Your safety team is only as strong as its members. And while much attention is given to safety officers, safety representatives, and managers, there are still critical roles that collect, generate and analyze safety data.
This is where an occupational health and safety technician is vital to your team.
What is a safety technician and what is their role in your workplace? Keep reading to find out how they contribute to your safety team.
What Is an Occupational Health and Safety Technician?
An occupational health and safety technician collects and analyzes data on safety conditions in a variety of workplaces. Think of them as a scientist for the workplace – and an essential element of your workplace safety team.
Technicians work side-by-side with safety specialists to measure, inspect, and evaluate safety hazards and prevent harm to workers. What makes them unique from other members of your health and safety team is that they don’t just note hazards–they test workplace conditions.
What Do They Do?
The exact duties of a safety technician vary based on the work environment, but the basic duties remain constant: testing workplace environments, equipment, and practices.
A mine safety technician, for example, is responsible for going into mines to test the airflow for any buildup of harmful gases. They also check the status of equipment in the mines to ensure that miners have access to the tools they need and can work in the mines safely.
In an office setting, the role of a safety technician is a bit less technical and more mundane. Their job in this environment is focused heavily on ergonomic testing and observation.
A job site safety technician at a construction site, on the other hand, is responsible for monitoring more hazardous work conditions. For example, they’ll test equipment to ensure that it’s working properly and being used correctly.
Safety Technician vs. Safety Officer
At this point, we should distinguish between a safety technician and a safety officer.
While both positions share a common goal–maintaining optimal worker health and safety – their roles in making that goal possible are quite different.
A safety officer is often the first port of call for all things related to safety. They conduct audits and inspections, ensure regulatory compliance, enforce safety policies, investigate workplace accidents, and train workers.
A safety technician has a more specialized role. A technician is typically responsible for testing work environments and conditions in real-time, from collecting samples to testing equipment to observing real workplace practices. They compile technical reports on their findings and help develop safety policies based on those reports.
The two roles overlap on the issue of worker training. Both positions often contribute to worker safety education. For a technician, this often means demonstrating the safe way to use equipment or preparing training programs based on test results.
Managing Your Safety Team More Effectively
Whether you’re an occupational health and safety technician, a safety manager, or anything in between, we know that your safety team needs to work together seamlessly. That’s why we developed safety software that adapts to your biggest safety needs, no matter what your role on the safety team may be.
Want to see our software in action? Get in touch today to learn more.