What Does A Safety Engineer Do?
The safety of workplaces and that of their respective workers is of paramount concern to safety engineers. Companies that are in the business of manufacturing various products know the importance of keeping the work environment safe. Accidents don’t only hamper work. It also costs the company a lot of money that comes with the hospitalization costs of the worker or workers involved, repair of the area where the accident took place and potential replacement of the pieces of equipment that have been destroyed because of the incident. There are also potential legal issues surrounding the incident which could even drag the company in court should the worker sue.
Safety engineers seek to prevent accidents and injuries from happening. They observe the work environment and the processes involved to check if safety standards are being implemented. If no such standards exist in the company yet, they design safety programs and craft the guidelines for all employees to follow. They inspect buildings, machinery and equipment to ensure that these do not pose safety hazards. If they spot any, they make recommendations on the safety features that must be put in place to prevent any accidents. They also consider environmental hazards like toxic chemicals that could compromise the health and safety of their workers and find ways to eliminate or if this isn’t possible, to at least contain these so workers aren’t exposed to them. They may also require the use of safety gear like goggles, gloves and metal-toed boots in areas where heavy equipment are in operation.
When accidents happen in the workplace, safety engineers conduct investigations to ascertain the cause. This may involve visiting the scene of the accident and observing the condition of the equipment as well as their location relative to each other to see if these could have contributed to the incident. They would also interview the witnesses present at the scene who could shed light on the chronology of events prior to the accident since their accounts will help greatly in determining the reason why it took place. They may also need to look at relevant records, like medical reports, to further help in their investigation. Based on their findings, safety engineers will then make recommendations on what needs to be done in order to prevent such an event from happening again.
Workplaces and workers aren’t the only focus of safety engineers. They may also inspect the safety of consumer products to ensure that these comply with safety codes and regulations. In many cases, they may even be made part of the design team that will conceptualize the product, make and test the prototype before the design is going to be finalized. During testing, they may subject the product to use under normal and stressful conditions to determine the limits by which they can be used safely.
Safety engineers also write reports detailing the results of their investigations or evaluation of the safety procedures being followed in a particular area. Meetings are also a regular part of their work since they will be reporting to the members of the company’s executive team and facing other professionals both from the government and private sectors in the course of their duties.