What Makes a Competent Workplace Safety Manager?
Safety management can be a challenging job if you lack the right qualifications, knowledge, and expertise.

This job requires dedication, and the knack to adhere to stringent standards, and deal with more than uncooperative workers. To succeed, you must meet all requirements by the Occupational Safety & Health Administration.

A workplace safety manager facilitates the prevention of any possible accidents while promoting safe and healthy surroundings in a working environment. Their work is to develop policies and ensure all workers abide for a conducive, accident-free, and healthy workplace.

To do so, they need to pinpoint all potential threats an organization may face and find ways to remedy them while improving the existing working conditions.

Some of the roles of EHS administrators include;

  • Evaluating matters like worker welfare and health per legal guidelines.
  • Creating and distributing guides pertaining to the health and protecting company workers.
  • Training workers on techniques that can prevent accidents and enforce safety practices.
  • Inspecting if the working equipment is safe, if not schedule for repairs.
  • Monitoring how employees conform to the set safety rules.
  • Investigating the causes of accidents in a company and coming up with strategies to prevent such incidents from reoccurring.
  • Processing the reparation claims of workers involved in an accident while at work.
  • Developing solutions, precautionary steps, and improvement tactics for safety-related issues

Lastly, they must identify all the essential Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), work with the company to provide them, and ensure all workers follow best practices.

How to Become a Competent Workplace Safety Manager

Although safety management seems like an excellent career, the workload is not as light as you imagine.

You’ll need all some paperwork and thorough training to handle any challenges professionally. Some individuals attain this job spot through promotions after an excellent performance in other areas. But this is only possible after EHS training.

Such individuals can also learn from existing safety managers within the company. However, the best approach is to get take a complete course from a reputable institution or program.

Below are the essential formal qualifications you’ll need to become a competent safety manager;

  1. Get a degree.

The majority of companies want a workplace EHS manager with a degree certificate in safety management. Besides this bachelor’s degree, other employers need personnel with a risk, safety, and health management certificate.

Other important fields to become a safety administrator are degree certificates in biology, general engineering, public safety, and chemistry.

  1. Be certified.

Workplace safety certification is a fundamental element for anyone looking to become a safety administrator. Several bodies offer workplace safety certifications, for example, National Security of Safety Professionals and BSCP.

To simplify the whole process, you can simultaneously get this certification while pursuing your degree program. Some individuals seek safety certification while working in other roles or posts.

  1. Look for a trade association membership.

Joining a trade association will expose you to more skills from other experts and bring opportunities like training, access to updates and trends, and more.

Examples of common trade associations the American Society of Safety Engineers and American Biological Safety Association.

  1. Seek experience through employment.

After acquiring the above documentation, the only way to polish your expertise is through experience. And one way to conduct this is by getting a job related to your line of work.

It’s okay to dream of a senior post in an established company, but you shouldn’t limit yourself to that idea, especially for fresh graduates.

Start working as a safety manager an gain experience gradually while learning from existing competent safety managers. Doing this will sharpen your expertise as you transition to a higher EHS administration post.

  1. Never stop learning.

Learning is a constant process for anyone, especially in leadership. Workplace safety managers must be up to speed with all the trends and best practices in their field of work. To achieving this, you must continue learning more about matters concerning EHS management.

7 Tips That to Become a Competent Workplace Safety Manager.

Competent EHS managers understand that workplace safety entails more than just the cooperation of workers and rules. It also includes how the EHS manager can lead and protect a team. In essence, it relies strongly on a leader’s ability to deal with employees with various personalities in different environments.

Here are tiptop tips to help you interact with people well while enforcing safety in a company;

  1. Be a good example.

Sometimes saying and instructing isn’t enough; employees always want to do what they see their seniors do. Telling people to do things you’re not practicing yourself can cause resistance. It’s crucial to be very diligent in your actions and adhere to all the safety protocols you set.

It is, therefore, critical for EHS managers to practice what they require the workers to do. That way, it’s easy to persuade employees to uphold the same standards.

  1. Motivate employees.

Motivation in a sure way to reinforce the right behavior in employees. Safety managers should motivate workers to follow the set safety regulations. The EHS leaders can do this verbally or through actions such as offering incentives.

Such techniques will encourage other workers who still lag in adhering to the regulations. It brings sort of recognition, something that’s hard to ignore. You can also talk about this idea with your seniors to develop more effective strategies.

  1. Encourage transparency.

It’s important to cultivate openness with all personnel in an organization. Inform them of everything you plan to do, the dates, and location.

Examples of activities that employees should know about include; monitoring and assessment dates, visitors/trainers appointments, reasons for implementing changes, installation dates, or location of SDS. By doing so, you build trust and a sense of reliability among workers.

  1. Use clear and constant communication.

Clear and continuous communication is a critical factor in any form of relationship.  Good communication methods among employees, pinpointing hazards, and cooperation in remedying risks helps to provide a hassle-free procedure.

Try to learn the workers’ names, know their preferences, and find out what they know about the company and their suggestions. Such information can assist you in coming up with solutions and strategies when formulating safety measures.

A good workplace safety manager should hold frequent meetings to address critical issues, hear out the workers’ concerns, reason with them, and update them on any possible reforms and plans.

  1. Focus on using a constant improvement plan.

An effective improvement plan assists in constantly refining a company’s safety strategies, making it easy for employees to follow and implement. A workplace safety manager must analyze possible hazards and develop strategies to eliminate risks before they occur.

Besides hazard identification, it’s advisable to watch out for new recruits because they are more likely to suffer injuries or break rules compared to regular workers.

Frequently ask employees’ opinions and leverage other important resources to get remedy and prevention tips. Hold meetings frequently to discuss employee issues concerning their well-being and health while working at the company.

  1. Be proactive in responding to issues.

Postponing hazards can cause more damage in some of the internal processes or tasks in a facility. It’s, therefore, important to address any issues as they arise.

If workers are reluctant to follow rules, managers must step in quickly to find out why and create ways to motivate them. Managers who lag in responding to issues breed mistrust among workers and lead to unsafe workplace conditions.

  1. Be considerate.

Being a manager doesn’t give you the power to dictate people’s activities or opinions. It requires understanding and listening to employees. Put yourself in their shoes before implementing rules that may seem harsh or unrealistic.

Good safety management goes beyond adhering to OSHA’s regulations; it should also focus on how workers can recognize those protocols and utilize them. Of course, such objectives take time to accomplish, and you’ll need to take your time to enlighten workers on their various roles.

Workplace safety managers must find a way to let workers understand that regulations aren’t a form of punishment but protective measures to protect them. Effective safety management requires a lot of worker consideration and cooperation.


Workplace safety management is vital for all businesses. Ignoring the roles of EHS administrators or hiring an incompetent manager can have drastic health and safety effects on staff.

A competent safety manager should have all the formalities, skills, and experience needed to handle protection and health threats.