Health & Safety Adviser

A Health and Safety Adviser (also known as Health and Safety Trainer and Health and Safety Auditor) works to advise and to ensure a commitment to safety is maintained by all departments of a council, under its requirements for complying with all statutory duties in respect of health and safety legislation.  The Adviser is responsible for monitoring and auditing compliance with legislation, corporate policy and to facilitate best practice through continuous improvement.

Work Environment
A Health and Safety Adviser is usually based at a local authority's offices and is either part of a team of safety advisers or is the sole adviser for the Council.  In some cases an Environmental Health Officer also acts as the Health and Safety Adviser. Much of a Health and Safety Adviser's time is spent auditing/training all departments of the Council as consultant, troubleshooter, teacher and advocate; therefore visits will be made to where its officers are based.

Daily Activities
The work is very varied and could involve any of the following:

  • advising managers, as appropriate, on all aspects of health and safety including advice in relation to relevant legislation, directives, codes of practice, policy matters etc.;
  • assisting in the development, production and updating of guidance notes, policies, practices and procedures and ensure conformity with any specific requirements;
  • carrying out risk assessments and other assessments e.g. control of substances to health (COSHH) and advise on appropriate action when necessary;
  • carrying out site inspections (safety audits) to ensure compliance with relevant legislation, council and departmental policies and procedures and recommend remedial measures;
  • carrying out accident investigations, incidents and claims involving Council property;
  • carrying out safety induction training;
  • evaluating, designing, developing and delivering appropriate training courses;
  • liaising, as appropriate, with contractors/clients/outside organisations e.g. Health and Safety Executive;
  • maintaining manual and computerised health and safety records including accident statistics.

Skills & Interests
As a Health and Safety Advisor's work incorporates assessments of people, workplaces and procedures it will involve the training of staff.  In order for this to be achieved good interpersonal skills are essential.  Good written skills are also essential when writing reports, letters and procedures to be followed by departments.  An understanding of how to interpret health and safety law is critical in order that requirements of legislation can be followed and put into place. An overall commitment and interest in health and safety issues are required in order to keep abreast of new developments in the health and safety field.

Entry Requirements
Different routes are as follows:
Route 1 - National Examination Board of Occupational Safety and Health (NEBOSH) Certificate.  NEBOSH Diploma 1 & 2 and experience will lead to full membership of the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH).
Route 2 - Ongoing work related assessment by National Vocational Qualification (NVQ) in Occupational Health & Safety Practice from NVQ 1 to NVQ 4. When NVQ 4 achieved full membership of IOSH can be gained.
Route 3 - University degree in Occupational Health and Safety.

Future Prospects & Opportunities
Opportunities to progress to more senior posts exist, although these are normally greater in larger councils.  Movement to other authorities to gain more experience, breadth of work and promotion is often necessary.

Further Information & Services
British Safety Council
Institution of Occupational Safety and Health
Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents
UK Professional Health & Safety Organisations Directory

You may find further information about this area of work through Careers Wales ( or in your local library, careers office or school careers library.

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