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Safety inspector

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Summary of occupation

Safety inspectors visit workplaces to ensure that they are adhering to government and industry standards for occupational health and safety, from busy factories in the state's busy industrial centres, to mining operations in our regional areas.

They advise employers and employees about safe work practices, help to implement health and safety management systems in various workplaces, inspect specific machinery or equipment, and ensure that the correct protective equipment is being used by employees.

Safety inspectors also enforce health and safety legislation by investigating complaints that refer to accidents or occupational disease, report on the results of their investigations, and serve infringement notices to employers that do not comply with legal requirements.

ANZSCO description: Inspects machines, equipment, working  conditions and public places to ensure compliance with government and  industry standards and regulations, in relation to occupational  health and safety. Registration or licensing may be required.
Alternative names: Health and Safety Inspector, Occupational Health and Safety Coordinator, Occupational Health and Safety Officer
Specialisations: Boilers and Pressure Vessels Inspector, Construction Site Inspector, Ergonomist, Forestry Site Inspector, Gas Examiner, General Safety Inspector, Hazardous Goods Inspector, Lifts and Cranes Inspector, Mines Inspector, Mining or Petroleum Safety Inspector, Occupational Health and Safety Inspector, Occupational/Industrial Hygienist
Job prospects: Average
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Knowledge, skills and attributes

Safety inspectors need:

  • a commitment to health and safety
  • energy, confidence and enthusiasm
  • good communication and people skills
  • an eye for detail
  • honesty and impartiality
  • the ability to handle confidential information
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Working conditions

Safety inspectors may be based in an office and travel to various work sites in order to conduct inspections, or they may work at one specific larger site that requires constant safety co-ordination. These are more likely to be industrial environments, such as factories or mine sites. They may be required to work at heights or in confined spaces, and may get dirty as a result of inspecting some work sites.

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Salary details

On average, safety inspectors can expect to earn between $1 500 and $1 999 per week ($78 000 and $103 999 per year), depending on the organisation they work for, and their level of experience. As a safety inspector develops their skills, their earning potential will generally increase.

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Tools and technologies

Safety inspectors often need to wear protective clothing such as a high-visibility safety jackets, hard hats, steel-capped boots, safety glasses, overalls and earmuffs when working in industrial and mining environments. They may also need to be familiar with specialist electronic equipment such as noise, airflow, heat, lighting and solvent monitoring equipment. They may use cameras, measuring instruments and electronic notebooks to record information about the work sites they visit.

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Education and training/entrance requirements

In order to become a safety inspector you usually need to complete a formal qualification in health and safety.

VET courses in Work Health and Safety, and the Diploma of Occupational Health and Safety are offered at training organisations throughout Western Australia.

You can also complete a traineeship. The Occupational Health and Safety Officer traineeship usually takes 24 months to complete.

You can complete a degree majoring in health, safety and environment, or occupational safety and health.

Some universities in Western Australia offer relevant courses. Contact the universities you are interested in for more information.

Related courses

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Apprenticeships and traineeships

As an apprentice or trainee, you enter into a formal training contract with an employer. You spend most of your time working and learning practical skills on the job and you spend some time undertaking structured training with a registered training provider of your choice. They will assess your skills and when you are competent in all areas, you will be awarded a nationally recognised qualification.

If you are still at school you can access an apprenticeship through your school. You generally start your school based apprenticeship by attending school three days a week, spending one day at a registered training organisation and one day at work. Talk to your school's VET Co-ordinator to start your training now through VET in Schools. If you get a full-time apprenticeship you can apply to leave school before reaching the school leaving age.

If you are no longer at school you can apply for an apprenticeship or traineeship and get paid while you learn and work.

Related apprenticeships

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Recognition of prior learning

If you think you already have some of the skills or competencies, obtained either through non-formal or informal learning, you may be able to gain credit through recognition of prior learning.

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