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Health and Safety Certificate: More than a Piece of Paper

Posted by EHS Insight Resources on April 22, 2019 at 10:08 AM

If you want to add credibility to your environmental, health and safety program, consider looking into a certification program. A health and safety certificate can help companies strengthen their EHS program from within by equipping leaders with the knowledge they need. As a result, you have the best chance of improving your company’s health and safety performance while going above and beyond what regulatory agents require.

Here’s what you need to know about getting a health and safety certificate.

What Is a Health and Safety Certificate?

A health and safety certificate is earned after completing a program, usually offered by technical or online colleges. The program focuses on actionable EHS topics, including but not limited to the following:

  • Identify existing health and safety issues in today’s workplace
  • Building effective health and safety management systems in the workplace
  • Creating risk management systems
  • Reducing incidents in the workplace
  • Conducting accident investigations
  • Preparing for OSHA inspections
  • Training and leading employees

The actual course specifics may vary, depending on the course you take and the school that’s offering the course.

Like any educational course, you’ll be required to complete project work and take an exam to earn your certificate. Many schools offer this certificate for those who hope to earn a career in EHS management, but companies can also enroll their current EHS leaders in similar programs to further their education.

Benefits of a Certification Program

A health and safety certificate offers attractive benefits for EHS leaders, employees, and the company as a whole. For current EHS managers, a certificate program is an excellent opportunity for continuing education. Participants get a chance to keep their finger on the pulse of the industry by learning new processes, rules and requirements, and other standards that can help them improve their department’s operations.

When leaders become more capable and proficient in their roles, employees benefit from their expertise. Those who are working directly under the supervision of the EHS leader will be able to learn from their newfound knowledge. The department’s actions that result from what they learn will help to prevent incidents and provide employees a safer work environment.

And finally, when there are fewer accidents and safer employees, companies can more than justify the cost of the certificate program. The company’s investment in continuing education should produce a positive ROI that will help reduce their liability.

In addition, employees who earn certification will enjoy extensive career benefits. Should you decide to apply for a promotion or start over with a new company, your certification can help give you an edge over the competition.

In some cases, you may be able to earn a salary increase. The median salary for occupational health and safety specialists is $70,210. If you’re not quite making this much, taking a certification program may help you to land a higher paying job.

Where to Get Your Certification

If you’re interested in getting your health and safety certification, you have a few options available.

One option is to check your local community or technical college to see if they offer the program. Some of you will be required to attend classes on campus and complete a variety of courses to earn your certificate.

The second (and more desirable) option is to explore online learning opportunities so you can earn your certificate at your own pace. Major schools like the University of Alabama offer this certification online. The American Society of Safety Professionals and OSHAcademy also offer an EHS certification program.

Before you choose a program, you should review the course specifics and requirements carefully. Some programs allow you to work at your own pace, provided you complete all coursework in a certain number of months or years. Also, you should check to see what the prerequisites of the program entail, including educational requirements and industry experience.

Not all programs are created equal, so take some time to compare and explore your options to ensure you’re getting your money’s worth and making the best decision for your career.

Do Your Career a Favor

Whatever program you choose, remember the main goal is to learn how to improve the way you work and manage workplace safety. The more you learn, the better off your entire organization will be.

Further reading: Universities Offering Environmental, Health and Safety Degrees

Topics: Workplace Health and Safety

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