Health and Safety Adviser

Job Description:

Health and safety advisers work to reduce accidents, injury and health problems in the workplace.

Job Category:
Health Care & Social Assistance

What you will do:

Your day-to-day tasks may include:

  • developing safety policies and procedures
  • advising and training staff on health and safety practices
  • making regular inspections
  • doing risk assessments
  • investigating and recording accidents in the workplace
  • working with relevant inspectors and trade unions

You could work in many different industries including:

  • construction and engineering
  • mining, quarrying, oil and gas exploration
  • manufacturing and services
  • chemical processing

You could also work in public services like hospitals, education and local government.


You’ll need:

  • legal knowledge including court procedures and government regulations
  • knowledge of public safety and security
  • knowledge of teaching and the ability to design courses
  • maths knowledge
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently

As well as:

  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • the ability to use your initiative (ambition/drive)
  • the ability to work well with others (teamwork skills)
  • persistence and determination
Illustration of employee looking at workspace

Entry Requirements:

To become a Health & Safety Advisor, you typically don’t need specific subjects, but having a strong educational foundation and certain skills can be beneficial for this career. Health & Safety Advisors focus on ensuring workplace safety, so knowledge in related subjects and practical skills are important. Here are some relevant subjects and skills:

  1. Mathematics: Good math skills are essential for analysing data related to safety incidents and evaluating risks.
  2. Science: A basic understanding of biology, chemistry, and physics can help you comprehend workplace hazards and safety measures.
  3. English Language: Strong communication skills are crucial for writing reports, creating safety manuals, and effectively communicating safety procedures.
  4. Information Technology (IT): Proficiency in using computers and relevant software is important for data analysis and record-keeping.
  5. Design and Technology: Knowledge of this subject can be helpful for understanding machinery, equipment, and safety features in various workplaces.
  6. Physical Education (PE): A basic understanding of human anatomy and physical fitness can be valuable when assessing ergonomic factors and promoting worker well-being.
  7. Geography: An understanding of geography can be beneficial when evaluating environmental hazards and safety concerns.
  8. Psychology: Knowledge of psychology can aid in understanding human behavior and how it relates to safety in the workplace.

Post School

You’ll usually need a degree, MSc or postgraduate diploma recognised by your local Health & Safety department (in the UK it is the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH)).

You can also take an approved degree-level qualification.

If you don’t have a degree, you’ll usually need some relevant work experience and a qualification in health and safety recognised by IOSH.

You could study for a health and safety qualification while you’re working. You could also take a course before looking for a trainee position.

Working Hours and Environment:

You’ll usually work 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday. In some industries, your hours may be irregular and you could work shifts or be expected to be on-call for emergencies.

Career Path & Progression:

With experience, you could move into a management role.

You could also become a consultant and specialise in a particular area, like environmental safety. With further study you could move into research or lecturing.