A safety supervisor is responsible for maintaining and protecting both employee and public health and safety in a variety of industries. Safety supervisors may work in the food industry ensuring food is handled and served correctly, in an industrial environment protecting the safety of workers around equipment or in a lab monitoring safe handling of chemicals.
The safety supervisor is responsible for identifying potential risks within the work environment as well as the public arena. Safety supervisors typically watch over current working conditions and may investigate employee work locations to pinpoint potential hazards in the manner of work, the equipment used or the products and services manufactured. The employees must be provided with a safe environment in which to work, one that is free of direct contact with hazardous materials or dangerous equipment, and public safety risks must also be identified to protect consumers and members of the public who use or pass by job sites and work locations.
When a possible risk factor has been identified in an employee's work environment, job function or job process, it is up to the safety supervisor to implement the necessary changes to rectify those risks. Working independently or in collaboration with government agencies designed to protect the health and safety of workers, such as OSHA, the safety supervisor will be expected to design and implement reasonable accommodations to improve worker safety. Accommodations might include safety training and the procurement of safety equipment, such as gloves for the handling of hazardous materials, hard hats in construction zones and safety gates or fencing for areas that may present a risk of someone falling.
In some companies, a safety supervisor works alone to identify and implement safe working conditions and procedures. The safety supervisor might be a traditional employee who is conducting a generic job function while at the same time maintaining the responsibility for overseeing personal and co-worker safety within that job role. Other safety supervisors work solely within the safety role and may move around the company to observe different job functions to study and understand how the job operates and what safety precautions may need to be implemented. Other safety supervisors might work as part of a team within a safety organization. The safety supervisor would be responsible for overseeing the training and work of other safety administrators within the safety team.
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