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Construction Safety Officer Duties

by Brenda Scottsdale

Construction safety officers manage construction crews, ensuring that each worker is following safety rules and regulations. If you are interested in becoming a construction safety worker, you'll need a high school degree, your state safety certificate, if required, and two or three years of construction work experience. Construction safety officers are included in the Bureau of Labor Statistics construction manager category, earning a median income of $83,440 as of May 2011.

Knowing Safety Standards

Construction can be a dangerous job, involving daily exposure to potentially unsanitary, hazardous, or dangerous situations, such as heavy equipment failure, building accidents and exposure to chemical agents. You can't enforce safety standards if you don't know them, so a construction safety officer must be intimately acquainted with the safety policies and procedures of the companies for which they work. In addition, they must know safety local, state and federal safety statutes including the regulations of the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

Field Oversight

Accidents sometimes happen because there aren't a sufficient number of workers on site at the right time, so a construction safety officer monitors manpower to ensure there are no shortages. He communicates mandatory safety standards to all contractors during the pre-bid walkthrough stage and at pre-construction meetings, so there are no questions about the rules before the job even begins. He reviews each contractor's safety plan and monitors it for compliance.

Site Inspection

Construction safety officers conduct regular site inspections, recording all violations, noting what remediation needs to occur to keep the project moving forward safety. If necessary, the construction safety officer suspends the project, pending necessary changes. He conducts safety trainings, both formally, such as new employee safety orientations or refresher trainings, and on-the-spot to all site workers. He produces a comprehensive report of each inspection for accounting purposes.

Creating Safety Documentation

Because they are intimately acquainted with safety standards, and they have knowledge of safety deficiencies, construction safety officers work with management teams to develop new safety policies, refine existing policies, modify design requirements and draft construction-related specifications. They write safety proposals, interpret regulations, develop training, draft inspection standards and draft safety assessment tools. They develop continuous quality improvement and safety programs, such as rewarding employees for safe behaviors.

About the Author

Brenda Scottsdale is a licensed psychologist, a six sigma master black belt and a certified aerobics instructor. She has been writing professionally for more than 15 years in scientific journals, including the "Journal of Criminal Justice and Behavior" and various websites.

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