Health and Safety Professionals

Occupational health and safety (OHS) practitioners 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. OHS professionals work closely with other specialists including Safety Engineers, Occupational Hygienists, Ergonomists, and Occupational Health Professionals.

Job Prospects

Job prospects for OHS 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.

Career options include:

  • Senior Health and Safety Managers
  • Health and Safety Managers
  • Health and Safety Consultants
  • Senior Health and Safety Advisors
  • Health and Safety Advisors
  • Health and Safety Coordinators
  • Health and Safety Officers
  • Health and Safety Administrators
  • Health and Safety Inspectors

How to become a health and safety professional

What they do

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.

image of climbing stairs


There are a number of education providers offering OHS courses which will help you progress along the NZISM accreditation pathway.

For details check NZISM's current list of recognised qualifications.

Becoming a Registered Health and Safety Professional

In New Zealand those working in health and safety roles can follow a pathway to become a recognised OHS professional, registered on the HASANZ Register. Professional registration requirements include a mix of recognised qualifications and practical experience.


Workplace Health and Safety Professionals are sought after and well paid.

Look at the 2020 Safeguard Annual Income Survey Results.

You are able to request a free sample of Safeguard Magazine.