Workplace Health and Safety (WHS) professionals work to promote the health, safety and wellbeing of people in the workplace using a mix of core technical competencies and interpersonal skills such as facilitation, engagement, leadership and influencing. This is a multi-disciplinary profession which requires formal training and practical experience. WHS professionals work closely with other specialists including Safety Engineers, Occupational Hygienists, Ergonomists and Occupational Health Professionals.
Job prospects for Workplace Health and Safety professionals are above average, and wages are very good. New Zealand has poor workplace health and safety performance and Government and industry in New Zealand are actively trying to reduce serious work-related incidents.
The demand for experienced Health and Safety professionals is currently outstripping the resource available in New Zealand.
Career options include:
Health and safety professionals work to promote health and safety in the workplace and public places to ensure that working conditions are safe and healthy and comply with legal requirements. This is done using core technical competencies and interpersonal skills including facilitation, engagement, leadership and influencing skills.
This type of work includes providing specialist advice, identifying, assessing, managing and monitoring hazards and risks, completing risk assessments, investigating incidents, return to work and rehabilitation, training managers and employees, developing health and safety management systems, policies and procedures, auditing, and contractor management.
Other technical skills include hazardous substances management, machinery and equipment safety, fire safety and ventilation and knowledge of organisational behaviour, occupational health and hygiene, occupational psychology (human factors) and ergonomics.
Health and Professionals can obtain qualifications at multiple levels in New Zealand including:
Graduate NZISM Level
Technical NZISM Level
In New Zealand those working in health and safety roles can follow a recognised pathway to become a registered Health and Safety Professional. Professional registration requirements include a mix of recognised qualifications and practical experience.