which extent the tasks take depends individually on the dangers for the security in the respective enterprise. The following tasks are performed by the occupational safety specialist:
- Analysis of the work system
- Analysis of the hazards identified
- Developing goals for increased occupational safety
- Development of solutions
- Implementation of solution measures
- Monitoring of the implementation of the measures
- Monitoring the effectiveness of solutions
Occupational Health and Safety Measures
The following section explains the consulting activities, audits and implementation of occupational health and safety measures:
- Occupational safety consulting
In particular, the occupational safety specialist advises the company on the planning, execution and maintenance of operating documents as well as the procurement of work equipment, the implementation of work procedures and working materials. Also, the occupational safety specialist assists an organization in the appropriate design of workplaces, work processes, and the general work environment. After this preliminary consultation, an assessment of working conditions can be prepared, which serves as the basis for further measures.
- Inspection of operating facilities and work equipment
The occupational safety specialist draws attention to the regular inspection of technical work equipment and the testing of equipment before commissioning. In this context, the occupational safety specialist usually trains the employees.
- Execution of occupational safety and accident prevention
A constant observation of workplaces through walk-around inspections are absolutely necessary to report deficiencies to the person responsible for occupational health and safety. Further measures for the elimination of these deficiencies are to be initiated subsequently.